Members of Black and White Movement

News Release

September 28, 2012

The poll watchdog Kontra Daya today called on President Benigno Aquino III to ask his allies to back off the partylist system to avoid making a continuing mockery of a system supposedly reserved for marginalized sectors.

The group said that personalities who are not marginalized and have strong ties with the Aquino administration are seeking accreditation under the partylist system. Among them is former Cavite representative Plaridel Abaya (Abante Retirees partylist), who is also the father of current Department of Transportation and Communications secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya. Also aiming to be included in the partylist system is Jorge Banal (Alliance of Mindanao Elders), former Quezon City councillor and father of Liberal Party stalwart Bolet Banal.

A group closely identified with the Aquino government, the Black and White Movement, is also seeking accreditation before the Comelec. Its first nominee is Movie and Television Review and Classification Board member Leah Navarro, a presidential appointee. Other known members of Black and White occupy positions in the Aquino government including Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman and peace adviser Ging Deles.  Previously, BnW convenors Vicente Romano and Bertie Lim headed the Department of Tourism. Kontra Daya has described the group as being “already overrepresented” in the current Aquino government.

Until her recent announcement to run for senator, former Tarlac governor and  president’s aunt Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco was listed as the first nominee of partylist Aksyon Magsasaka- Tinig ng Masa.

“For the sake of the integrity and credibility of the partylist system, President Aquino should tell his allies who are not marginalized and are in fact well-entrenched in government, to back off from the partylist system. They should respect this small and limited concession to the poor and underrepresented in our society. Bakit ba naman pati ito, gustong angkinin ng mga mayayaman at makapangyarihan? Mahiya naman sana sila” said Kontra Daya convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.

It would be helpful to the Comelec if the president sends a message to his allies for them to stop making a mockery of the partylist system. If these groups and personalities back out, that would make Comelec’s job of cleaning the partylist system easier. If the president remains quiet, it means he is tolerating the activities of his allies” Dizon said.

Kontra Daya has submitted to the Comelec various information pertaining to partylist groups who have questionable advocacies, representation and nominees.###