MANILA, Philippines - The Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) partylist group will go to the Supreme Court today to appeal its disqualification from next year’s elections.
Speaking to ANC’s Headstart, APEC partylist Rep. Ponciano Payuyo insisted the group is marginalized since it represents small electric cooperative consumers in rural areas.
APEC has had a partylist representative since 1998.
Payuyo said APEC has a good track record in the House of Representatives.
"APEC already passed a law, the Cooperative Code of 2008. We are the principal author of that…In Palawan, we were able to reduce (power rates) immediately by 29 centavos,” he said.
The partylist representative said their group is not after pork barrel funds or the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) given to lawmakers.
"Ang gusto lang ba natin yun political families na malalaki?” he added.
Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes, however, said under the law, electric consumers cannot be considered a sector.
He also said previous accreditation does not guarantee automatic qualification in the next elections.
"Is there such a thing as an electric consumer as a sector under the law? Meron ho bang cooperative sector?" he asked.
"They should remember the partylist system is such that every election is a separate term, which means every time your term ends, you have to say ‘We want to run again.’ We will also determine if they can continue,” he added.