Calls to abolish the Philippine’s Party List system is not new especially when a party list representative is involved in corruption and other irregularities.
The fact that majority of the party list members and representatives are from leftist groups does not change the fact that these people are nothing but opportunists.
A party-list congressman has been convicted by a Malabon court for the unauthorized and illegal refilling of cooking gas cylinders or LPG.
Liquified Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPGMA) Representative Arnel Ty was found by a Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Malabon City guilty of violating Republic Act 33 or the Act Defining and Certain Prohibited Acts Inimical to the Public Interests and National Security Involving Petroleum and/or Petroleum Products for “shortselling and adulteration of petroleum and petroleum products.”
Ty’s company, Republic Gas Corporation (Regasco), did not have a written permit from the Department of Energy (DOE) to refill LPG tanks for big companies such as Pilipinas Shell Petroleum, Petron, and Total Gas.
Government prosecutors found sufficient evidence of this illegal activity, including empty branded LPG tanks seized from his warehouse.
Ty’s initial claims that the empty tanks were used as a marketing strategy by the big oil companies were shot down by RTC presiding judge Ofelia Contreras-Santiago.
A testimony by an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also revealed that a test-buy operation in 2004 busted Regasco employees who were seen refilling empty LPG cylinders.
“It is highly doubtful that the volume of the confiscated filled branded LPG cylinders constitutes the number of converted clients. No consumer in his right mind would trade off a newly-purchased or filled LPG gas cylinder for another brand which is being offered for a lesser price,” Contreras-Santiago wrote in her decision, as previously quoted by Rappler.
The court ordered Ty to pay a fine of P50,000 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. In addition, the court ordered the revocation of the company’s license to operate and its forfeiture.
Some party lists representatives are also accused of using the government’s money to fund activists and anti-government activities by the Communist party of the Philippines (CPP).
The case of Ty is only one of the major reasons why the Party List system in the Philippines should be abolished.
Most party lists groups are also financing the Communist Party of the Philippines as most party list leaders are either former activists or communists.
If the party list system is abolished, CPP-NPA will also weaken and their hands in government affairs will be limited./Abeb Zubiri/