The Philippine partylist system was designed to ensure that the marginalized sectors will be given representation in the Congress. This is because for decades, almost the same players dominate not only Congressional but also local and national elections as well.
But while the law creating the partylist system has good intentions, the reality is otherwise. Starting in 2004, political kingpins utilized the system to expand their control fielding family members and relatives. This became more brazen when six years later, then-presidential son, Mikey Arroyo became a nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy, a partylist group representing the security guards. Hence, the question: Is the Philippine partylist system really a trojan horse for ‘New Politics”?
For 2019, political familes have fielded 49 party-list nominees for the May elections. According to the ABS-CBN’s Investigative and Research Group, “if their parties garner enough votes, the nominees could occupy 83% of the 59 party-list seats in the House of Representatives. ” If this happens, what interests could these parties advance?