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Negrense grabs party-list rep seat

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BACOLOD City — A party-list with two Ilonggo nominees was one of the 14 party-lists that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday proclaimed to have taken the most votes in the May 13 mid-term elections.

Bayan Muna ranked third among the 14 groups, which obtained at least two percent of the votes cast for party-lists, according to Comelec Resolution No. 0006–13.

It has Neri Colmenares of Negros Occidental as first nominee and Hope Hervilla of Iloilo as third nominee. Its second nominee is Carlos Isagani Zarate.

Those proclaimed yesterday were guaranteed one seat in the House of Representatives.

This means Colmenares once again won a seat in Congress. He led the party-list in the 15th Congress from 2010 to 2013 along with Teodoro Casiño.

Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the 14 could gain one or two more seats once all the winning groups are proclaimed.

“The victory of Bayan Muna tells us that we should continue to pass bills that increase wages and pensions, and file resolutions investigating abuse in government,” Colmenares told Panay News in a text message.

“We thank all those who supported us,” he said. “Despite the huge resources of the rich and powerful, we managed to increase our votes.”

Colmenares also urged the Comelec to fully proclaim all winning and qualified party-lists as soon as it can. “Any delay opens the system to fraud from losing groups.”

The other proclaimed groups were (in order):

* Buhay Hayaang Yumabon

* Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment through Action Cooperation and Harmony toward Educational Reforms (A–Teacher)

* 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc.  (1–CARE)

* Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party

* Ako Bicol Political Party

* Abono

* OFW Family Club

* Gabriela Women’s Party

* Cooperative Natcco Network Party (COOP–NATCCO)

* Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP)

* Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC)

* Magdalo para sa Pilipino; and

* An Waray.

“The 14 proclaimed groups are safe,” said Brillantes. “Ipagdadasal na lamang nila kung dumami pa ang seats nila. But malamang ’yan, magkakaroon ng tig-dalawa ang 14 (They should pray that they could have more seats. But it is likely that they will get two more seats each).”

Brillantes, however, said they could not proclaim the two additional representatives yet because the computations may get affected.

The Comelec, sitting en banc as the National Board of Canvassers, said in its resolution that it has yet to canvass more votes for party-list groups.

“In order not to prejudice the proclamation of other parties, organizations or coalitions, which may later on be established to be entitled to a seat or additional seats, only party-list groups that obtained at least two percent of the votes cast for party-list will each be allocated with one guaranteed seat,” it said.

Brillantes said the Comelec will issue a comprehensive resolution for the final proclamation of all 58 party-list seats on Monday.

The resolution will also explain how the poll body came up with the computations for the winning groups and for disqualifying others based on a Supreme Court ruling, he said.

He said the proclamation on Monday will not be for another 44 groups but the number of seats stipulated by the Constitution. (With reports from Eugene Adiong, Interaksyon and GMA News/PN)