Akbayan prods Comelec to disqualify Mikey
By Jess Diaz
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – The party-list group Akbayan prodded the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday to disqualify presidential son Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo as a party-list nominee.
In a statement, Akbayan said the Comelec should enforce its Resolution 8807 containing its rules on the disqualification of party-list nominees by disqualifying Arroyo.
The group said Mikey failed to comply with the resolution, which requires a nominee to submit proof that he truly adheres to the advocacies of the organization he seeks to represent.
Under the resolution, such proof can include “prior declarations, speeches, written articles, and such other positive actions on the part of the nominee showing his or her adherence to the advocacies” of his or her party-list group.
Arroyo is the first nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP). He has given way to his mother, President Arroyo, who is seeking his seat as representative of Pampanga’s second district.
AGP’s second nominee is outgoing Mayor Dennis Pineda of Lubao, Mrs. Arroyo’s hometown. Pineda is the son of suspected jueteng lord Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda and gubernatorial candidate Lilia Pineda, a kumadre of Mrs. Arroyo.
The group’s third nominee is another town mayor in the second district, where it is obviously based. AGP claims to represent security guards and tricycle drivers.
Last April 6, Akbayan wrote the Comelec law department to request for copies of all documents AGP and its nominees have submitted in compliance with Resolution 8807.
However, on the same day, law department chief Ferdinand Rafanan responded that his office “cannot give said documents since Ang Galing Pinoy has not submitted any as required under Section 6 (a) to 6 (d) of Comelec Resolution No. 8807.”
In the wake of such non-compliance, Akbayan said the Comelec has no option but to disqualify Mikey and other AGP nominees.
It said it is not aware of any speech or written article the President’s son has made in support of security guards and tricycle drivers.
The Comelec has held one hearing on the disqualification case against Arroyo. During the hearing, the President’s son’s lawyer said the poll body does not possess the power to disqualify his client.
Aside from Arroyo, Akbayan is also seeking the disqualification of former Energy secretary Angelo Reyes as a nominee of the party-list group 1-Utak, which claims to be composed of transport operators and drivers.
Comelec denies accreditation
Meanwhile, the Comelec has disqualified 32 party-list organizations but their names were still included in the ballot due to their pending motion for reconsideration.
“The Commission has denied their application for accreditation, but they went to the Supreme Court to appeal our ruling, so their names were still included in the ballot,” Comelec Chairman Jose Melo explained.
“We are not saying that you should not vote for these 32 groups, but we are not going to tally the votes cast in their favor,” Melo added.
The Comelec did not accredit the 32 party-list groups due to lack of track record or because they do not have record of advocacy for the groups they are representing.
One or two of them were also not marginalized groups, according to the Comelec. – Mayen Jaymalin