More than 250 party-list groups have applied for accreditation to participate in the 2010 elections, a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official said Tuesday.
Comelec law department director Ferdinand Rafanan said that 106 party-list groups filed their petitions for registration last Monday, bringing to 252 the total number of civic groups seeking accreditation for the 2010 polls.
"Sobrang dami nila na nag-last minute filing (A lot of groups filed at the last minute)," Rafanan told dzBB radio in an interview.
The Comelec set August 17 as the deadline for the "filing of petitions for registration of political parties…, organizations and coalitions under the party-list system of representation."
Rafanan, however, did not mention how many political parties have filed their petitions.
In a phone interview with GMANews.TV, Rossie Palacio of the poll body’s Office of the Clerk of the Commission said they are still finalizing the tally of the political parties and party-list groups that have submitted their petitions.
Lodging a petition is a party-list group’s first step in getting accredited, Rafanan said.
“Mayroong preliminary screening, pagkatapos tayo ay magsa-submit ng recommendation sa Commission (all Comelec commissioners) en banc, ihi-hearing nila ‘yon (After a preliminary screening, we would submit a recommendation to the Commission en banc, who would hear the petitions)," Rafanan said.
During the hearing, the Comelec commissioners would verify whether the applicant group exists, whether it has complied with all requirements, and whether it represents "marginalized and underrepresented sectors."
Republic Act No. 7941, also known as Party-List System Act, lists the following qualifications for a group to be considered marginalized, or belonging to the underrepresented sectors: "labor, peasant, fisher folk, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans, overseas workers, and professionals."
The hearings would help the commissioners decide whether a party-list group is eligible for accreditation.
Results by October
Rafanan said that while the whole process might be tedious, the Comelec is targeting the release of the results of the hearing "by October," and that the Comelec would try to hear 10 petitions a day to meet the deadline.
Among the 252 party-list groups that filed for accreditation are the Alyansa ng Sabungero, Aabot, All Rainbow Party, Alab ng Lahi, Partido Lakas ng Masa, Citizen Call for Action, One Nation Empowered with Technology, Liwanag sa Bilangguan, OFWs, Alagaan Natin Ating Kalusugan, Grand Bohol, Balikatan and Ang Ladlad. [See: Cockfighting aficionados eye congressional seat] - GMANews.TV