Militant group warns impeachment vs. Comelec commissioners over party list row

By Billy Javier Reyes and Cherry de Belen

MANILA, Philippines-The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday warned Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo and other commissioners that they could be sent to impeachment trial if they continue to tolerate the proliferation of bogus and fly –by-night party lists seeking congressional representations in the May 10, 2010 elections.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said Chairman Melo, the rest of Comelec commissioners might face impeachment under the next presidency for allowing party list syndicates operated by Malacanang and powerful politicians and interest groups to bastardize the party list system, deny genuine party lists and defraud the marginalized people from electing their real representatives to Congress.

The Pamalakaya leader agreed with Kabataan Party that 38 out of the 187 party lists running in the May 10,2010 elections are either supported by Malacanang or influential people who want to join Congress and avail the yearly pork barrel through the party list system.

“The Comelec has been consistently informed about the grandiose plan of the Macapagal-Arroyo government to saturate the party list election with bogus party lists to prevent genuine party lists from representing the voice of the marginalized citizenry in the House of Representatives,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the call to delist fake party lists had been advocated since 2001 by the activist party list group Bayan Muna and was reiterated by the same party list group and allied party lists like Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan party from 2002 up to the present, but Comelec officials did not give premium to legitimate, politically correct and lawful demands urging the poll body to drop bogus party lists from the roll and refrain from accepting dubious party lists allied with President Arroyo.

“Commissioner Jose Melo and the rest of the poll commissioners are not doing their assignment. The commissioners are afraid to rise above the occasion and come face-to-face with the appointing authority and political benefactors in Malacanang. If they will not correct this political prostitution of the party list system, Melo and company will continue to violate the 1987 Constitution and therefore should be sent to impeachment trial by the next administration,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said the nomination of Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo as first nominee, and Dennis Pineda, outgoing mayor of Lubao, Pampanga as second nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy party list should have compelled Comelec to immediately disqualify the party list. The group said upon learning the nominations of Arroyo and Pineda, the poll body should have declared the Arroyo-Pineda party list as fake and have both charged for violating the 1987 charter and the law on party list system.

“This is the politically correct way of weeding out the party list system of fake party lists. But Comelec did not address it that way. On the contrary, the poll body has become a witting partner in crime of syndicated party list groups like Ang Galing Pinoy and other Malacanang created party lists,” the militant group lamented.

Pamalakaya said aside Ang Galing Pinoy, other Palace backed party list groups that should be exposed, opposed and disqualified to run in the party list elections under the May 2010 elections include 1-UTAK transport group headed by outgoing energy secretary Angelo Reyes, Ang Kasangga party list headed by Maria Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo, Bantay party list of Rep. Jovito Palparan, Agbiag Timpuyo Ilokano, Ahon Pinoy, Akbay Pinoy-OFW, Aangat Ating Kabuhayan-Filipinas (Anak), Babae Ka, Bigkis, Byaheng Pinoy Labor Association, Kalahi and League of Youth for Peace and Advancement (Lypad).

Pamalakaya said these groups are pseudo party lists which are backed or influenced by Malacanang and other political interests identified with President Arroyo. The militant group said there are other party lists which are believed to be funded or backed by the Office of the President which needed by to be exposed to Filipino voters.

The group said another list of bogus party lists rumored to have the backings of Malacanang and military officials and politicians allied with President Arroyo will be soon revealed to the public.

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