In the 2001 Supreme Court decision, a majority of the Supreme Court, including then Justice Melo, provided guidelines for the COMELEC in screening party-list nominees. Among others, the Court said that:
...not only the the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors; so also must its nominees. To repeat, under Section 2, RA 7941, the nominees must be Filipino citizens "who belong to marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties." Surely, the interests of the youth cannot be fully represented by a retiree; neither can those of the urban poor or the working class, by an industrialist. To allow otherwise is to betray the State
policy to give genuine representation to the marginalized and the underrepresented.
His steroetypical views on tricycle drivers aside, Commissioner Melo's view clearly condtradicts the Supreme Court's pronouncement. It is also fraught with danger that can undermine the entire party-list system. What then will prevent every other politicians from creating their own party-list organizations and to return to Congress, say to circumvent the term limits for House Representatives? Could the Ayalas and the Villar's represent landless peasants? May the captains of industry represent the interests of labor?
The idea behind the party-list system is to allow marginalized and underrepresented sectors to articulate their own concerns in the course of national legislation. Commissioner Melo's views will negate this goal by allowing politicans to speak for these groups.