OFWs worldwide launch signature campaign and e-barrage

for representation in the 2010 elections

 

November 6, 2009

 

 

   
   
   
/p

/p
Photos courtesy of Migrante International
           
           

 

6 November 2009
PRESS RELEASE
Reference: Garry Martinez/ Chairperson/ 09393914418

OFWs worldwide launch signature campaign and e-barrage for representation in the 2010 elections
Comelec can still heed the call of thousands of disenfranchished OFWs --Migrante

There is still time for the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to heed the call of millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have been disenfranchised because of the electoral body’s de-listing of Migrante Sectoral Party from the 2010 elections.

This is what Migrante International said as it launched today an internationally-coordinated signature campaign and electronic barrage to call on the COMELEC to give OFWs and their families the chance for congressional representation.

“Even while some sectors decry the COMELEC’s’s refusal to extend the period of voter’s registration, the electoral body can still redeem itself by reviewing its questionable decision to deny thousands of OFW voters of a legitimate choice in the party-list elections,” said Garry Martinez, Chairperson of Migrante International.

Members of the OFW group trooped to the office of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and set up a text and petition booth. The electronic barrage dubbed as “Migranteng Pilipino, Karapatan Mo, I-text Mo!” called on OFWs and their families to ram the mobile phones of COMELEC Commissioners with messages asserting their right to representation.

The group also challenged OWWA to support their struggle. “With the number of distressed OFWs and their families desperately seeking their help everyday, they should be the first to recognize the importance of strengthening the voice of OFWs within the government,” Martinez said.

OFW communities in Hong Kong, United States, and the Middle East today also launched the signature campaign along with protest actions. Since its October 13 decision, the Comelec has been barraged with e-mails and text messages from OFWs worldwide.

“OFWs will continue to hound the COMELEC for the injustice done to them, until it reviews its decision. If the Arroyo administration thinks that we will be silenced, it is dead wrong,” Martinez added. ###

           
=          
==          
           

 

6 November, 2009

The Honourable Commissioners
Commission on Elections
Intramuros, Manila
Philippines

Dear Honourable Commissioners:

We, members of Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP), a human rights network of workers, church people, students and migrant Filipinos that promotes awareness of human rights issues concerning the Philippines and the situations of overseas workers from the Philippines in Canada, appeal to the Honourable Commissioners to review the en banc decision contained in Resolution 8679 delisting the Migrante Sectoral Party.

We believe that your decision is unfair which has deprived the migrant sector the chance for sectoral representation in the House of Representatives through the party-list election.

We would like to underscore the fact that the decision was done without due process. Section 6 of the Party-list System Act clearly states that removal or cancellation of registration of party-list groups can only be done after due notice and hearing was conducted.

We also would like to reiterate the facts mentioned by Migrante Canada in its statement:

The Comelec resolution has cited number 8 of section 6 of the Party-List System Act as the ground for delisting Migrante where it says "(8) it fails to participate in the last two elections or fails to obtain at least two percentum of the votes cast under the partylist system in the two preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered." We state that the MSP participated in the 2004 partylist elections, but, unfortunately, failed to garner the required 2% of the votes cast. Then the MSP did not participate in the 2007 elections after formally informing the COMELEC months before the elections. The failure to gain two percentum of votes happened only once – in 2004 – not twice; and not in two preceding elections; and the ‘’failure’’ to participate in the elections happened only once – in 2007 – not twice, and not in two preceding elections. It is therefore erroneous, if not malicious, for the COMELEC to delist the MSP and some other sectoral groups on the basis of Section 6, Item 8 of RA 7941.

We may remind the COMELEC that as a constitutional body, it is bound by law to promote and protect the interest of all Filipinos and ensure that all marginalized sectors are given the opportunity to participate in the party-list election, thus to be represented in the House of Representatives for the protection of their rights.

We urge the COMELEC to quickly respond to the Verified Petition filed in its office last October 26, 2009. We appeal to the Honourable Commissioners to review your decision to delist Migrante Sectoral Party, and thereupon reinstate Migrante Sectoral Party as duly qualified party to run in the party-list election next year.

We truly hope for your immediate attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Yasmeen Khan
Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

 

           
           

 

November 5, 2009

The Honourable Commissioners
Commission on Elections,
Intramuros, Manila

Dear Honourable Commissioners:

Philippine Migrants Society of Canada (PMSC) is asking that the Commission re-consider its decision on delisting the Migrante Sectoral PartyList (MSP) which prevents it from participating in the 2010 elections.

The Commission's decision is unfair and deprives us - the migrants overseas - our chance for sectoral representation in the House of Representatives through the party-list election.

Section Six (6) of the Party-list System Act clearly states that removal or cancellation of registration of party-list groups can only be done after due notice and hearing was conducted – and your decision was done without this required due process.

 

 

The MSP participated in the 2004 partylist elections, but, unfortunately, did not get the required 2% of the votes cast. The MSP informed the Comelec that it was not participating in the 2007 elections. The failure to gain two percentum of votes happened only once – in 2004 – not twice; and not in two preceding elections; and the ‘’failure’’ to participate in the elections happened only once – in 2007 – not twice, and not in two preceding elections. Thus, there is no reason to delist the MSP!

The COMELEC must promote and protect the interest of all Filipinos and ensure that all marginalized sectors are given the opportunity to participate in the party-list election, thus to be represented in the House of Representatives for the protection of their rights.

I urge the Honourable Commissioners to review this decision, and thereupon reinstate Migrante Sectoral Party as a duly qualified party to run in the party-list election in 2010.

Yours sincerely,


Judylaine Payumo
President

 

           
**          

 

 
 

Google