Comelec bares names of party-list nominees

May 08

Each group has more than four nominees but there are also some groups
that have more than 10 nominees. There are about 500 nominees in the
party-list.

But Comelec’s refusal was no matched for Akbayan party list Loretta Ann
Rosales who stormed the poll body’s office and demanded for the list to
be released.

Citing the recent decision of the Supreme Court, Rosales went to the
Comelec and demanded that the poll body divulge the names of the
nominees.

Rosales said they will be reviewing the list of nominees to determine which parties only serve as front of the administration.

Earlier, the group had identified 12 parties whose nominees are closely associated with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Among the party-list groups believed to be frontline organizations of
Malacañang are Biyaheng Pinoy; Babae Ka; Kasangga, which has alleged
links to Malacañang’s Office of External Affairs; Akbay Pinoy, Aksyon
Sambayanan, allegedly a project of National Security Adviser Norberto
Gonzales;

Agbiag! (Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano Inc.), whose secretary general is
Marcelo Fariñas II, former assistant secretary in the Palace’s Office
of External Affairs; Ahon Pinoy, headed by Dante Ang II, the son
Commission on Filipino Overseas chairman Dante Ang; and Aangat Tayo,
headed by Executive Teddie Elson Rivera of the Philippine International
Trading Corp. (PITC).

Other key personalities nominated in the party list include Felix
Brawner Jr., brother of Comelec Commissioner Romeo Brawner, of the
Kasosyo Producer-Exchange Association Inc, or Akong Ako Kasosyo Party
(AA-Kasosyo Party).

AA-Kasosyo already filed a manifestation last April 11 withdrawing
Brawner’s nomination but the Law Department has not acted on this.

The brother of chairman Benjamin Abalos, Arsenio and Mandaluyong
Vice-Mayor Jesus Cruz of the Biyaheng Pinoy; former Environment
Secretary Leonardo
Montemayor of Aba-Ako; retired police general Lucas Managuelod of Ang
Bagong Bayan na Magtataguyod ng Demokratikong Edeolohiya at Layunin
(Bandila); Sigaw convenor and Lakas lawyer Raul Lambino; retired
military general Jovito Palparan Jr.; Bernardo Ople, brother of the
late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas Ople and Ernesto Herrera III, son
of former Sen. Ernesto Herrera, all of Ahon Pinoy.

But under Sec.8 of Republic Act 7941 or the Party List system Act,
(Nominations of Party-List Representatives) states that “each
registered party, organization or coalition shall submit to the Comelec
not later than forty-four (45) [sic] days before the election a list of
names, not less than five from which party-list representatives shall
be chosen in case it obtains the required number of votes."

“A person may be nominated in one list only. Only persons who have
given their consent in writing may be named in the list. The list shall
not include any candidate for any elective office or person who has
lost his bid for an elective office in the immediately preceding
election. No change of names or alteration of the order of nominees
shall be allowed after the same shall have been submitted to the
Comelec except in cases where the nominee dies, or withdraws in
writing, his nomination, becomes incapacitated in which case the name
of the substitutes nominee shall be placed last in the list. Incumbent
sectoral representatives in the House of Representatives who are
nominated in the party-list system shall not be considered resigned,"
it further added.

Rosales said they are filing disqualification cases against the nominees and parties “whose interests are clearly dubious."

“The right to information is primordial. Had the Comelec been
successful in keeping the names of the nominees from the public, it
would have crippled what it is mandated to protect and promote – the
people’s right to suffrage," she added.

Professor Walden Bello, also an Akbayan nominee, Said they expected the
list to be a mixture of traditional politicians from political
dynasties and government agencies.

“These dubious personalities would sing the same tune once elected.
They would block the impeachment complaint against [President Gloria]
Macapagal-Arroyo and they would
use," he added.

The two, however, refused to say how many parties will be sought to be
disqualified until they have fully scrutinized the list but Bello said
the initial 11 party-lists that Akbayan has revealed “are almost
certain" to be included. – GMANews.TV

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