Questionable groups in the party-list race

Are there groups in the party-list race fronting for the GMA administration? Here’s a list of groups that are reportedly connected to Malacanang and to certain government officials and agencies. AKBAYAN has called for an investigation of these groups, but the COMELEC rejected the idea:

BABAE KA

Originally the Kababaihan para sa Inang Bayan (KABABAYAN), its first nominee, Sally Dagami was reportedly a former Kaibigan ni Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (KGMA) coordinator.

Babae Ka! was one of the many organizations mentioned by an ABS CBN Correspondence report that were encouraged and helped by the Office of External Affairs (OEA) to participate in the party-list elections.

Babae ka! was also a member of the Malayang Babae para sa Cha Cha at Reporma (MELCHORA) which is affiliated with the Sigaw ng Bayan group, a Pro Charter Change and Pro-Peoples Initiative group headed by Raul Lambino jr. which is reportedly organized by the OEA and DILG.

In a recent TV interview, the spokesperson of Babae Ka! admitted that they have members working at the OEA. In fact, a certain Nerissa Garcia, Executive Director of OEA, is a standing member of the said group.

Nominees:

Sally Dagami– reportedly has close links with the Office of External Affairs, also a reported former KGMA Coordinator
Ruth Vaquez– a member of Sigaw ng Bayan (pro-cha cha, pro-GMA group)


KAKUSA

KAKUSA’s Chairman Emeritus is convicted child rapist and former Zamboanga del Norte Representative Romeo Jalosjos. It is represented by its national president, R. Dodong Canonigo. The Lamb of God Foundation, an outreach program for elderly inmates established by Jalosjos, is supporting KAKUSA.

The personalities involved in KAKUSA are linked to Partido Demokratikong Sosyalistang Pilipino (PDSP), which is led by National Security Adviser Bert Gonzales.

Nominees:

Ranulfo “Dodong” Canonigo
Atty. Omar Rivera – Chief of Staff of Rep. Cecelia Jalosjos-Calderon. Both Jaloslos-Calderon and Atty. Rivera are members of PDSP.
Ma. Jesusa Arguelles-Sespene – Chief of Staff of Rep. Cesar Jalosjos, who is also a member of PDSP.


BIYAHENG PINOY

An “association” of tricyle drivers, Arsenio Abalos, the elder brother of COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos sits as director and national council member of the party. Also, the group was founded and chaired by Mandaluyong Vice-Mayor Jesus Cruz, who claims to be a tricycle operator before.

According to a January 27, 2007 news report by Malaya newspaper, COMELEC insiders reportedly said that Biyaheng Pinoy has earned a moniker inside the poll agency as “Asosasyon ng mga Kamag-anak at Kapitbahay ni Abalos or AKKA.”

The same report said Biyaheng Pinoy’s application has been kept secret. Its name was omitted in the roster of party-list petitioners.

Cruz, an ally of the Abalos clan, is on his last term while Arsenio is a barangay captain in Hagdang Bato Itaas.
Cruz originally planned to contest the lone congressional district of Mandaluyong occupied by Rep. Benhur Abalos but opted to run under Biyaheng Pinoy. He is the legal adviser of the National Confederation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines.

Arsenio is said to be planning again to run for mayor but was prevailed upon to run under Biyaheng Pinoy as one of its nominees.

Mandaluyong insiders said the arrangement was forged so as not to spoil the agreement between Benhur and Mayor Neptali Gonzales Jr. that they would switch places in this year’s elections.

The young Abalos is set to return as mayor while Gonzales will stage a comeback in Congress.

Nominees:

Mandaluyong Vice Mayor Jesus Cruz
Dr. Arsenio Abalos – a brother of Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos, whose own son, Ben-Hur, is running for mayor in Mandaluyong City.


ANG KASANGGA

Its president is former Assemblyman Jose Tumbokon. Mr. Tumbukon served as an assemblyman and presidential adviser during the Marcos dictatorship. He was appointed minister of state of information and official spokesperson of the Interim Batasan Pambansa and the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL).

The officers of Kasangga include Cristeta Absolor, reported a regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Another regional officer of the organization is Elizabeth Manuel, who is reportedly the Acting Executive Deputy Director of the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

Nominees:
The sister of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Marilou Arroyo, is allegedly one of the nominees of the group.


AGBIAG!

Marcelo Farinas II, Malacanang’s Assistant Secretary for the Office External Affairs (OEA) is the group’s Secretary-General.

Perfecto Cardenas, one of the organization’s incorporators is reportedly one of Abra’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan members.

Rogelio Peig, a registered incorporator of Agbiag!, is the Chief of Staff of Representative Vincent ‘Bingbong’ P. Crisologo, Quezon City, 1st District.

Another incorporator of the said organization, Thompson Lantion, heads the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB). A former police general, Lantion lost his bid for the gubernatorial seat in Nueva Vizcaya despite running under the administration Lakas party. Mr. Lantion was one of the many generals Mrs. Arroyo rewarded with important government positions.

Meanwhile, Agbiag! Regional convenor for CAR region, Renato Paredes was a former chief of the Traffic Management Group (TMG). He also also lost his bid for a congressional seat in Ifugao province.

Nominees: No information yet.


AHON PINOY

Headed by Dante “Klink” Ang II, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Manila Times Newspapers. Klink is the son of Dante Ang Sr, the current Chairman of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).

Nominees:
Dante “Klink Ang Jr. –Son of Dante Ang Sr., Chairman of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
Bernardo Ople, brother of late senator Blas Ople
Ernesto Herrera III, son and namesake of a former senator.


AKSYON SAMBAYANAN (AKSA)

Aksyon Sambayanan (AKSA) is a “social democratic” movement affiliated with the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP) of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, a close ally of the Arroyo government. It is said that AKSA is the recycled version of PDSP in the party-list race. PDSP lost twice in the party-list elections and was therefore disqualified.

Nominees:
Timoteo Aranjuez, former secretary-general of Partido Democratiko Soyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP)
Elizabeth Angsioco, chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), the women organization of Norberto Gonzales’ PDSP.


BANTAY
Also known as the True Marcos Loyalist (for God, Country and People) Association of the Philippines, led by known Marcos supporter, Cherry Cobarrubias.

Nominees:
Retired General Jovito Palparan – Palparan is accused of orchestrating numerous cases of extra-judicial killings. Branded as the “Butcher General”.


BANAT

The Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (BANAT) was already disqualified by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for failing to obtain two per centum (2%) of the total votes cast for party-list in the two elections 1998 and 2004 and failure to participate in the 2001 elections. Yet, they have been suspiciously resurrected.

Nominees:
Atty. Raul Lambino – Spokesman and leader of Sigaw ng Bayan, whose People’s Initiative was called by the Supreme Court as an act of grand deception.
Atty. Salvador Britanico
Joel Mendez


ANAK

List of Nominees:
Kenneth Gatchalian – son of William Gatchalian
Supt. Eduardo Octaviano – a police officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).


AKBAY PINOY

Akbay Pinoy is also a member of Sigaw ng Bayan and its Chair is Bong Guro. This group was legally charged by Makati residents together with Sigaw ng Bayan for forcing them to sign signatures in favor of GMA’s Charter Change initiative.

Nominees: No information yet.


LYPAD

According to a report in ABS-CBN’s Bandila, the Youth League for Peace Advancement (LYPAD) allegedly attempted to sell one of its party-list seats for P5 million. LYPAD is a newly accredited party-list, and it started as a pro-GMA organization called Youth Power Against Destabilization (YPAD). It is also a member of Sigaw ng Bayan.

Ted Lazaro, current chairman of LYPAD, is also a member of AKBAY youth OFW, the youth wing of AKBAY Pinoy (see above). He is also the son of Adelaida Lazaro, leader of AKBAY Pinoy, who was also legally charged by Makati residents for manufacturing signatures for the People’s Initiave.

Nolan Tiongco, LYPAD secretary-general, is a member of a group called Peace 4 Development (P4D) where Melvin Mitra, allegedly the youth coordinator for the Office of External Affairs (OEA), is also a member.

In the same Bandila report, Melvin Mitra was named by an informant as the middle person behind the sale of party-list seats. He allegedly contacted a congressional candidate and offered a seat in LYPAD for only P5 million.

Nominees: No information yet.


AANGAT TAYO

AANGAT TAYO is headed by the Philippine International Trading Corp. executive vice president Teddie Elson Rivera, who now sits as president.

Nominees: No information yet.


ANAD

ANAD was formed in 2003 by the National Alliance for Democracy (NAD), the movement that supplanted the dreaded Alsa Masa, a vigilante group organized by the government in Davao. NAD serves as the umbrella organization for all anti-communist forces in the country. In 2004, NAD registered ANAD as its party-list group.

Nominees: No information yet.


AGING PINOY

AGING Pinoy was also implicated in Bandila’s report as one of the party-list groups affiliated with the Office for External Affairs that is selling its seats to individuals who want to use the party-list system as a cheaper way to get into Congress.

Nominees: No information yet.

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6 Responses to “Questionable groups in the party-list race”

  1. kmakabayan Says:

    In the blog of Philippine Election 2007:
    http://www.halalan-2007.blogspot.com/

    Anonymous commented:

    Funny. But Akbayan representatives have been in Congress for 6 years. Why didn’t they introduce a law mandating that all party-list groups reveal their nominees publicly?

    It seems that Akbayan is barking on the wrong tree. Dun sila magpicket sa harap ng opisina nila at sisihin nila ang kanila sarili sa kanilang kapabayaan.

    Rexted replied:

    That is a good question.

    That is a common mentality wherein they just ask when it favors them.

    As the saying goes lets cross the bridge when we are there.

  2. gloria ramos Says:

    Party List system is a social justice tool meant for the otherwise voiceless citizens to give them the opportunity to craft legislations to protect the marginal sectors, since the Government has not mainstreamed their needs.

    We do not need such a law requiring disclosure of the party list nominees. The Party-List System Act specifically provides for qualifications of party list nominees. How can a person or entity look into or question the qualifications of said nominees if their identity is locked in secrecy?

    To echo AKBAYAN, this non-disclosure policy is ABSOLUTELY ABSURD and will surely be stuck down as unconstitutional.

    Why the non-disclosure? It is obviously meant to protect certain alleged representatives who do not come from the marginalized sectors. This is an anomalous policy that should be questioned before the supreme Court.

  3. Violent Dispersal Says:

    This is a question only the absurd and stupid will ask. But to answer your “question”, AKBAYAN or no other party-list organization should amend the party-list law just to divulge the names of the nominees. The list of nominees have been made public before (1998, 2001, 2004 elections) so there is clearly no reason to amend it just because of this negligible argument.

    The right question that should be asked is, why is COMELEC not providing us with the list? Why are the declared malacanang party-list organizations hiding their nominees too? And why are they so supportive of COMELEC’s dim-witted decision?

    bistado na kasi umiiwas pa.

  4. INSIDE PCIJ » Palace ’special operations’ in party-list elections bared Says:

    […] of Agbiag!, Babae Ka, LYPAD, and Kalahi, along with 12 other party-list groups it deems to have dubious backgrounds — Akbay Pinoy OFW-National, Aksyon Sambayanan (AKSA), Ahon Pinoy, Aging Pilipino Organization […]

  5. i-site’s 2007 Election Files » Palace ’special operations’ in party-list elections bared Says:

    […] of Agbiag!, Babae Ka, LYPAD, and Kalahi, along with 12 other party-list groups it deems to have dubious backgrounds — Akbay Pinoy OFW-National, Aksyon Sambayanan (AKSA), Ahon Pinoy, Aging Pilipino Organization […]

  6. Hiro Says:

    DIWA Partylist Nominees:

    Atty. Emmeline Y. Aglipay
    Pepito M. Pico
    Dr. Juan Roberto L. Abling
    Atty. Jamairy Dumado
    Atty. Luisita Agbayani

    http://halalan-2007.blogspot.com/2007/04/party-list-diwa.html

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