February 8, 2010
On the eve of the campaign period for the national elections, the labor party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) picketed the Comelec main office to urge the poll body to immediately decide on the exclusive use of the acronym “PM.” “We appeal to the Comelec to expedite hearings and issue a decision before ballots are printed,” stated Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general.
Last Friday, the labor party-list filed a manifestation with the Comelec, docketed as SPP 10-006 (PL), with a prayer to prohibit a newly accredited party-list from using the acronym “PM.” The group found out that in the Certified List of Candidates for Party List posted on the COMELEC website on January 30, 2010 at 3pm that the acronym of Pasang Masda was indicated as “PM.” Partido ng Manggagawa is arguing that the use of the same acronym ‘PM’ by two groups will confuse the voters.
The day before it filed the manifestation, PM also sent a letter addressed to Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan of the Comelec Law Department and Chairman Jose Melo asking the poll body to compel Pasang Masda to change the acronym it used. Miranda added that “We expect the Comelec to correct the mistake before the official ballots are printed. ‘PM’ is an acronym that has been registered with the Partido ng Manggagawa for almost a decade now, used during elections or not, inside the House of Representatives and in the parliament of the streets.”
“The use of the same acronym ‘PM’ by both Partido ng Manggagawa and Pasang Masda will utterly confuse the voters. Voters shading their ballots will easily make a mistake since Partido ng Manggagawa and Pasang Masda will be adjacent to each other on the roll of party-list groups,” insisted Miranda.
In both the letter and the manifestation to the Comelec, the labor party-list argued that “PM” for the last 2001, 2004 and 2007 elections has been the acronym of Partido ng Manggagawa printed in the COMELEC official ballots. Also it stated that Renato Magtubo was proclaimed, sworn in and recognized by the 12th and 13th Congress as Partido ng Manggagawa-PM Party List representative.
Partido ng Manggagawa believes that Pasang Masda was one of many party-list groups accredited after appeal since it was not part of the original Comelec certified list of 144 last January 15. The labor party-list is also raising an issue on the propriety of the accredited party-list groups suddenly ballooning by 30% to 187.
Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson, meanwhile called on Pasang Masda to change the acronym “PM” which it used in its registration with the Comelec for the party-list election. “Don’t overtake is a minor traffic rule that we expect Pasang Masda to follow. Partido ng Manggagawa is ahead of Pasang Masda as far as driving on the party-list road is concerned and PM has been our vehicle since the 2001 elections,” he stated.