Roxas: SC ruling on party-list reps lessens powers of trapos

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | posted in , , , , , | 0 comments

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said the Supreme Court (SC) decision increasing the number of available party-list seats at the House of Representatives has virtually weakened the power of traditional politicians over the legislative system.
"The SC decision is good for the representative democracy as it gives more chance for groups to be heard. Thus, the trapos' (traditional politicians) dominance over the system is lessened," he said.
He said political issues, such as the controversial Charter Change through an illegal constituent assembly, could now take the backburner while peoples' interests and concerns take center stage at the House plenary.
"Mahalagang matutukan natin ang interes ng taumbayan higit sa interes pampulitikal ng mga trapo, ng mga opisyal na walang kurap na tatalikuran ang kanilang mga kababayan kapalit ng kanilang mga personal na ambisyon," the Visayan senator said.
At the same time, Roxas said the ruling would correct the existing formula on the number of party-list representatives who could take their seats. From the present 238 House members, the number would increase to 270 after the high court ruling that that all 55 seats for party-list groups should be filled up.
"The Constitution only says 1/5 is minimum reserved for party lists. So the 50 is the 1/5 if there are only 200 geographic districts. But now there are 219 such districts. So necessarily, the 1/5 of the new members will increase beyond 50," he said.

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