THE RACE is on, for which of the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” groups will land on top of party-list winners for the 14th Congress.

Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay), a pro-life group, leads the race.

Other pro-life and pro-family advocates in the Top 10 party-list groups are the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (Apec), Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms, Inc. (A-Teacher), and An-Waray. They are neck-in-neck with left-leaning party-list candidates that have a pro-population control agenda.

The Supreme Court’s “veterans’ formula” in its October 2000 decision states that the numbers of votes from the top party-list groups will determine the number of seats for other groups based on percentage shares. If Buhay tops the list, it is expected to get three representatives and the rest, one or two.

In the partial and unofficial results of the Commission on Elections last May 23, Buhay had garnered 774,039 votes; it was trailed by Bayan Muna with 623,835 vote, Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption with 475,239 votes, and Gabriela with 369,753 votes.

Apec came in fifth with 356,481 votes, followed by Alagad in sixth place with 332,077.

A-Teacher was seventh with 245,290 votes, while the leftist group Akbayan was eighth with 198,781 votes. On ninth place was the Alliance of Rural Concerns with 193,731 votes, and on tenth, An-Waray with 183,298 votes.

Whatever the results of the election, Buhay candidate Christian Señeres said that the upsurge of “anti-life” and “anti-family” groups would not stop them from pursuing their pro-life agendas at the 14th Congress.

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“We are not after what is against or disadvantageous to our advocacies in the Congress, but what’s important is to be firm on the advocacies that we stand for,” Señeres told the Varsitarian.

In the district congressional race, out of the 77 congressional candidates proclaimed winners by the Comelec, 31 supported anti-life and anti-family bills while 16 congressmen supported pro-life and pro-family legislation in the last Congress. The remaining 30 lawmakers have either undecided or inconsistent position or are neophytes.

Pro-life Philippines executive director Maria Wasan said that the battle against anti-life and anti-family legislation is heating up.

“We should become more vigilant by convincing newly elected congressmen on pro-life and pro-family causes and ask them to seek help from pro-life organizations and the Church,” she said.

UST Rector Fr. Ernesto Arceo, O.P. urged the new congressmen to craft laws respecting the value of human life.

“The 14th Congress should prioritize laws that have high opinion on human life and must secure these rights for the common good,” he said. “These newly-elected representatives should concentrate on crafting laws that would enable our country to progress and live in serenity.”

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