Bayan Muna vows to block party-list bids of Mikey, Reyes
By Jess Diaz
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – The militant group Bayan Muna will block the plans of presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes to represent party-list groups in the House of Representatives.
Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño said his group would file disqualification cases with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the moment the deadline for the submission of nominees for party-list seats lapses later next month.
He said the plan of certain Comelec-accredited groups to nominate Rep. Arroyo and Reyes “is a desecration of the party-list system, through which marginal groups in society are to be represented in the legislature.”
Rep. Satur Ocampo, also of Bayan Muna, said the Comelec would make a mockery of the party-list system if it accepts the two as party-list nominees.
“In all honesty, can Mikey Arroyo and Angelo Reyes proclaim themselves as representing the marginalized sectors?” he said.
The third Bayan Muna representative, lawyer Neri Colmenares, said Arroyo is disqualified from representing the group that intends to nominate him, since the law requires that a nominee “must be a member of the party or organization he seeks to represent for at least 90 days before the election.”
Colmenares said Arroyo, in an interview last Feb. 15, told the media that he has not chosen the group he would represent.
“This means that there is no way he can meet the membership requirement,” he said.
He warned any group that nominates the President’s son that it would be facing criminal charges for falsification of a public document if it fakes Arroyo’s membership in it or antedates it.
The group United Transport Koalisyon (1-Utak) has confirmed that it is submitting Reyes’ name as its first nominee in place of its present representative, Vigor Mendoza.
Mendoza in turn would be its second nominee, followed by Homer Mercado, president of the Provincial Bus Operators of the Philippines.
The transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) said it would block Reyes’ nomination.
Arroyo, on the other hand, would be nominated by Ang Galing Party (AGP), according to Mayor Buddy Dungca of Bacolor town.
Dungca said AGP represents “underprivileged sectors like transport drivers and security guards.”
If they all win on May 10, there will be five Arroyos in the House: the President, her son Mikey, her other son Diosdado or Dato, her brother-in-law Jose Ignacio or Iggy, and her sister-in-law Lourdes Tuazon Arroyo-Lesaca.
Dato is running for representative of the newly created second district of Camarines Sur, while Iggy is seeking his third and last term in Negros Occidental’s fifth district.
Arroyo-Lesaca is incumbent representative of Ang Kasangga, which claims to represent small entrepreneurs.
An incumbent party-list representative, who did not want to be named, blamed the Comelec and the Supreme Court for “bastardizing” the party-list system.
“They have the power to limit representation to groups that are truly marginalized and underrepresented in the legislature, but failed to exercise it prudently,” he said.
“Any group claiming to be marginal even if they are not or even if they are residents of Forbes Park in Makati can now be represented in the House,” he said.