THE MAKABAYAN COALITION trooped to the Commission of Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila last July 5 to protest the poll body’s refusal to recognize Gabriela Women’s Party’s (GWP) third seat after the May 9 national and local elections.
GWP said the Comelec still has to decide on their May 20 petition for the proclamation of Bai Ali Indayla as its third representative to the incoming 17th Congress.
“Ang bilis-bilis ng mga kababaihan umaksyon dahil alam natin na mali ang komputasyon ng Comelec kaugnay sa ating upuan sa kongreso,” Gabriela’s second representative Arlene Brosas said.
The Comelec has only proclaimed two GWP seats even after garnering 1,367,795 votes.
GWP legal counsel Alnie Foja said their 1.3 million votes are enough for three seats.
The party said the Comelec miscomputed their seats as its total number of votes should have been rounded off to 60 and not 59 percent of the total votes cast for the Party List elections.
“Ang bilis nilang mag-desisyon sa Statement of Contributions and Expenditures ng Liberal Party upang mapahintulutan sa pag-upo ang kanilang mga kandidato, samantalang tayo na nag-re-require lang ng pagwawasto sa maling alokasyon ay hindi maaksyunan ng Comelec ngayon,” Brosas said.
The protesters said that the COMELEC’s inaction is a blatant disrespect for the millions who voted for Gabriela, and the millions who need their representation, “especially the Moro women and children.”
According to Badette Andales of GWP–Tatalon Chapter, their fight for a third seat should be stronger because of the increasing militarization in indigenous areas and abuses against marginalized sectors.
GWP’s third nominee, Indayla, is a Moro.
“Hindi kami papayag na hindi iluluklok ang aming ikatlong kinatawan mula sa Mindanao. Isa siya sa boses ng mga mahihirap, ng mga kababaihan sa lahat ng mga usapin at isyu doon,” Andales said.
Gabriela said that the longer the petition remains unresolved women will endure more abuses and oppression.
“Kada 53 minutes isang babae ang ginagahasa sa bansang ito. At habang tumatagal na ‘di inilalabas ang desisyon sa petisyon ng Gabriela ay dumarami ang kababaihang ginagahasa at napagsasamantalahan; dumarami ang mga kabataang patuloy pa ring walang magandang kinabukasan,” Brosas said. #
(Report and photos by Keilah Dimpas of the UP College of Mass Communications for Kodao Productions)