MILITANT Kilusang Mayo Uno yesterday joined other labor groups in urging the Commission on Elections to reconsider its decision to block the registration and participation of the Manggagawa Party-list group in the May elections.
KMU vice chairperson Lito Ustarez said that Manggagawa Party-List is a genuine grassroots organization with members coming from hundreds of trade unions, OFW associations, and urban poor groups spread across the Philippines.
He said that the Comelec will be party to the crime of disenfranchising millions of working-class Filipinos who seek representation in Congress if it denies Manggagawa Party-list its registration rights.
“The Comelec should uphold the letter of the law and be true to the essence of party-lists. It must recognize the legitimacy of Manggagawa Party-list and lose no time in proclaiming its right to participate in the upcoming May elections,” Ustarez said.
“It is already a cause for outrage that it has allowed the registration of so many questionable party-list groups which upon closer inspection will be exposed as personal interest groups run by traditional politicians and their often narrow, self-centered economic and political interests,” he said.
Ustarez said the Comelec is better off weeding the fake party-list groups out of its list and finding more stringent ways to limit the party-list polls to groups that have proven grassroots memberships from the marginalized sectors.
“The Comelec must register Manggagawa Party-list and stop causing delays in its bid to run in the May elections. The group is abiding by the necessary legal processes very closely and is willing to prove its legitimacy and credibility. If Comelec bans the party-list, it will lose its remaining credibility. Hundreds of thousands of Filipino workers will closely watch Comelec,” he said.