Maraming Salamat!

Immediately after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of AKBAYAN’s petition to compel the COMELEC to reveal the list of party-list nominees, AKBAYAN Rep. Etta Rosales and AKBAYAN nominee Walden Bello went to COMELEC to obtain the names from the poll body. The names were finally divulged, a culmination of a historic legal battle that led to the triumph of democracy and transparency.

Just as we suspected, the list includes names of government officials, generals, and traditional politicians representing clans that have dominated local politics. In short, it revealed that certain party-lists are being used to perpetuate what the party-list system is supposed to correct – political inequality in favor of traditional politicians.

The list of nominees has been posted in AKBAYAN’s website and in this blog. Share it with other voters, and let us not be blindfolded by attempts to curtail our rights to information and suffrage. If you have information about the nominees, please contact us. Note that there are two groups, LYPAD and KASAPI, that did not submit to the COMELEC the names of their nominees.

We will update the list of dubious party-lists before the May 14, 2007 polls. That the COMELEC has dragged its feet and refused to investigate numerous allegations of pre-election fraud in the party-list race tells us that the poll body would not act to protect the integrity of the party-list system. However, we hope that the information we have shared – the presence of ‘admin fronts’ in the race – would help voters make an informed judgment come May 14. We will definitely file disqualification complaints against groups whose accreditation patently violates the Party-list law.

AKBAYAN wishes to thank citizens and cause-oriented groups that provided additional information on dubious party-lists. Your bravery and vigilance prove that all is not lost, that ordinary citizens have the power to push for electoral reforms. Maraming salamat!

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