Why religion-backed groups stay in party-list race

Posted at 12/03/2012 12:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento on Monday admitted that some party-list groups that receive backing from religious organizations are still in the running for the 2013 party-list election.

Sarmiento said some commissioners have opposed the inclusion of some party-list groups with alleged ties to religious groups. These include groups such as Ang Buhay Hayaang Yumabong, a party-list group allegedly backed by the Catholic charismatic movement El Shaddai; and Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (Cibac), allegedly backed by the Jesus is Lord Movement.

“We have existing party-list orgs but with dissents meaning it was not unanimous. Well, we have ways of interpreting a law. These are lawyers so we respect the opinions of our colleagues.  We are a collegial body. Remember, there were dissents. Yes, we approve but there were dissents,” he told ANC.

He noted that even Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes has opposed some of the decisions of the commission en banc to retain some groups.

ANC Headstart, December 3, 2012