Danton Remoto, English professor and co-founder of Ang Ladlad, went to the Commission on Elections yesterday to get a copy of the poll body’s resolution that denies accreditation to the party list group.
The resolution reads: “Contrary to petitioner’s allegation in its petition that its membership is national in scope, reports from our field offices reveal that it doesn’t exist in most regions of the country.”
Remoto snaps back: “Did they go the houses of our members to check? ‘Yan ang tanong ko [That is my question]. We paid P3,050 as filing and research fees. Sa’n ‘to napunta [Where did this go]?”
He says “other party-list groups fabricate their membership.” In Ang Ladlad’s case, their membership is real.
He also had this to say: “Let’s be fair and square in the fight and to allow real marginal groups and not relatives of people in Comelec to be able to run for public office. If not, we will have a party-list [system] that will become a refuge of the mediocre and obscure and it will destroy the true spirit of the party-list [system].”
I spoke with Danton Remoto of Ang Ladlad today, and he explained his side of the story behind the denial of his group’s request for accreditation. He informed me that he was going to file a motion for reconsideration, and reported some disturbing facts to me that I promised to look into.
All told, I believe that – assuming Ang Ladlad can show that it has faithfully complied with all the requirements of the law – then it should be granted accreditation. As a matter of fact, that’s what I emphasized in today’s press release. The disapproval of the group’s application was based solely on it’s non-compliance with the law. Or more precisely, the requirements for accreditation set down by jurisprudence (which, of course, is part of the law of the land).
Still, I suppose this ruling must sting like hell. And yet, despite all that, Danton was very polite and upbeat. His equanimity was much appreciated, coming as it did, on the heels of what had to be a huge disappointment handed to it by the COMELEC.
I appreciated it even more since I had occasion to compare him to Antonio Tinio of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).
Tinio, for whose group the COMELEC recently bent over backwards, had the temerity to threaten, yep threaten, COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos if the COMELEC didn’t do what he wanted.