By Anne Marxze D. Umil
Many party-list groups that have successfully made it to Comelec’s accredited list have questionable nominees and strong links to Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said election watchdog Kontra Daya (Against Cheating) and Kabataan (Youth) Party-list. For nominees, these party-list groups teem with millionaires, former government officials, former police and military officials, even incumbent government officials. Many are proven allies of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In fact, based on the investigation of Kontra Daya, some are members of her family, and they include a son and various close relatives.
Legitimate party-list groups representing genuinely marginalized sectors and featuring nominees who have either been long-time members or advocates of these sectors, for instance Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women’s Party, and the Makabayan senatorial bets Lisa Maza and Satur Ocampo, have all filed a petition to disqualify the dubious party-list groups. They began last month with Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) party-list, the so-called party-list group being represented by presidential son and outgoing Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo.
In pushing for the disqualification of the dubious party-list groups, the legitimate party-list groups and Kontra Daya cited the Party-list System Act, which provides that a party-list should be represented by those who belong to the marginalized and under-represented sectors. They also cited the rules on disqualification cases against nominees of party list groups, or Resolution No. 8807. Its Section 6 stated that party-list nominee must be “one who belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sector/s, the sectoral party, organization, political party or coalition he seeks to represent…”
As of April 6, 2010, Kontra Daya has pinpointed at least 49 dubious party-list groups in the Comelec list. These party-list groups, they said, have questionable nominees, or nominees who are obviously not from any truly marginalized groups. Kontra Daya intends to submit the following list of dubious party-list groups to the Comelec for disqualification.
Party-list groups of the Rich, Connected and Powerful
1. 1st Kabagis Party-list – an Ilocano party-list group that claims to advocate for “widening the segments of economic development.” Jose Singson, Jr., brother of National Security Adviser Chavit Singson, is its second nominee.
2. 1 United Transportation Koalisyon (1-Utak) – a party-list group purportedly representing the transport sector, but its first nominee, former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, has been the drivers’ nemesis in the past few years; he is the “spokesperson” of the oil cartel in justifying the overpricing of oil products , according to Piston (United Association of Drivers and Operators). Its second nominee is former Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) official Vigor Mendoza. Its third nominee is Homero Mercado, owner of the bus company HM Transport.
3. Aangat Tayo – a party-list group led by Teddie Elson Rivera, an official of the state-owned Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC). The group claims to represent labor, urban poor, elderly, women, youth, and the overseas workers. Its nominees include Rep. Daryl Grace Abayon, wife of Rep. Harlin Castillo Abayon (Lakas) of Northern Samar.
4. Abante Tribung Makabansa (ATM) – a party-list group that claims to represent the indigenous peoples and was endorsed by presidential adviser for Mindanao Jesus Dureza. Its first nominee is former Army Col. Allen A. Capuyan who was among those implicated by former T/Sgt. Vidal Doble in the “Hello Garci” controversy. According to Doble, Capuyan was among those who implemented “Project Lighthouse” or the wiretapping of personalities during his stint as head of the Intelligence Service of the AFP’s ‘special operations group.’ ATM’s second nominee, Reuben Dasay A. Lingating, is a former official of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). He is also a program officer of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
5. Abono Partylist – a party-list group that claims to represent the agricultural sector. The Abono party-list’s first two nominees are Robert Raymund Estrella and Franciso Ortega III. Both hail from the prominent Estrella and Ortega political clans, which are allied with the administration. Its third nominee is Jacky Rowena Lomibao, wife of former PNP chief Arturo Lomibao.
6. Abot Tanaw – its first nominee is Gerwyn See, husband of Sheryl Genuino-See, daughter of PAGCOR chairman Efraim Genuino. Sheryl See is also a nominee of Batang Iwas sa Droga Foundation, Inc. or BIDA party-list. The couple also own the Philippine master franchise of Mrs. Fields Cookie Cafe chain.
Its second nominee is Mario Cornista, a PAGCOR consultant. In their SEC registration, he is also named as chair of the board of directors of BIDA. Its third nominee, Tomas Toledo, is another PAGCOR consultant. Both BIDA and Abot Tanaw are thus closely associated with PAGCOR chairman Efraim Genuino.
7. Action Brotherhood for Active Dreamers, Inc. (ABROAD Partylist) – a party-list group that claims to support a speedier process for Filipinos seeking work abroad and combating illegal recruitment. Its first two nominees are Danilo Magsino Dy and Angela C. Dy. Danilo Dy owns the Montessori Professional College.
8. Agila ng Katutubong Pilipino, Inc. (AGILA) – a Baguio-based party-list group that claims to represent indigenous peoples. Its nominees include DILG undersecretary and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Systems administrator Orlando Hondrade, as well as former Quezon City councilor Restituto Malañgen.
9. Ahon Pinoy (AHON) – a party-list group that claims to speak for the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers and their families as well as of organizations of expatriates and immigrants. Its first nominee is Dante “Klink” Ang II, son of publisher Dante Ang who also heads the Presidential Commission on Overseas Filipinos. Its second nominee is Emerito Remulla from the influential Remulla clan of Cavite. Third nominee is Von Bryan Cuerpo, son of Rodriguez, Rizal Mayor Pedro Cuerpo.
10. AKO BICOL Political Party (AKB) – a party-list group that claims to advocate progress and development of the Bicol Region. Its first nominee is Christopher Co of the Co clan of businessmen who are reportedly also close to Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Its second nominee is outgoing Legazpi mayor Noel Rosal. Its officers include Dr. Dennis Febueno of the Commission of Higher Education.
11. Alliance of Bicolnon Party (ABP-Bicolnon) – a regional political party representing Bicol, the Alliance of Bicolnon Party has the father-and-son tandem of architects Enrique Olonan and Henry Steve Olonan. The Olonans are a prominent family of businessmen from Catanduanes. Enrique Olonan has been a director of the Chamber of Real Estate Builders Association.
12. Alliance of Mindanao Elders (AME) – a party-list group that claims to advocate the interests of senior citizens throughout the country. Its first nominee is Alfonso Goking, a councilor of Cagayan de Oro City who is a member of the Lakas-Kampi coalition.
13. Alliance of People’s Organizations (APO) – a party-list group that claims to advocate the scrapping of the oil deregulation law. Its first nominee is former Ilocos representative Salacnib Baterina, a businessman and a known Arroyo ally. Its third nominee is Anna Marie Ablan, daughter of Ilocos Norte Rep. Roque Ablan Jr.
14. Alma sa Pagkahikahos at Ignoransya (ALMA) – a party-list group that claims to represent small farmers and fisherfolk, as well as the rural and urban poor. It also claims to have drawn most of its initial constituency from Central and Northern Luzon. Its second nominee Rodolfo Vicerra is the Director-General of the Congressional Planning and Budget Department of the 14th Congress of the Philippines.
15. Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) – an anti-communist group believed to be supported by the AFP. Its nominees include the farther and son tandem of Pastor Alcover, Jr. and Pastor Alcover II. The elder Alcover calls himself an “anti-communist vigilante”.
16. Angat Ating Kabuhayan, Inc. (ANAK) – a party-list group that claims to represent the urban poor. Its first two nominees are former Police Senior Superintendent Eduardo Octaviano, Jr. and infamous “euro-general” Eliseo dela Paz.
17. Alagaan Natin Ating Kalusugan (ANAKalusugan) – a party-list group that claims to promote and safeguard the health of Filipino people. Its first nominee is Col. Roland E. Kempis, a doctor and Commanding Officer of the AFP Medical Center. According to the Department of National Defense website, Kempis also served in that capacity under Gilbert Teodoro and Norberto Gonzales. Its fourth nominee is presidential assistant Mohammad Ali Basir Lucman Magurang.
18. Ang Galing Pinoy (AG) – also formerly known as Guardians Party-list, a multi-sectoral national party claiming to represent security guards, tricycle drivers and vendors. Its first nominee is Pampanga congressman and presidential son Mikey Arroyo; second nominee is Lubao Mayor Dennis Pineda and third nominee is Bacolor Mayor Romeo “Buddy” Dungca. All three are elected officials in Pampanga and members of the ruling Lakas-Kampi coalition. It’s organizational documents are plagiarized from that of Bayan Muna.
19. Ang Kasangga – a party-list group that claims to represent small entrepreneurs. Its current representative is Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, sister of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. Its first nominee is businessman Teodorico T. Haresco. According to its website, Haresco is known for his involvement in the President’s Bridge Program, a sustained infrastructure and fast-track rural development project spanning over 14 years. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the PNOC.
In December 2005, British newspaper The Guardian ran an article on Mabey & Johnson Ltd., a British firm “accused of making excessive profits in an aid project, by building what their critics call bridges to nowhere”. The Guardian cited Haresco, of the President’s Bridges Program, as the Philippine contact of the British firm.
Second nominee is Eugenio Jose V. Lacson, a scion of the affluent Lacson clan of Negros, a three-term mayor of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) – United Negros Alliance. Last Jan.21, he endorsed the candidacy of administration bet Gilbert Teodoro.
Third nominee is Anna Maria Nava, the wife of current Guimaras Governor Felipe Nava. Fourth nominee is Enrique V. Martin, a Board Member of the Capiz provincial government.
Fifth nominee Segundo M. Gaston is the Senior Vice President for support and subsidiaries of the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC)
20. Akbay Pinoy OFW-National, Inc. (APOI) – a party-list group that claims to support the cause of overseas Filipino workers. In its website, it describes itself as “an accredited organization of the Department of Labor and Employment…via a linkage with the Sentro ng Manggagawang Pinoy for a program organized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration”. Its first nominee is Maj. Gen. Melchor Rosales, the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense and current DILG executive. Its fourth nominee is Katherine Mari S. Garcia, a lawyer for the Puno & Puno Law Offices whose clientele counts several multinational corporations as well as big Filipino businessmen like Henry Sy and the Aboitizes.
21. Alliance for Rural and Agrarian Reconstruction, Inc. (ARARO) – a party-list group that claims to represent farmers. Its first nominee is former PNP Regional III Chief PC/Supt Quirino dela Torre. According to Kontra Daya, many have pointed out the irony that it was during his stint as police chief that the Hacienda Luisita massacre happened.
22. Association of Labor and Employees (ALE) – a party-list group that claims to represent workers. Its first nominee is Catalina Bagasina, Pampanga provincial board member, businesswoman and a known Arroyo ally. Bagasina owns a cargo forwarding company.
Erlinda M.B. de Leon, Ms Arroyo’s first cousin, is its second nominee. According to the Office of the President’s website, De Leon has served as a special assistant to the President.
Its third nominee, Ma. Michaela D. Magtoto, is the operations manager of the Prime Review Center.
23. Bago National Cultural Society of the Philippines (BAGO) – a party-list group that claims to represent the Bago tribe of Region I. Its president is Alexander Bistoyong, Ilocos Sur’s Provincial Consultant for Upland Municipalities and a former Board Member of the same province. Its third nominee is B/Gen. Manuel E. Mariano, Jr. who was the Asst. Division Commander of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in 2008.
24. Bagong Henerasyon (BH) – a party-list group that claims to represent youth, women, and “the people of communities.” It has a husband and wife team as its first two nominees, former Quezon City councilor Bernadette Herrera-Dy and her husband businessman Edgar Allan D. Dy.
25. Bagong Bayan na Nagtataguyod ng Demokratikong Ideolohiya at Layunin (Bandila) – this party-list competed during the 2007 elections. Its nominees included retired police general Lucas Managuelod and Benasing Macarambon III, a scion of the wealthy and powerful Macarambon clan of Lanao. Nominees include Nilo Tayag and actor Juan Miguel Bondoc.
According to Kontra Daya, Tayag is a former activist who went over to the Marcos regime after a short period in detention during Martial Law. He helped organize support rallies for the Estrada regime at the height of the oust Estrada campaign. After Estrada’s ouster, he moved over to the Arroyo camp, and in 2006 was part of the “people’s initiative” charter change campaign called Sigaw ng Bayan, which was orchestrated by Arroyo allies. Until September 2009, he was being considered for inclusion in the senatorial lineup of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the political party of the Marcos family.
Bondoc hails from a family of wealthy businessmen. He owns several businesses including the Benedictine International School of Quezon City.
26. The True Marcos (for God, Country and People) Association of the Philippines, Inc. (BANTAY) – a party-list group that claims to represent security guards, barangay tanods, etc. Current representative is Gen. Jovito Palparan. First nominee is Evangeline Palparan, wife of Gen. Jovito Palparan. Mrs. Palparan is a dentist in the AFP Dental Service.
27. Batang Iwas Droga (BIDA) – this was earlier assailed by watchdog Kontra Daya for being ineligible for party-list accreditation because it is a government-funded and initiated entity. Its first nominee is Sheryl Genuino-See, daughter of PAGCOR chairman Efraim Genuino. Sheryl See was also a previous nominee of Bigkis Pinoy, a partylist also affiliated with PAGCOR’s Genuino.
Other nominees of BIDA like Johhny Tan have been associated with the party-list group Bigkis Pinoy. It is not clear when See and Tan resigned from Bigkis Pinoy to become nominees of BIDA.
BIDA’s fifth nominee appears to be Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio, who is presently a nominee for the Chief Justice’s position.
28. BUHAY Partylist – a party-list group that claims to protect and support the unborn, the sick, the disabled and others not capable of protecting themselves alone through observance of their basic right to live. BUHAY Partylist has father and son Mariano Velarde, Jr. and evangelist Bro. Mike Velarde as the first and fifth nominees respectively.
Mike Velarde is not only the leader of the Catholic charismatic group El Shaddai but is also a millionaire who owns Amvel Land Development Corporation. Buhay’s other nominees include William Irwin Tieng, whose family controls Solar Sports.
29. Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations, Inc. (CONSLA) – a party-list group that claims to represent savings and loan associations and their members. The financial assets of CONSLA members is reported to be up to P60 billion, with 5,000 individual depositors who have a deposit of at least P1 million each. Nominees include former Air Force Col. Ricardo Nolasco, Jr., former Navy Rear Admiral George T. Uy, and former Col. Samuel Padilla
30. Kabalikat ng Mamamayan (KABAYAN) – a party-list group that claims to represent transport workers, farmers and fisherfolk, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, anti-crime crusaders, overseas Filipino workers, government workers, industrial workers, urban and rural poor, migrant workers and seafarers, and students, youth and professionals. Its first nominee is Palace executive Ron Salo. Salo was undersecretary under the Office of the Executive Secretary of Eduardo Ermita in 2009. Before that he was with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office.
31. Pilipino Association for Country / Urban Poor Youth Advancement and Welfare (PACYAW) – a party-list group that claims to represent urban poor youth. PACYAW is advocating sports development among the youth. Its first nominee is Department of Tourism Asst. Secretary Janet Rita B. Lazatin. She is a member of the Lakas-CMD party and hails from a prominent political clan in Pampanga. Its second nominee is businessman and former Los Angeles Consul Reynaldo Pineda, who is also based in Pampanga.
32. Philippine Coconut Producers Federation (Cocofed) – a party-list group that is comprised of both landlords and farmers as well as businessmen. Cocofed’s third nominee is Jose Lobregat, a scion of the wealthy Lobregat clan of Zamboanga who also owns a cable TV company.
33. SAGIP – Nominee includes former police general Romeo Maganto
34. Sulong Barangay Movement – a party-list group that claims to represent the marginalized, the underprivileged, the underrepresented and the less fortunate people, workers and officials of the barangays. Its first nominee is businessman and former vice-presidential candidate and Tarlac vice Governor Herminio Aquino, a grand-uncle of presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino.
35. YES WE CAN – its first nominee is Maynard Lapid, son of Senator Lito Lapid. Second nominee is Noah N. Nocon, kagawad of Brgy. San Lorenzo, Makati City.
36. Alliance of Transport Sector (ATS) – a party-list group that claims to represent the transport sector. Four of its five nominees are government officials, the first is Philippine Postal Savings Bank President and former Transportation and Communication Asst. Secretary Virgilio Montera. The rest of the nominees are Jaime Domdom, Leticia Gorospe, and Leopoldo Villarena – all officials of the DOTC’s Office of Transport Cooperatives.
37. Itinerant Vendors Alliance of the Philippines Inc. (IVAP) – a party-list group that claims to represent vendors. Its third nominee is Manggay M. Guro, mayor of Marantao, Lanao del Sur.
38. Ang Agrikultura Natin Isulong (AANI) – its first nominee is Roberto V. Rodriguez, mayor of Taytay, Palawan. The third is Jose Umadhay, an executive of the Philippine Phosphate Fertilizers Corporation (Philphos). The fifth nominee, Fiorello E. Azura, is a senior partner of the Azura Quiroz & Campos Law Offices, which represents Philphos.
39. Alagad Partylist – a party-list group that claims to represent the urban poor. Its nominees include Sergio Manzana, mayor of Pangil, Laguna.
40. Ang Mata’y Alagaan (AMA) – its third nominee is Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and former Sandiganbayan Justice Raoul Victorino.
41. Abante Katutubo, Inc. (ABANTE KA) – a party-list group that claims to represent indigenous peoples. Its first nominee is former Governor and Congressman Romulo B. Lumauig of Ifugao.
42. Agrarian Development Association (ADA) – a party-list group that claims to advocate the reduction of rural poverty through “dynamic approaches that will transform agriculture into a modern and competitive sector and ensures the sustainability of the agricultural economy.” Its third nominee is Teresita Victora Agbayani (a. k. a. Viktoria, a former singer) who is also a daughter of former Pangasinan Gov. Aguedo Agbayani.
43. Agapay ng Indigenous People’s Rights Alliance, Inc. (A-IPRA) – a party-list group that claims to represent indigenous peoples. First nominee, Eugenio Insigne, is an official with the National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP).
44. Alyansa ng mga Naulila ng mga Tagapagtanggol ng Bayan (ALNA) – a party-list group that claims to represent widows and other bereaved relatives of soldiers, policemen, security guards, and barangay tanods killed in action. Its first nominee is former PNP Diretor for Logistics Charlemagne S. Alejandrino.
45. Alyansa ng Media at Showbiz – a party-list group that supposedly represents media practitioners and the showbusiness community. Its second nominee is Dr. Manny Calayan who is a cosmetic surgeon with a chain of beauty clinics. He is joined by his wife Dr. Pie Calayan. He is not a media practitioner nor is he part of the showbusiness community.
46. Kababaihang Lingkod Bayan sa Pilipinas (KLBP) – its first nominee is Laguna Gov. Teresita Lazaro.
47. Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation (Alay Buhay) – is a foundation claiming to serve the marginalized. It is chaired by Science and Technology Undersecretary Fortunato dela Peña. The first nominee is Weslie T. Gatchalian, president of Wellex Industries Inc. The third nominee is Miguel B. Varela, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and former chairman and president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines.
48. Ang Minero – a party-list group that claims to represent workers in the mining industry. Its fourth nominee is Joel D. Muyco, general manager and director of the Vulcan Industrial Mining Corporation. He is also the vice president of Wellex Industries Inc., of which Weslie T. Gatchalian, Alay buhay’s first nominee, is president.
49. Alliance for Community Transformation and Service (ACTS) – its third nominee is Ernesto M. Maceda, Jr. son of former Senator Maceda.
Malacañang Memo on Fielding Own Party-list Groups
Bogus party-list groups supported and funded by Malacañang have been fielded since the last elections. In 2007, progressive party-list groups have exposed a memorandum of the government’s Office of External Affairs (OEA), dated October 16, 2006, informing the president of the formation of a Special Concerns Group “which shall focus in the participation” of their own grassroots and allied NGOs and people’s organizations in the 2007 congressional elections. They requested P5.5 million to cover its electoral campaign.
Their specific objectives have been to: “1) provide full support to several Comelec-accredited party-list groups that are ascertained to be pro-administration and ensure winning nine to twelve seats in the House of Representatives; 2) form a party-list bloc that will support the plans and programs of the administration and help in countering destabilization moves by the opposition as well as the left-leaning party-list groups; and, 3) contribute in the over-all campaign to substantially lower the number of votes of leftist and left-leaning party-list organizations and in the process reduce the seats of this anti-administration parties in the House of Representatives.”
Kabataan Partylist named the party-list groups included in the OEA memo that were accredited by the Comelec to run in the 2010 elections. These include Babae para sa Kaunlaran (Babae Ka or You’re a Woman), League of Youth for Peace and Advancement (LYPAD), Kalahi, Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilokano, Inc. (Agbiag), Abono, Kasangga and Aging Pinoy.
The Kabataan party-list also included other pro-administration party-list groups with already dubious linkages with the government. These included: 1Ganap/Guardian, A-Teacher, Abakada Guro (Abakada), Adhikain ng mga Dakilang Anak ng Maharlika (Adam), Aksyon Sambayanan (Aksa), Ang Laban ng Indigong Filipino (Alif), Association of the Philippine Electronic Cooperatives (Apec), Alliance for Rural Concerns (ARC), Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE), Barangay Association for National Advancement and Transparency (Banat), Bigkis Pinoy Movement (Bigkis), Butil Farmers Party-list (Butil), Cooperative Natcco Network Party (Coop-Natco), Kapatiran ng mga Nakakulong ng walang Sala (Kakusa), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Veteran’s Freedom Party (VFP) and Youth Against Corruption and Poverty (Yacap).
Adam’s first nominee is Energy Undersecreatry Zamzamin Ampatuan, nephew of Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. who is implicated in Ampatuan Massacre. Aksa on the other hand, is National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales’s party-list, an organization of opportunist “yellow” labor leaders who frequently demonized the progressive party-list groups such as Bayan Muna, said a report from CENPEG (Center for People’s Empowerment in Governance). Aksa has likewise been regarded as a phony social democratic movement allegedly affiliated with Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP).
Banat, meanwhile, is a party-list group of the government’s Liga ng mga Barangay (Village League) and Sigaw ng Bayan (Nation’s Cry). Both are supporters of Arroyo’s Charter Change. Bigkis, on the other hand, is identified with PAGCOR chairman Efraim Genuino.
Coop-Natco was supported by the Department of Agriculture in the 2007 elections and initially by the president, too. Kakusa, another party-list group, has for its chairman emeritus the convicted child rapist and former Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Romeo Jalosjos. It is supported by the Lamb of God Foundation and by the outreach program for elderly inmates reported to be established by Jalosjos.
Yacap’s current nominee, Rep. Haron Omar, is the brother-in-law of Rey Sumalipao who is one of the election officials implicated in the “Hello Garci” controversy for padding the votes of the president in 2004. (Bulatlat.com)