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Be wary of dynasties, business interests in party-list groups, poll watchdog warns

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By Minka Klaudia Tiangco

At least 34 of 58 party-list representatives who might get elected in the May 13 midterm elections, based on a recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia, have links to political dynasties or elected officials, represent special business interests, or have questionable advocacies and nominees.

Kontra Daya, a poll watchdog, revealed this as it urged voters to be wary of political dynasties and those with big business interests in party-list groups when casting their votes.

“Kontra Daya reminds voters that the party-list system should serve the marginalized and underrepresented. Voters should be wary of party-list groups of known political dynasties and big business interests claiming to represent the poor,” the group said in a statement.

In its statement, the poll watchdog identified these party-list groups as Ako Bicol Political, A Teacher, Buhay, An Waray Party-list, Kalinga, Angkla, ACT-CIS, Tingog Sinirangan, APEC Party-list, AAMBIS-OWA, AGAP, PBA, Abamin, Kusug Tausug, Butil, OFW Family, Kabayan, 1PACMAN, Abono, Duterte Youth, Global, Ating Koop, BH Bagong Henerasyon, YACAP, Abang Lingkod, and Alona.

Other party-list groups expected to win in the elections, based on the Pulse Asia survey, are Bayan Muna, Magsasaka, Gabriela, Senior Citizens, Akbayan, Amin, Anakpawis, CIBAC,  ACT Teachers, Ako Padayon, 1-Ang Edukasyon, Murang Kuryente, and COOP NATCCO.

The poll watchdog also called the results of the survey – which showed that about one-fourth of registered Filipino voters are unaware of the party-list system – “disappointing.”

According to the survey, about three quarters of voters or 74 percent have heard, read, or watched something about the party-list system. This is higher than the February 2019 figure, which was only at 61 percent.

“It is disappointing that even if party-list elections have been held since 1998, a little more than one-fourth of the respondents are still reportedly unaware when asked if they have read or watched anything about the party-list system,” its statement read.

“Considering that there are about 60 million Filipinos who are eligible to vote on May 13, a 26-percent unawareness would translate to about 15.6 million voters who have little or no information at all about the party-list election,” it added.

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted from March 23 to 27 and was released on April 25.

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