‘Arroyo to use party-list seats to win as House Speaker’
Militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and election watchdog Kontra Daya said in a joint statement on Saturday that nine of the 185 party-list groups who were able to submit their nominees’ names before the deadline on Friday night are connected to Arroyo.
According to the two groups, these Arroyo-linked party-list groups include Ang Galing Pinoy, which named the President’s eldest son, Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo as its first nominee.
Senatorial candidates Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo had earlier sought the disqualification of Rep. Arroyo as nominee of the party-list group which claims to represent security guards, saying there is no way the presidential son shared the group’s advocacies. (See: Mikey disqualification as party-list bet sought)
Three other party-list groups submitted names of past and present Cabinet officials under the Arroyo administration as their nominees, Bayan and Kontra Daya said.
Transport party-list group 1-UTAK named former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes as its first nominee. Reyes formally resigned on Friday to focus on his nomination. (See: Energy chief Angelo Reyes quits post — Palace)
The party-list group PACYAW, which claims to advocate sports development in the country, has former Tourism assistant secretary Janet Lazatin as its first nominee.
Party-list KABAYAN, meanwhile, has former Executive undersecretary Ron Salo as its first nominee, the two groups said.
Bayan and Kontra Daya likewise said that the party-list groups APO, Abono, Aangat Tayo, Ang Kasangga and ALE also had names of pro-Arroyo local officials and businessmen in their lists of nominees.
Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said that these party-lists groups would further expand Mrs. Arroyo’s chances of becoming the next House Speaker. The President is running for a congressional seat in the second district of her home province, Pampanga.
“The party-list system is another flank by which Arroyo would try to gain control of the House," Reyes said.
“From the initial list of nominees, we can certainly say that the party-list system is being routinely abused by politicians, big business interests, high-ranking military officials and Arroyo allies," he added.
Reyes also blamed the Comelec for “allowing the party-list system to be taken advantage of over the years."
Administration critics have long claimed that Mrs. Arroyo’s congressional bid was her ploy to perpetuate herself in power after her term ends on June 30, 2010. Her political opponents allege that her allies in Congress would push for a shift to parliamentary form of government, which would enable her – provided that she wins as congresswoman – to run for prime minister.—JV, GMANews.TV