It was a noble idea—to empower so-called marginalized sectors of society through congressional representation.
But over the years, even decades of its tolerated existence, the party-list system has been thoroughly abused and debased by corrupt politicians and even some cause-oriented or activist groups.
In so doing, its noble purpose or mission was largely defeated.
For instance there are party-list lawmakers who are millionaires on account of their business, real estate properties, and other possessions that give them vast power or influence.
This debauchery of democracy must stop sooner, not later.
And no less than the President himself thinks so.
President Duterte intends to abolish the party-list system when the Constitution is overhauled through a constituent assembly, saying it’s a “mockery of the law.”
“I will not allow it…inabuso lahat yan eh…ang nananalo ay yong may pera (it is being abused…only moneyed people win). Representing what? The security guards?” the President said on Friday.
Duterte was apparently referring to Ang Galing Pinoy, a political group of security guards and tricycle drivers, formerly represented in the House of Representatives by Mikey Arroyo, son of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Commission on Elections disqualified Ang Galing Pinoy in 2013 after its First Division ruled that Mr. Arroyo did not belong to the sector he claimed to represent.
With a net worth of over P95 million, Mr. Arroyo was among the wealthiest party-list representatives in the 15th Congress. He first served as representative of Pampanga’s second district from 2001 to 2009 before his stint as party-list representative.
“That’s the mockery of the law. ‘Yan talaga ang pinaka bastos na nagawa mo. Kasi ikaw, ‘yung pera, mag-bili ka ng ano diyan? Ano ba ‘yung ano mo? (That’s the most shameless thing to do. Because you have the money, you can buy anything? What is your group?) United idiots association,” Duterte said.
The President noted that once the constituent assembly is able to finish its job of revising the Constitution, he would be there to read it.
“So you could only come up with the Constitution that is responsive to the will of the people…this party-list, it will never come again,” he added.
Our thoughts, exactly.