Bogus partylist group
COMMISSION on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. should be commended for cleansing the partylist system against fake organizations that do not represent the marginalized or underprivileged people of our society.
To date, there are 28 partylist organizations that have so far been delisted or disqualified by Comelec, the latest of which is Ang Galing Pinoy whose incumbent representative is Rep. Mikey Arroyo, the son of ex-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Rep. Arroyo has become a national laughing stock when he sought to represent tricycle drivers and security guards. People were indeed incredulous at the prospect that Mikey is one with these lowly trike drivers and blue guards.
Commendation should also go to Kontra Daya headed by Fr. Joe Dizon for its courage to initiate and submit disqualification proceedings against these fake partylist organizations and their respective nominees.
However, while many partylist organizations may have already been delisted from participating in the upcoming midterm elections scheduled on May 13, 2013, Kontra Daya is still hoping that some more groups should be excluded and disqualified.
One such group Kontra Daya is seeking to disqualify is Ang Kasangga Partylist, currently represented in Congress by multi-millionaire businessman Teodorico Haresco who is now seeking a congressional seat in his district in Aklan province.
In his stead, Haresco is being replaced by his cousin, Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez as a 1st nominee. The 2nd and 3rd nominees are Gwen Pimentel, sister and chief of staff of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, and Local Water Utilities Administration head Rene Villa.
According to Kontra Daya, Haresco, who ranks third in the list of wealthiest members of Congress, and the other three new nominees do not belong to the marginalized group of micro-entrepreneurs they seek to represent in Congress.
Ang Kasangga, it was further noted, was originally formed to support then president Arroyo’s questioned stay in power. Kontra Daya alleged that the group’s original name as in fact known and called as “Kasangga ni Gloria.”
Our present partylist system law has been much abused by such paper organizations whose nominees are either multimillionaires, former government officials, or members of powerful political clans.
It is not too difficult to ascertain which partylist groups are legitimate. Just ask how they select their nominees or what they have done either inside or outside Congress to uplift the lives of the marginalized sector they represent.
Of course, there are legitimate partylist organizations that deserve to represent us in Congress. But right now, Brillantes should not rest yet but continue to purge the list of qualified partylist groups so that we can make a better choice come election day.