This is going to be short, but I will not promise it is going to be sweet:
There are, to date, 144 party-list groups that the Commission on Elections recognized, which simply means they are already included in the 2-foot ballot that will be used in the first ever automated poll in the country. The Comelec, as it has always done, missed the spirit of the party list. Anyone can now build his own organization, purport that it represents a marginalized group, and he’s on his way, if his party list is lucky enough, to receiving roughly 200 million pesos (4.5 million dollars) a year worth of pork barrel. Not bad, easy money.
But of course, politics in the Philippines is a business venture of some sort. Unless a party-list can prove it will be able to launch a national campaign, Comelec is kind enough to give it an advice gained through the commission’s extensive experience in elections to quit the campaign; the advice sometimes comes without a word which in common parlance means simply ‘disqualifying’ it. Financial viability and not its representation of little-heard sectors will ultimately determine whether one is a legitimate party list or otherwise. Legitimacy until this time is a tricky and shaky word in this side of the word.
And because a campaign has begun morally corrupt, in the end, things narrow down to a simple question of whether a group can recoup the investments it has placed on the campaign, and so the vicious cycle of corruption all Filipinos are aware of continues to feed itself.
Thoughtless bandwagon resulted in a very funny list we have now of our party-list groups. More than a half of them starts with the letter A, an obviously daft effort to get the chance of being the first in the ballot. The sheer number of As will place Abakada, Abang Lingkod, Aba Ilonggo, etc at a disadvantage. None of them fought to be in the end of the list, a spot that can be as strategic as being the first. The use of article ‘Ang’ did not help Ang Ladlad or Ang Kasangga. AA-Kasosyo Party reminds me of an organization of reformed alcoholics. AMA, I didn’t know a computer school can be referred to as marginalized, but maybe it’s a totally different one.
Bums now are also beginning to see their inherent worth (A Tambay). Are Filipino-Chinese? What is Chinoy doing in the list? And when did beauty become an issue in Philippine politics since Imelda Marcos? Oragon.
Aawas showed its decisiveness by renaming itself 1-Tubig, but this is not enough to dislodge 1-Aani as the number one in the list. So did other think they can, in the end they all find themselves drowned in the plethora of As and annoyingly uncreative names.