Youth group to Comelec: Don’t favor Palace-backed PLs

YOUTH group Anakbayan today urged Comelec to disqualify Palace backed party-lists and not give them “special treatment” in the campaign to cleanse the party-list system of bogus groups.

Anakbayan national chair Vencer Crisostomo called on Comelec to disqualify Akbayan, Black and White Movement, and several other party-lists with close ties with Malacanang and with members which hold appointive government positions.

“If Comelec won’t disqualify Palace-backed PLs, then the campaign to rid bogus PLs would be selective and pointless. They would just be covering up for and would be giving advantage to the Aquino party-lists,” said Crisostomo.

Comelec chairman Sixto Brilliantes has been quoted as saying that having members in government positions is not grounds for disqualification, referring to Akbayan.

“We cannot fathom how Comelec can see nothing scandalous with Malacanang appointees running for party-list. The party-list law clearly prohibits government funded entities and groups with non-marginalized leaders and nominees from joining,” he said.

Various groups previously filed a letter to Comelec calling for the disqualification of Akbayan party-list saying the group is “well-entrenched” in government and that its nominees hold appointive positions.

Among Akbayan members in government are presidential adviser Ronald Llamas, anti-poverty commission head Joel Rocamora, CHR chair Etta Rosales, GSIS board member Mario Aguho and NYC commissioner Percy Cendena. Its nominees Barry Gutierrez and Angeline Katoh also hold appointive positions.

Crisostomo said he fears that the “influence of Malacanang in the poll body has become too strong that they are turning a blind eye to the fact the president’s KKK allies are making a mockery of the system.”

Anakbayan earlier assailed the appointment of former Liberal Party candidate Grace Padaca as Comelec commissioner and said this shows “Malacanang control” of the poll body.

Crisostomo also slammed Akbayan party-list represenatative Walden Bello’s statement saying critics are only “envious” of Akbayan.

“Their being a Palace toady has gone to pathetic levels and cannot possibly be envious. They now are resorting to tsismis, red-baiting and doing cheap political stunts. But Bello’s tantrum cannot not erase the fact that they no longer qualify as marginalized and under-represented,” said Crisostomo.

Crisostomo said they are prepared to pursue the cases against Akbayan and other Palace-backed party-lists and campaign for real peoples’ representation. Various groups will march to Comelec on Monday to call for the  disqualification of Palace-backed party-lists.

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