Group questions party list nominees close to Aquino

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MANILA, Sept. 28, 2012— A multisectoral poll watchdog on Friday called on President Benigno Aquino III to ask his allies to back off the party list system as respect for the marginalized sector.

Convenors of the Kontra Daya, composed of the clergy, teachers, information technology experts, and activists said Aquino need to do it to avoid mockery of a system for underrepresented sectors.

“It would be helpful to the Comelec (Commission on Elections) if the president sends a message to his allies for them to stop making a mockery of the partylist system,” said Kontra Daya convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.

“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,” he said.

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, the group identified former Cavite Rep. Plaridel Abaya, father of Transportations and Communications Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya, of Abante Retirees partylist.

Also aiming to be included in the partylist system is Alliance of Mindanao Elders’ Jorge Banal, former Quezon City councilor 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 Commission on Elections with its first nominee Leah Navarro.

Navarro is currently a board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

Other known members of Black and White occupy positions in the Aquino government including presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Social Welfare and Development Sec. 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 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,” said Dizon.

“They should respect this small and limited concession to the poor and underrepresented in our society,” he added.

Kontra Daya has submitted to the Comelec various information pertaining to partylist groups who have questionable advocacies, representation and nominees. [RL/CBCPNews]


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