7 out of every 10 Partylist groups hijacked by Political Clans, Big Businesses, State Interests
The country’s party-list system continues to be hijacked by the rich and powerful. Around 70 percent of party-list groups are being used as a backdoor to further entrench their political and economic interests.
Kontra Daya has flagged at least 120 out of 177 party-list groups for being identified with political clans and big businesses, as well as for having incumbent local officials, connections with the government and military, unknown or unclear advocacies and representations; and pending court cases and criminal charges (including being implicated in pork barrel scams).
In the 2019 party-list elections, at least 62 out of 134 party-list groups were flagged which represent almost 50 percent. For this election cycle, the 120 party-list groups flagged out of 177 represent almost 70 percent.
As in the past election cycles, Kontra Daya’s team of researchers analyzed the profiles of the 177 party-list groups, focusing on their declared advocacies, track record in public service and background of their party-list nominees.
There are at least 44 party-list groups controlled by political clans and at least 21 have connections with big business. On the other hand, at least 34 were found to have unknown or unclear advocacies and representations; at least 32 have connections with the government or military; at least 26 have incumbent local officials running as party-list nominees; and at least 19 have pending court cases or criminal charges.
Under the six categories (i.e., political clans, big businesses, unknown or unclear advocacies and representations, government/military connections, incumbent local officials as party-list nominees, pending cases), there were party-list groups flagged not just once but thrice. Some examples of thrice-flagged party-list groups may be found below.
As regards ACT-CIS that topped the 2019 party-list race, its first nominee Edvic G. Yap, together with incumbent ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap, was included in Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s expose in 2017 about the web of corruption at the Bureau of Customs under Nicanor Faeldon’s leadership. The second nominee Jocelyn P. Tulfo is the wife of Raffy Tulfo, an incumbent ACT-CIS party-list representative. Fourth nominee Erwin T. Tulfo is a brother of former Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo who resigned as tourism secretary amid the questionable payment of P60 million for ad placements on the show of brothers Erwin and Ben.
Wow Pilipinas’ first nominee Genevive L. Reyes is vice mayor of Caluya, Antique who was indicted for graft and violation of the Coconut Preservation Act in April 2018. Its second nominee Peter Paul P. Dy, Jr. is national president of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers, managing director of PLD Construction and Development, Inc., president of Mandy Hotmix, Inc., and CEO of Power Frame Development Corporation. He also sits on the board of directors of MAPS Construction, APSI Asphalt Batching Plant Supply, and Mandaue City Green Building Management.
4Ps has as its first nominee Marcelino C. Libanan, a former member of the House of Representatives (representing Eastern Samar) and a former immigration commissioner during the Macapagal-Arroyo administration. He was accused of violating Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) in connection with the purchase of 2,164 bags of fertilizer amounting to P3.25 million from Akame Marketing International in April 2004. The fifth nominee is Jonathan Clement M. Abalos II, son of Jonathan Abalos who is a brother of former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Benhur Abalos.
BHW’s first nominee is Angelica Natasha A. Co, incumbent party-list representative and daughter of former Ako Bicol Rep. Christopher Co. The second nominee is Martin Aber E. Sicat, a shareholder of Aremar Construction Corp. who was under investigation for allegedly receiving P81.1 million in kickbacks as part of bid-rigging schemes.
IPEACEEPANAW is essentially a government’s red-tagging mechanism even if it claims to promote the rights of indigenous peoples. Its first nominee Atty. Reuben Dasay A. Lingating is former chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and head of Indigenous Peoples Peace Panel in 2017. Its second nominee Atty. Marlon Bosantog used to be director of the NCIP’s legal affairs office and spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). He was declared persona non grata by more than 100 elders and leaders in the Apayao province mainly for red-tagging indigenous people’s organizations and leaders as communist fronts in the Cordillera. Its fourth nominee Ramcy C. Astroveza served as NCIP commissioner while its fifth nominee Engwan S. Ala, Hawudon Datu and municipal chieftain of an indigenous people’s tribe in Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as persona non grata in Surigao del Sur.
Duterte Youth’s second nominee is Ralph Raymon T. Preza (also known as RR Preza) is a relative of father and son Tiaong Mayor Ramon Abad Preza and Councilor Amboy Preza. In the 2019 election cycle, the party-list group became controversial for misrepresenting the youth; misusing and abusing government resources; and engaging in red-tagging. As regards red-tagging, two other party-list groups list as nominees those who are identified with the NTF-ELCAC. These are MOCHA whose first and second nominees are Esther Margaux “Mocha” J. Uson and Michele Theresa I. Gumabao, respectively; and Abante Sambayanan whose first nominee is Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz.
Kontra Daya calls on journalists and fact-checkers to investigate whether there are party-list groups funded or supported by the government, as was the case of Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD) which was disqualified in 2001 for not representing any marginalized sector. Instead, it was a vehicle for the Philippine National Police (PNP) in its fight against illegal drugs.
As regards the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), it should explain why it continues to allow dubious groups to hijack the party-list system, depriving marginalized groups from having a voice at the House of Representatives (HOR).#
- Kontra Daya denounces red-tagging spree
- FACT-CHECK: May 9, 2022 polls marred by fraud, irregularities
- REPORT: Cotabato City police tear unused ballots
- Machine errors, illegal campaigning remain widespread; VCM breakdowns prove AES a failure
- STATEMENT: COMELEC refusal to extend voting hours unacceptable
- Kontra Daya’s end-of-day report on the conduct of the May 9 elections
- More systematic red-tagging reported during election day
- Kontra Daya report as of 6:30pm May 9, 2022
- Extend Voting Hours
- REPORT: VCM breakdown in 2022 polls much worse compared to previous ones
- Numbers reported by Kontra Daya volunteers as of 4:00 PM, May 09, 2022
- REPORT: Machine errors, disenfranchisement widespread in monitored cases in Southern Tagalog
- Kontra Daya’s initial assessment of the conduct of the May 9 elections
- Kontra Daya calls on COMELEC to investigate AFP for text blasts to voters
- FACT-CHECK: Election officials can feed ballots into VCMs under certain circumstances but voters should assert their rights
- Machine breakdowns continue to plague election day
Illustrating the party-list system (explanatory and infographic series)
- Part 1 | Party-list (mis)representatives (https://www.bulatlat.com/2019/05/07/party-list-misrepresentatives/);
- Part 2 | Party-list groups: Family enterprise (https://www.bulatlat.com/2019/05/07/party-list-groups-family-enterprise/); and
- Part 3 | Business league: Congress of the elite (https://www.bulatlat.com/2019/05/07/business-league-congress-of-the-elite/).
- How representative are the PL reps? https://infogram.com/treemap-chart-1hnq41ykxvye43z?live
- Legislative productivity: https://infogram.com/legislative-productivity-1h0n25089qoe4pe?live
- Political dynasty map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1_Blaaj_R0I0bPgwm-zzpizXZuGqV39Or&ll=12.417724577429091%2C120.19328583426363&z=5
- Party-list representatives with business interests: https://infogram.com/ocean-sand-1hnq41ykxxp943z?live&fbclid=IwAR1KN_P0icZYakj8mEVZvr8DN2nc-neyrHFYX71ZTQa53CL0VLI8lRdYW3Q
- Political clans and multi-millionaire party-list representatives: https://infogram.com/15-17th-congress-net-worth-1hxj48qk99o74vg?fbclid=IwAR29ZNyQQxASOTTSf46f-7f1xdxvCQY-kS60qujC7SzZqSBgUMkc68QEl5Y
- Richest party-list representatives of the 17th Congress: https://infogram.com/richest-party-list-representatives-of-the-17th-congress-1h8j4xww75jd2mv
- Party-list representatives’ allocations for bogus foundations, suppliers: https://infogram.com/party-list-representatives-allocations-for-bogus-foundations-suppliers-1h706eyynpw545y