Saturday, August 22, 2009

Local officials divided on gamblers’ 2010 bid

CAGAYAN de Oro City (Ben Balce /Aug 22) - LOCAL officials offer differing positions on the application of Alyansa ng mga Sabungero as a party-list group.

Mayor Constantino Ja-raula said he could not hide his frustration over the large number of groups seeking seats in the House of Representatives using the party-list system.

‘‘Wala ko’y objection niana. Ang sa ako wala natuman ang batas sa party-list system law,’’ Jaraula said, adding that despite having dubious or scant credentials, Comelec still continuously approves party-list applications.

‘‘Some organizations were apparently just out to abuse the party-list law,’’ said Jaraula adding: ‘‘Hasta na ang mga mangunguot mag-apply na niana.’’

Jaraula said the party-list law is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution to give important yet voiceless sectors a say in policy-making.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has a different view.

Rodriguez said the group and its members could be considered marginalized because ‘‘they live a hand-to-mouth existence, earnings.”

‘‘If the group met all the requirements of the Comelec, why can’t they join as party-list,’’ said Rodriguez, adding that is part in a democratic country.

‘‘I’m in favor... especially if they help the employees and kristos,” said Rodriguez.

A former House member, however, expressed her disapproval.

“It is a bastardization of the law on party list if we allow the Samahan ng Sabungero in Congress,’’ said former party-list representative Loretta Ann Rosales of Akbayan said in an interview.

Rosales said to allow the group would open the floodgates to other groups that are not marginalized to ask for accredition.

She said, “We will then have the jueteng lords, casino players, mga babaero to ask to be accredited also.”

Rosales said there is no need for these groups to be accredited since some of them are in the Palace or Congress already.

“This is sacred,’’ she added, ‘‘itong gusto sa mga sabungero is a kalokohan.’’

For his part, city elections officer Stalin Baguio belittled the Alyansa ng Sabungero.

‘‘A group of cockfighters want to enter party list? But for me they are not [considered] marginalized,’’ said Baguio.

‘‘This group of sabongeros nga gusto magpa-party list, kinahanglan nga i-verify muna kini kung nag-exist ba o dili, naghatag ba kini ng kaayohan sa miyembro? Kung ma-meet nila ang tanan nga requirements, maka-apil sila,’’ said Baguio.

‘‘They just formed a group pero lahi ang katuyoan. For me, they (Sabungeros) are not considered a marginalized sector. Mga sugarol man na. How about the pork barrel para sa unsa ang ilang katuyoan ug unsaon nila na?’’ asked Baguio. (with a report from SUSAN PALMES)


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