Disqualification case awaits 33 party-list groups-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
MANILA – A civil society group will formally ask the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday to disqualify at least 33 party-list groups allegedly represented by politicians and influential families.
Foremost among the list provided by Kontra Daya is Margarita Cojuangco, who is now the first nominee of Aksyon Magsasaka-PartidoTinig ng Masa. Cojuangco is an aunt of President Benigno Aquino III.
“Cojuangco has no business representing farmers since she is a big landlord,” said Kontra Daya referring to the Hacienda Luisita owned by the Cojuangco-Aquino clan.
The group added that allowing Cojuangco to run puts the system in “mockery and disrepute” since it is almost the same scenario as Ang Galing Pinoy Representative Mikey Arroyo, son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Some of Aquino’s allies are also looking to find a place in the House of Representatives via the Black and White Political Party, with Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) board member Leah Navarro, being the first nominee.
The group, which gained prominence last decade for fighting the unpopular Arroyo regime, has members that are now part of administration, namely: Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles, Malacañang spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, former Tourism secretary Alberto Lim and former Tourism undersecretary Vicente Romano.
Ferdinand Topacio, lawyer of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, will also try his luck in politics as second nominee of Pasang Masda Nationwide Inc.
Kontra Daya said Topacio is not a member of the transport sector.
Mary Grace Ibuna, partner of the late Negros Occidental representative Ignacio Arroyo, is looking to become the first nominee of Movement of Women for Change and Reform.
“She is not only rich and powerful but she and her group has no serious track record of advocating for women and gender issues affecting the sector she claims to represent,” said Kontra Daya.
The poll watchdog also scored the Agrarian Development Association (Ada) for having an “obvious intent” for the Singson political clan to have more seats in Congress. Ada listed Eric Singson Sr. and Ilocos Sur Representative Eric “Owen” Singson Jr. as nominees.
Section 6 of the Party List System Act (Republic Act 7941) empowers the Comelec to deny or remove the accreditation of these groups either motu propio or upon verified complaint of interested parties.
Grounds for disqualification include, among others, those groups that are religious sect or denomination, organization or association organized for religious purposes; advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal; a foreign party or organization; is receiving support from any foreign government, foreign political party, foundation, organization for partisan election purposes; and has ceased to exist for at least one year.
The Supreme Court has also barred party-lists that are getting support from the government from participating, saying it is defeating the purpose of the law, which is to have the marginalized sectors represented in Congress.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes said they welcome the plan of concerned groups to oppose questionable groups or nominees.
“This is what we want: For them to help us in screening these groups by filing petitions,” he said.
Brillantes said they are looking to come up with the final listing of party-list groups that will be allowed to run in May 2013 polls before October 1.
Currently, there are 289 party-list groups that have expressed interest to join in the next elections, including the 124 that are already registered with the Comelec and another 165 that still have pending petitions for accreditation.
Aside from the five groups, Kontra Daya is also questioning the nominees of party-list groups Ang Mata’y Alagaan (AMA); Alliance of Mindanao Elders; Abante Retirees Partylist Organization (Abante Retirees); Ilaw Ng Bayan (ILAW); AkoAngBatangSora (ABS); Ako Para Sa BatangPinoy; AkoKaray-A (AK); AkoBisaya Political Party (Ako Bisaya); Alliance Advocating Autonomy Party (1AAA PARTY); The True Marcos Loyalist For God, Country & People Association of the Phil. Inc. (Bantay); Abang Lingkod Inc. (Abang Lingkod); and 1 Joint Alliance of Marginalized Group (1JAMG).
The rest are Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation Inc. (Alay Buhay); ALA-EH-Association of Local Athletics Entrepreneurs and Hobbyists Inc.; AGA (Ang Guardia Alliance); AAA–Aviation Advancement Advocates Inc.; FXD/MC (www.forexdealers.com Corp); 1Pinoy Para sa Kalikasan Inc.; ASBI-Lakan (Aasenso Sa Barangay–Lakan Inc.); 1-ASAL (1-Asal party-list); YES WE CAN; Sports for Excellence for Healthier Life Journey; 1+1 Katipunan; Ang Minero; Abot Tanaw; Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction Inc. (Araro); Ang National Coalition of Indigenous People’s Action Na! Inc. (ANAC-IP); 1-WIL SERVE WIL; and Alliance for Reforms Towards Effective Management and Sustainable Development. (HDT/Sunnex)