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'Hijack' of party-list system irks author of the representation law

The author of the Party-list System Act on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the present trend in the supposedly proportional representation of marginalized sectors in the House of Representatives. 

In an interview on GMA News TV's "Balitanghali," former Maguindanao representative and author of the sectors' representation law Attorney Michael Mastura said, "It's really frustrating that the idea of representation of a certain sector ay naaagaw, naha-hijack po ng 'di kilala na belonging to a sector."

Mastura said that those who will represent a party-list group should share the same interest of the sector that they are representing.

He also dismissed claims that some party-list groups are only after of the budget allocation they can get.

Rather, he argued that some politicians take a "shortcut" by taking a ride on the party-list bandwagon. 

"Hindi sila pumapasok dahil doon [sa budget], pumapasok sila dahil hindi sila manalo sa district para maging congressman. Ito shortcut to congressman," Mastura said, adding that the concept of proportional representation is multi-faceted.

He reminded the people that its scope should neither be very broad nor too specific.

The former lawmaker suggested that proportionate representation should be implemented in the party-list system, as he originally envisioned it to be.

"It should return to... maipasok ang proportionate representation, maipasok na may relasyon siya [party-list group] sa party in power—the majority party or minority party or the coalition. Then that way hindi sila nagbe-behave na makasarili sila, na talagang sector sila."—Dona Magsino/LBG, GMA News