PHL POLITICS Overseas Filipinos to Vote for President, VP, Senators and Party-List Representatives

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By ALFRED GABOT and CLAIRE MORALES TRUE 

SAN FRANCISCO (PHLTODAYUSA/PhilAmPress) — Are you registered overseas Filipino voter in the United States, Canada and other countries?
If you are one of the qualified absentee voters, you are entitled to vote for the next President of the Philippines as well as the Vice President and 12 Senators.
You can also vote for one party-list group whose nominee will become a regular member of the House of Representatives.
There are at least 185 party-list groups to choose from for the May 9, 2016 elections.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has already set a raffle for the party-list groups to determine their order of listing in the official ballots for the May 2016 polls.
In the present Congress, there are 56 congressmen who are representatives of the party-list groups. They are Reps. Silvestre Bello III, a former Justice Secretary of 1 ABAP, Edgardo Masongsong and Michael Angelo Rivera of 1 CARE, Erlinda Santiago of 1 SAGIP, Julieta Cortuna and Mariano Piamonte Jr. of A TEACHER, Sharon Garin, a corporate and tax laywer, of AAMBIS-OWA;

Jonathan Dela Cruz, a former Philippine Ambassador, of ABAKADA; Maximo Rodriguez, brother of incumbent Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, of ABAMIN; Joseph Paduano of ABANG LINGKOD; Conrado Estrella III, a former elected Pangasinan Congressman, and Francisco Ortega of ABONO; Catalina Pizarro of ABS; Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers, Samuel Pagdilao, a lawyer and former police general of ACT-CIS;
Nicanor Briones and Rico Geron of AGAP, Patrico Antonio of AGBIAG, Delphine Lee of AGRI, Ibarra Gutierrez and Angelina Katoh of AKBAYAN, Rodel Batocabe, a lawyer, and Christopher Co of Ako BICOL; Wes Gatchalian, businessman and brother of regular Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzula City, of ALAY BUHAY; Lorna Velasco of AMA, Sitti Turabin-Hataman of AMIN, who is related to incumbent regular Rep. Jim Hataman of Basilan; Neil Benedict Montejo and Victoria Noel of AN WARAY, Jose Panganiban Jr., a lawyer, of ANAC IP,; Fernando Hicap of ANAK PAWIS, 
Leah Paquis of ANG NARS, a nurse and doctorate degree holder and former president of the Philippine Nurses Association. Jesulito Manalo of ANGKLA, Pablo Nava III of APPEND, Eulogio Magsaysay, an educator, of AVE, Neric Colmenares, a lawyer, and Carlos Zarate of BAYAN MUNA; Jose L. Atienza Jr., a former mayor of Manila, Assemblyman and Cabinet member, Irwin Tieng, a businessman, and Mariano Velarde Jr., a businessman and son of El Shaddai leader Mariano “Mike” Velarde Sr., of BUHAY; Agapito Guanlo, a farmer, rural banker and former Department of Agriculture officer,  of BUTIL;  Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales and Sherwin Tugna, both lawyers, of CIBAC; Antonhy Bravo, a doctorate degree holder and professor, and Cresente Paez of COOP-NATCO, Emmeline Aglipay, who is married to Rep. Mark Villar of Las Pinas City, of DIWA. Emmie de Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan of GABRIELA, Terri Ridon of KABATAAN, Abigail Ferriol-Pascual, a lawyer, of KALINGA, Arnel Ty, a businessman, of LPGMA, Francisco Acedillo, a pilot and graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, and Gary Alejandro, also a PMA graduate, of MAGDALO, Juan Revilla and Roy Seneres Sr., a lawyer and former ambassador, of OFW. Raymond Mendoza of TUCP, and Carol Lopez of YACAP.
 

Since absentee voting for overseas Filipinos started 12 years ago under then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the number of registered voters breached the 1 million mark, with 1.3 million already registered a week before the closing time for registration recently.

This is the first time in history that the elusive goal of breaching the one million voters target was achieved, according to government officials. Due to their big number, they could be the game changers in the coming election.

  Based on the latest count of DFA-Overseas Voting Secretariat, a total 1,315,019 overseas Filipinos became registered voters as of October 20, 2015.
  Fifty-six percent of those registered or 740,279 were newly registered voters.
  According to the DFA report, 518,973 or majority of the overseas Filipino voters are based in the Middle East, followed by Americas (237,938), Asia-Pacific (299,836), and Europe (138,349). 
    The top 10 Philippine foreign service posts with the most number of registrants are Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kuwait, Toronto, Singapore and New York.

    In the previous election, the overseas voters’ turn-out was only 16%. It was only in 2004 elections, that the all-time highest voters‘ turn-out of 64% was recorded, according to the DFA.
Recently, the COMELEC deactivated more than 163,000 overseas Filipinos who failed to vote twice during the last two previous elections, as mandated under the law. 
But in consideration of the consistent clamor by Filipino diaspora groups, the COMELEC issued a Resolution on October 15, 2015, extending the period within which to file applications for reactivation of overseas voters, from October 31 to December 9, 2015.

Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10025, the party-list groups included in the raffle and would participate in the 2016 elections are those whose applications have been approved; as well as those that were denied by a Division but have pending appeals at the en banc.
Comelec has approved a total of 101 party-list groups. They are 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc. (1-CARE); Aagapay sa Matatanda (AMA); Aangat Tayo (AANGAT TAYO); Abakada-Guro (ABAKADA); Abang Lingkod Inc. (ABANG LINGKOD); Abante Mindanao (ABAMIN); Abante Retirees Party-List Organization (ABANTE RETIREES); Abono Party-List (ABONO); Abyan Ilonggo (AI); Academicians, Students, and Educators Alliance, Inc. (ASEAN); Act Teachers Party-List (ACT TEACHERS); Acts Overseas Filipino Workers Coalition of Organization (ACTS-OFW); Adhikaing Tinataguyod ng Kooperatiba (ATING KOOP); Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A TEACHER); Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano, Inc. (Agbiag); Agri-Agra Na Reforma Para Sa Magsasaka Ng Pilipinas Movement (AGRI); Agricultural Sector Alliance Of The Philippines (AGAP); Akbay Kalusugan Inc. (AKIN); Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party (AKBAYAN); Ako An Bisaya (AAB).
Ako Bicol Political Party (AKB); Alagaan Natin Ating Kalusugan (ANAKALUSUGAN); Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation, Inc. (ALAY BUHAY); Alliance of National Urban Poor Assembly, Inc. (ANUPA); Alliance of Organizations, Networks, and Associations of the Philippines (ALONA); Alliance Of Volunteer Educators (AVE); Alyansa Ng Mga Grupong Haligi Ng Agham At Teknolohiya Para Sa Mamamayan, Inc. (AGHAM); Amepa OFW Access Center Inc (AMEPA OFW); An Waray (AN WARAY); Anak Mindanao Party-List (AMIN);
Anakpawis (ANAKPAWIS); Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma, Inc. (AAMBIS-OWA); Ang Kabuhayan (ANG KABUHAYAN); Ang Mata’y Alagaan (AMA); Ang Nars, Inc. (ANG NARS); Ang National Coalition Of Indigenous Peoples Action Na (ANAC-IP); Ang Prolife (ANG PROLIFE); Ang Tao Muna at Bayan (A TAMBAY);
Angkla: Ang Partido Ng Mga Pilipinong Marino, Inc (ANGKLA); Anti-Crime And Terrorism Community Involvement And Support, Inc. (ACT-CIS).
Anti-War/Anti-Terror Mindanao Peace Movement (AWAT MINDANAO); Append, Inc. (APPEND); Arts Business And Science Professionals (ABS); Association for Development Dedicated to Agriculture and Fisheries Inc. (ADDA); Association Of Laborers And Employees (ALE); Association Of Marine Officer & Ratings, Inc (AMOR SEAMAN); Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan Ng Mga Obrero, Inc. (AASENSO); Ating Guro (ATING GURO); Bagong Henerasyon (BH); Bayan Muna (BAYAN MUNA); Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (BUHAY);
Butil Farmers Party (BUTIL); Cancer Alleviation Network on Care, Education, and Rehabilitation, Inc. (CANCER); Central Luzon Alliance for Socialized Education (CLASE); Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC); Coalition Of Association Of Senior Citizens In The Philippines (SENIOR CITIZENS); Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations (CONSLA); Construction Workers Solidarity (CWS);
Cooperative Natcco Network Party (COOP-NATCCO); Democratic Independent Workers Association, Inc. (DIWA).
Dumper Philippines Taxi Drivers Association (DUMPER PTDA); Federation of International Cable TV and Telecommunications Associations of the Philippines (FICTAP); Gabriela Women’s Party (GABRIELA); Global Workers and Family Federatrion (GLOBAL); Isang Alyansang Aalalay Sa Pinoy Skilled Workers (1-AALALAY); Isang Pangarap Ng Bahay Sa Bagong Buhay Ng Maralitang Kababayan, Inc. (1-PABAHAY); Kabalikat ng Mamamayan (KABAYAN); Kabataan Party-List (KABATAAN);
Kabuhayan at Kabahayan ng mga Magsasaka (KAKASA KA); Kaisahan ng mga Maliliit na Magsasaka (KMM); Kalinga-Advocacy For Social Empowerment And Nation-Building Through Easing Poverty, Inc. (KALINGA); Kasangga Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ANG KASANGGA); Katipunan ng mga Guardians Brotherhood Inc (KGB); Kusug Tausug (KUSUG TAUSUG); Piston Land Transport Coalition, Inc (PISTON); Lpg Marketers Association, Inc (LPGMA);
Magdalo Para Sa Pilipino (MAGDALO); Mamamayan Tungo sa Maunlad na Pilipinas (MTM PHILS); Manila Teachers Savings and Loan Association (MANILA TEACHERS); Migrante Sectoral Party Of Overseas Filipinos And Their Families (MIGRANTE).
Movement for Economic Transformation and Righteous Opportunities (METRO); Movement of Women for Change and Reform (MELCHORA); National Confederation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (NACTODAP); OFW Family Club Inc (OFW FAMILY); One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalised Nationals (1PACMAN);
Partido Manggagawa (PM); Pilipinos with Disabilities (PWD); Puwersa ng Baying Atleta (PBA); Sandigan ng mga Manggagawa sa Konstruksiyon (SAMAKO); Sanlakas (SANLAKAS); Sinag Tungo sa Kaunlaran (SINAG); Social Amelioration & Genuine Intervention on Poverty (1-SAGIP); Tanggol Maralita (TAMA); Tinderong Pinoy Party (TINDERONG PINOY); Tingog Sinirangan (TINGOG SINIRANGAN);
Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP); Tribal Communities Association of the Philippines (TRICAP); Ugnayan ng Maralita Laban sa Kahirapan (UMALAB KA); Una ang Edukasyon (1-ANG EDUKASYON); Union of Nationalist Democratic Filipino Organization (UNIDO); and You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP).
On the other hand, a total of 84 party-list organizations were included in the raffle, that were denied either by the Comelec First or Second Division but still have pending motions for reconsideration (MRs) with the commission en banc.
They are 1st Kabagis Inc (1st KABAGIS); AAA-Aviation Advancement Advocates, Inc (AAA); Aagapay sa mga Bata at Taong Kapus-Palad (ABATAKA); Abante Bicol Oragon Phil Inc (ABO); Aim-Atin Ito Mannalon, Inc; Ako Tanod (AKO TANOD); Ako Senior Citizen ng Pilipinas Inc (AKO SENIOR CITIZEN); Ako’y Pilipino Disiplinado-Nagmamahal sa Diyos at sa Tao (APD);
Alliance of People with Disability Empowerment Sectoral Party-list (A-PWDE); Alliance of Philippine Fishing Federations (ALL-FISH); Alliance of Recruitment Agencies of the Philippines Overseas Filipino Workers (ARAP-OFW); Alyansa General, Parents Teacher Association Indigenous People Inc. (AGPTA-IP); Alyansa ng Katutubong Pilipino (AKAP); Alyansa Para sa Demokrasya (AD); Ang Ating Damayan Citizens Alliance (DAMAYAN);
Ang Bayaning Kawal at Pulis Incorporated (ABAKAP); Ang Drayber (ANG DRAYBER); Ang Kaliwat Party-List (ANG KALIWAT); Ang Nagkahiusang Eksperyensadong Tigpangisda Ug Tigpanguma Asosasyon (AN ETTA); Ang Siguro Inc (SIGURO); Angat Ahon Magsasaka (AM).
Angling Beterano (ANGLING BETERANO); Anto-Drugs Advocate, Laban ng Pamilyang Pilipino (ANTI-DRUGS ADVOCATE); Association of Direct Vendors, Agents, Networking Circles and Entrepreneurs, Inc (ADVANCE); Association of Science Educators in the Philippines (ASEP); Ating Aral (ATING ARAL); Awareness of Keepers of the Environment (AWAKE);
Bagong Alyansa ng Manggagawang Pangtransportasyon Para sa Edukasyon at Reporma Inc (BAMPER); Bantay Bata Foundation (BANTAY BATA); Bantay Kalikasan Foundation Inc; Bantay Laban sa Kriminalidad (BALAK); Bisdak Hugpong sa Mga Bisaya Alang sa Kauswagan Ug Kaangayan (BISDAK); Bisnes ni Juan (BISNES NI JUAN); Bukluran ng Malayang Mamamayan at Kawal sa Kuta Bonifacio (BUMAKA);
Essential New Generation in Need of Energy and Environment Resources Inc (ENGINEER); Filipino-Muslim Organization (FIL-MUS); Gabay at Dangal ng Senior Citizens Inc (GABAY NG SENIORS); Governance of People’s Initiative and Interest for Active Citizens’ Organization (GPII-ACO); Green Philippines (GREEN);
Association of Guard, Utility Helper, Aider, Rider, Driver/Domestic Helper, Janitor, Agent, Nanny of the Philippines Inc. (GUARDJAN); Integrated Lang and Agri Workers Incorporated (ILAW); Isang Adbokasiya sa Alternatibong Panggagamot, Pangkabuhayan at Pagsasaka (1ASAPPP);
Kabuahayan Para sa Lahat (KABUHAYAN); Kalipunan ng Masang Pilipino (KAMPIL); Kapatirang Magmamais ng Pilipinas inc (KAMAIS); Kampala ng Lakan Inc (KAMPALA); Kapisanan ng mga Netizens sa Filipinas Inc (NETIZENS SA FILIPINAS); Kapuspalad ng Sambayanang Pilipino (KPSP); Karapatan sa Batas at Lipunang May Katarungan (KABALIKAT);
Kilos Kabataan Livelihood Foundation (KKLFI); Kilos Mamamayan Ngayon Na (KM NGAYON NA); Koalisyon at Aksyon Nagimpok Para sa Ekonomiya At Gabay ng mga Organisasyon ng Sambayangang May Yamang Oras (1-KANEGOSYO); Labor Party of the Philippines (LPP); Lingap Belen (LINGAP BELEN); Magsasaka at Mangingisda Tungo sa Kaunlaran (MMK); Marino Samahan ng mga Seaman (MARINO); Mindanao Alliance for Reforms (MAR);
Minimum Wage Earner Inc (MINIMUM WAGE EARNER); Movement Against Dynasty (MAD); Parent Teacher Alliance (PTA); Peace Advocates and Reformation of Democratic System Inc (PARDS); People’s Movement for Democratic Governance (PMDG); Pilipinas Para sa Pinoy (PPP).
Pilipinos Aspiring For Country’s Yes-Man Advancement Organisation and Workers Advocating For Reform and Advancement of YES-MAN Coalition (PACYAO-WARAY); Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa (RAM); Reporma (REPORMA); Sagip Bansa Filipinas, Inc (SBFI); Samahan ng mga Dakilang Maralitang Pilipino (SANDMAN); Scholarship ng Masa (SCHOLARSHIP NG MASA); Serbisyo Sa Bayan Party (SBP); Stop & Go Coalition (STOP & GO); Sulong Katribu Party-list (SULONG KATRIBU);
Sulong Katutubo (SK); Talino at Galing Pinoy (TGP); The United Christian, Muslim, Tribal, Lumad Brotherhood of the Philippines (UNITE PEOPLE); Transport Cooperatives Sector Party List (TCS) Tribal Communities Association of the Philippines 10th Regional Chapter Inc (TRICAP-10); United Filipino Seafarers (UFS); Urban Poor and Development Services Inc (UPDSI);
United Towards Organic Development (UTOD, INC); Vieva Farmers Coalition (VIEVA FARMERS); Witness for Transparent and Equitable Society (WITNESS); Women and Child Crime Abuse Assistance (WACCAA); and Bagong Alyansa ng Manggagawang Pangtranportasyon Para sa Edukasyon at Reporma Inc. (BAMPER).

Others which maybe included are the Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino (ALIF); Isang Lapian ng Mangingisda at Bayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran (1-LAMBAT); and Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency (SMART) which have pending Motions to Admit the Manifestation of Intent to Participate after they were filed beyond the May 8 deadline.
The Partido ng Bayan ang Bida (PBB), which has filed a Manifestation of Intent to Participate, also has a pending case with the Comelec en banc that was earlier remanded by the Supreme Court.
Also, the Comelec has yet to approve the accreditations of One Advocacy for Health Progress and Opportunity (1-AHAPO) and Barangay Natin (BANAT) as separate groups after they ran in the 2013 polls as a coalition.
The United Women Against Poverty (UWAP) and Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) have pending motion for reconsideration at the Comelec en band for their accreditations but have not filed their Manifestation of Intent to Participate before the deadline.
The Comelec has introduced the raffle of accredited party-list groups to determine their order of listing in the official ballots in the 2013 mid-term polls.
It is aimed at preventing party-list organizations from competing the first letters of the alphabet or number “1” due to the previous practice of alphabetical listing of names in the official ballots.
A total of 243 party-list groups filed their respective Manifestations of Intent to Participate in the 2016 elections.

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