Duterte to next admin: Abolish party-list system, initiate Cha-Cha

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — President Rodrigo Duterte has advised his successor to formally put an end to the party-list system and pursue charter change (Cha-cha) in his latest Cabinet meeting.

“It would be as good as any other time to initiate whether to convert Congress into a constituent body or magtawag ng [call for a] constitutional convention but which is very expensive to do,” said the chief executive in the meeting televised Thursday.

Duterte made the suggestion as he again accused Bayan Muna of being a front of the local communist party and deceiving the government — an accusation the progressive party-list has consistently denied.

“I recommend the abolition of itong [this] party-list. Ginagamit eh [It’s being abused]. Although they are a very…few, still they participate in the government that they wish to destroy,” he said.

Duterte earlier criticized how the rich supposedly use the party-list system to get into the House of Representatives, which he blamed for the “fractured” Constitution.

The 1987 Constitution says half of the seats allocated to party-list representatives shall be filled by “by selection or election from the labor, peasant, urban poor, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, and such other sectors as may be provided by law, except the religious sector.”

Poll watchdog Kontra Daya found that 70% of current party-list groups are either backed by political clans or big businesses. 

RELATED: ACT-CIS tops 2022 party-list race

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos is currently leading the near-complete unofficial tally by a huge margin, garnering 31.1 million votes versus Vice President Leni Robredo’s 14.8 million.

Kabataan Partylist slammed Duterte's recommendation to abolish the party-list system, calling it as a "scheme to wipe out genuine opposition."

"While outgoing President Duterte cites longstanding flaws in the party-list system, he acts like a swindler by offering a deceptive solution that does not solve the problem of ensuring genuine representation of the marginalized," said the party-list, who is part of the Makabayan bloc along with Bayan Muna.

"If the problem is the party-list system, why overhaul the entire Constitution? We would only be opening up a Pandora's box of constitutional revisions that will support the self-serving agenda of a ruling class supermajority: allowing 100% foreign ownership of resources, allowing term extensions, and wiping out any genuine opposition in Congress, among others," added Kabataan.