By RAYMUND B. VILLANUEVA
The Makabayan bloc may increase its number of seats by one in the House of Representatives as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) is set to proclaim the winners of the party list race tonight.
Despite relentless harassment and vilification by the military and police throughout the campaign period up to election day last May 13, the progressive parties obtained a total of 2,236,155 votes which qualify them for six seats in the 18th Congress.
Bayan Muna is set to have three seats after garnering 1,117,403 votes representing 4.01 percent of all party list votes cast.
It placed second behind high-spending ACT-CIS Party.
Gabriela Women’s Party placed 12th in the race, garnering 449,440 votes representing 1.61% of all party list votes cast and winning one seat.
ACT Teachers Party came close behind at 15th place, with 395,327 votes representing 1.42% of all party list votes cast and winning one seat.
Gabriela Womens’ and ACT Teachers’ each have two sitting representatives in the 17th Congress.
Both groups are the only parties in their respective sectors elected to any legislature in the entire world.
At 51st place and the last group to win a seat is Kabataan Partylist, garnering 196,385 votes representing 0.70% of all party list votes cast.
Anakpawis, however, failed to win a seat with only 146,511 votes and 0.53% of all party list votes cast, placing at 62nd place.
The NBOC is set to proclaim all 51 winning parties at seven o’clock tonight at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
In the current 17th Congress, Gabriela Womens’ Party has two seats, ACT Teachers Party has two more while Bayan Muna, Kabataan and Anakpawis have one each.
Earlier, the Makabayan bloc complained of threats and harassment of its campaigners, members and supporters by the military.
Its members also suffered two massacres in Negros island and arrests of supporters in Bulacan and Bohol while its supporters were prevented from voting in several regions across the country.
On election day last May 13, Philippine National Police officers distributed newsletters tagging Makabayan parties as communist fronts.