Saturday, April 21, 2007

Comelec urged to ban fake party-list groups

Philippine bogus President Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts are desperate to stay in power by prostituting the party-lists system, massive electoral fraud, intimidation and bribery. Taxpayers’ money and other government resources are being utilized for her political survival and greed of political power. Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos and Malacanang Palace are conspiring to win by hook and by crook at congressional and national levels. OEA chief Farinas’ memo in the hands of the leftists groups had expose Gloria Arroyo’s evil plan. Legitimacy of the Arroyo presidency is at stake in May 14, 2007 midterm elections. The Filipino electorate will definitely reject pro-administration candidates and fake party-list groups.

Midterm elections in the Philippines important to Arroyo

Palace dares leftists to prove
memo genuine

Comelec urged to ban fake party-list groups
With the Palace’s “confidential” memorandum and its plan to fill the House with party-list groups said to be fronting for Malacañang in a bid to prevent any impeachment complaint against President Arroyo from flourishing, calls were yesterday made by militant party-list groups to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to ban the fake and government funded party-list groups and remove them from the official list in the May polls.
But Malacañang also yesterday challenged the party-list groups that bared the confidential memo to have this document authenticated to prove their claims that the Palace has plans to fund at least 12 administration party-list fronts.
Detained Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran yesterday called on the Comelec to purge the official list of the earlier identified alleged administration fronts while Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza said the questionable party-list groups should back out from the electoral race.
Maza said the questionable party-list groups, including Agbiag Timpuyog Ilocano, Babae Ka, Kalahi and Lypad, among other groups identified as Arroyo fronts, should voluntarily dissolve themselves.
“These questionable party-list groups should voluntarily get out of the race, and we strongly urge (Assistant Secretary of the Office of External Affairs) Marcelo Farinas to categorically state whether he is, indeed, a nominee of Agbiag party-list, not hide behind the Comelec’s refusal to divulge names of party-list nominees,” Maza said.
Fariñas, who heads Malacañang’s Office of External Affairs, was a signatory to an alleged Palace confidential memorandum to fund pro-administration party-list groups and discredit anti-administration party-lists in an attempt to thwart another impeachment complaint against Mrs. Arroyo.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Fariñas’ name has consistently come up with the controversies regarding the party-list system. In the interest of fair play, we urge the immediate dissolution of these fake party-list groups and call on the Comelec to investigate and punish those undermining the party-list system,” Maza stressed.
Gabriela Women’s Party is studying what charges to file against government officials found to have exercised partisanship using public funds in the elections.
Beltran, for his part, said the Comelec should stop dilly-dallying on the issue of the fake and government-funded party-lists and remove them from the official list participating in the May 14 polls
“May 14 is just around the corner but the Comelec has yet to resolve the issue of these government-funded party-lists. The legitimate and progressive party-lists Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women’s Party as well as their sister groups Kabataan Party and Suara Bangsa Moro are being harassed and subjected to disqualification charges because they are advocating genuine representation of marginalized groups in Congress. We will not allow these fake party-lists which are actually fronts for the Macapagal-Arroyo administration to take over the party-list system and secure seats in Congress by cheating
and buying their way to victory with the help of Malacañang,” he said.
The activist lawmaker protested the bastardization of the party-list system, adding that illegitimate party-lists supportive of an illegitimate presidency have no right to claim representation in Congress.
“They are making a mockery of the advocacies of the marginalized sectors. They intend to secure seats in Congress to edge out those who truly serve the interest of the poor. The Comelec should waste no more time and settle this issue once and for all. The bogus party-lists must be disqualified and stricken off the official list of party-lists participating in the May 14 polls,” he said.
Beltran also supported the calls of other progressive parties for investigations into confidential memorandum of Fariñas II, designated in the document as the head of the OEA special concerns group (OEA-SCG), sent to Malacañang and the office of President Arroyo.
Fariñas, head of the OEA special concerns group of the office of the President, wrote to lawyer Erlyn de Leon, special assistant to the President and her close confidante. The memo sought Palace funding for these party list groups that would be supported by the Palace.
“What other proof does the Comelec need? It’s no secret that Malacañang is out to quash the progressive party-lists and undermine our chances of once more topping the party-lists elections. Our leaders and members are being killed, and the representatives, including myself, are being libeled and labeled as criminals. Despite all this, it’s being consistently revealed in all the surveys that the progressive party-lists are a shoo-in in May, and it is only through massive electoral fraud and illegal disenfranchisement of our millions of supporters that we will not win.”
“The fake and government-funded party-lists must not be allowed to participate in the May elections. The Comelec will be aiding and abetting a serious violation of electoral and constitutional law if it allows these fake party-lists endorsed and funded by Malacañang to run,” he said.
But the Puwersa ng Masa legal counsel and GO’s congressional candidate in the 2nd district of Cagayan de Oro, lawyer Rufus Rodriguez slammed Malacañang’s illegal action.
Rodriguez during a phone interview with the Tribune said that if Mrs. Arroyo intends to come clean on the latest controversy she should give the Office of the Ombudsman a free hand to probe Farinas, De Leon and others possibly involved in the illegal acts.
“We decry these alleged actions from Malacañang. For the Palace to support party listsgroups with government funds is seriously illegal because a party-list group is supposedly a private entity and the government is prohibited from contributing to any political party list so as not to influence how this party list organization would vote in Congress on such critical issues like an impeachment for the President, he said.
“With this memorandum from the OEA in the hands of the leftists groups, Mrs. Arroyo should come clean by allowing the Ombudsman to step into the case of Farinas, de Leon and others...they could be held liable for a misappropriation of government funds by the Office of the Ombudsman,” he added.
Rodriguez, also the presidential legal counsel of Estrada, said if Mrs. Arroyo has nothing to hide she should lead the prosecution in court of Farinas and de Leon.
Rodriguez charged that the 12 party-lists groups, purportedly being supported by Malacañang could be disqualified if the Comelec acts without partisanship.
“The Comelec should step into this case. It should conduct an honest to goodness probe because this is a clear violation of the anti graft law and the party list law. This party list organization can be disqualified,” he stressed.
Rodriguez cited the Comelec ruling in 2001 national elections when the poll body disqualified the MAD party list group being headed by actor Richard Gomez. The ruling came after it was found that the said party list group had received government funds in their electoral bid at the House of Representatives.
With Gerry Baldo, Sherwin C. Olaes and Tribune wires

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