Press Release
April 13, 2013

Koko to pursue party-list reforms

Team PNoy reelectionist Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said today that he would continue to pursue reforms in the party-list system even as the Supreme Court has come out with a ruling that opens it to national, regional and sectoral parties that do not represent the marginalized and under-represented sectors.

"With all due respect to the Supreme Court justices, I believe they have unnecessarily deprived the marginalized and underrepresented sectors from having a voice in the legislature, Pimentel said.

"The spirit and letter of the party-list law is to give the poor sections of Philippine society the chance to take part in law-making, but the Supreme Court ruling practically closes the door for them to do so," Pimentel said.

The senator from Mindanao lamented that the SC ruling would open the floodgates to the rich and the influential to enter Congress and dominate its proceedings.

"I believe that the party-list system was intended by the framers of the 1987 Constitution as a social justice tool, to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor and give the latter the opportunity to craft laws that would benefit them," Pimentel said.

The lawmaker said that if re-elected to a full term, he would work to reconcile the opposing views on the party-list system so as to make it acceptable to all.

Pimentel said he plans to conduct consultations with various party-list groups so that the existing party-list law could be fine-tuned and amended to give the marginalized sectors a bigger voice in policy-making and to reduce economic, social and political inequalities in society.

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