By Darryl John Esguerra, June 13 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer

Image Credit to GMA News

MANILA, Philippines—”This party-list (system), that’s one evil.”

President Rodrigo Duterte issued the scathing remark  Wednesday night as he lamented the entry of millionaires in Congress through the party-list system, impairing its mandate to provide representation for the marginalized sectors.

“Everyone involved there are the rich,” Duterte pointed out after the oath-taking of newly elected officials of Cagayan de Oro City.

“The rich people fund the party-lists. They are named after laborers but the people behind it are the millionaires. So they stay in power there.”

The party-list system was enacted in 1995 to provide the marginalized and underrepresented sectors a voice in Congress.

The party-list system, however, has long been criticized for supposedly being utilized as a political vehicle.

According to election watchdog group Kontra Daya, nearly half of the party-list groups that participated in the May midterm elections have ties with political dynasties, represent special business interests or are marred with questionable advocacies.  (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)