Migrante International decries the recent disqualification of Manggagawa Party-list from the list of accredited party-list groups that will run as candidates in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections. We view this as a rabid attack on progressive party-list groups that are striving for genuine representation of marginalized sectors. The bastardization of the party-list system in favour of bureaucrat capitalism is an affront to our country’s already besieged-democratic process.
With most of the accredited party-list groups without any credible track record in serving the grassroots and the sight of COMELEC bowing down to pressure from Malacanang, we are truly convinced that these aberrations are ushering the complete takeover of the House of Representatives by political dynasties and big business interests.
Unlike most of the other party-list groups that were formed merely for the fulfilment of Duterte’s tyrannical whims and dictates, Manggagawa Party-list is slated by nominees that have long fought for the rights and welfare of oppressed sectors like OFWs, jeepney drivers, the urban poor and labour unions.
Meanwhile, fake OFW party-lists like Bertiz’s ACTS OFW Party-list and Mocha Uson’s AA-Kasosyo Party-list are backed by trapos and private recruitment agencies. ACTS OFW Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III who claims to be the lone representative of OFWs in the 17th Congress figured notoriously for yelling at OFWs in Hongkong a few years ago. He is also the CEO of Global Asia Alliance Consultants, a recruitment agency that was suspended for irregularities.
Mocha Uson’s AA-Kasosyo Party-list is among the entities tied to Janet Lim Napoles’ Php10 Billion pork barrel scam. Dubbed as the “fake news queen,” Mocha Uson was previously slammed by concerned citizens for being among the masterminds of a propaganda-driven rescue operation that endangered the safety of Kuwait OFWs. The fiasco led to a diplomatic crisis to the point that the Philippine ambassador was expelled by Kuwait.
OFWs are longing for a genuine House representation that will uphold their interests and ensure that they get shielded from the harmful costs of the government’s labour export program. As Manggagawa Party-list pushes to favour higher wages, junk burdensome state exactions and eliminate contractualization, Migrante is certain that it is the greedy ruling elite that are behind the COMELEC’s delisting of progressive party-list groups.
Under the Duterte regime’s pro-elite reign of terror and repression, faithful servants of the Filipino masses can no longer count on making it smoothly to the halls of Congress as active participants of representative democracy without getting shoved and troubled by a corrupt electoral system that consistently obliges itself in ensuring the overwhelming predominance of corrupt political dynasties, hacienderos, plunderers and criminals in the government’s legislative branch.
We will never allow the Duterte regime to drown out the voices of OFWs and other marginalized sectors. No setback will stop us from drumming our legitimate calls until we have fully realized the national democratic aspirations of the Filipino people.