Laiko tells members to vote well; some back Buhay

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Pick a party-list group, which will represent the marginalized.

This was the reminder of the Council of Laity of the Philippines (Laiko) in a statement it issued recently.

Its members earlier expressed their support for the Buhay Party-list, which has been espousing pro-life advocacies for nearly two decades.

Laiko President Raymond Daniel H. Cruz Jr. said it will be up to voters to make sure the intent of Republic Act (RA) 7941, or the Party-List System Act will be realized.

“We appeal to our fellow laity to carefully weigh the selection of a party-list, which will genuinely stand for the betterment of our citizens especially workers, those with disabilities and the poor as intended by RA 7941,” Cruz said.

He noted while members of the Laiko expressed their support for Buhay Party-List, he said they will leave up to the own judgement to pick the party-list group they would like to vote for.

To help voters in making their decision, Laiko urged them to make use of the consolidated party-lists background information made by election watchdog, Kontra Daya, which can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3DLsMNp.

In the report, Kontra Daya detailed the party-list groups with nominees affiliated with political dynasties, big businesses, government and the military, or an incumbent government official.

It also identified the party-list groups with dubious advocacies or with pending court cases.

“Let us help our honest Catholic Laity, who are ready to participate in new politics for the common good and uplift the level of life of Filipinos,” Cruz said.

Kontra Daya and other election observers criticized the Commission on Election (Comelec) for still including party-list groups in the election ballot despite their not representing the marginalized.

The poll body repeatedly explained that under the provision of the RA 7941, party-list groups are allowed to represent not only the marginalized but also political groups.

It noted a new law must be passed before the party-list groups could be made exclusive for marginalized sectors.

During the 2022 polls, voters will be able to vote for one of the 173 party-list groups, which were included by the Comelec in its final ballot typeface.