News Release

October 28, 2012

The poll watchdog Kontra Daya today called on the public the exercise heightened vigilance as the Commission on Elections is set to release the final list of accredited party-lists next week. Several incumbent partylist groups have already been disqualified by the Comelec during the past weeks, including Ako Bikol, APEC, 1CARE, Bantay, Kakusa and others.

“There are still many more questionable and unqualified groups that remain in the party-list system. A thorough cleansing is necessary. There are still those partylist groups made up of the rich and powerful, of relatives from a political clan, of nominees who do not belong to any marginalized sector,” said Kontra Daya convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.

“Some groups are out to make a mockery of the partylist system such as Ang Mata’y Aalagaan, made up of the family members of Supreme Court justice Presbiterio Velasco. Same goes for Bagong Henerasyon (BH) led by Quezon City councillor Bernadette Herrera-Dy and her husband, where the initials of the partylist group is even the same as the nominee,” Dizon said.

A major concern of Kontra Daya is the participation of non-marginalized groups with strong ties to Malacanang. Included here are Akbayan and the Black and White Movement, both of whom have members who are now top officials of the Aquino government.

“Comelec should stand firm on its decision to clean the partylist system. If they do their job, they will get the overwhelming support of the people. If they cave in to the pressures coming from Malacanang, then this will severely affect their credibility. Comelec must see this process through to its logical conclusion,” Dizon said.

Kontra Daya also called on Malacanang to stop defending partylist groups whose qualifications are being questioned.

“Malacanang should not interfere in this process. When Lacierda makes a statement in defense of a partylist group, that can be construed as a signal to the Comelec. There could be pressure being brought to bear on the Comelec. At the very least, comments by the President himself are just improper,” Dizon said.

“We hope Malacanang will not pressure its appointees to vote to uphold Aquino’s favored partylist groups,” he added. ###

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