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Comelec bares names of party-list nominees


Sector representation under the party-list system has become trivialized after several groups have entered more than 10 nominees for the coming mid-term polls. Based on the list released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) there are 91 party-list organizations that were approved and given accreditation to participate in the May 14 elections. 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