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PHILIPPINES - Deny the "Arroyo 5"

by Akbayan (Citizens Action Party) Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 at 12:30 AM

Akbayan party-list launches campaign to deny the premier political family power in the 2010 elections

philippines-anti-arroyo-protest.jpg, image/jpeg, 800x600

"Blood is thicker than water." This is the statement issued today by Akbayan party-list during the launch of the "Deny the Five Campaign, a drive to stop five members of the Arroyo family including Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) from winning legislative seats in the May 2010 elections.

Blood Politics

In a press conference in Quezon City, Akbayan said the campaign aims to repel Mrs. Arroyo and her family's intent of securing their interests in congress by populating the government body with clan members together with its cabal of trapo loyalists. The group said GMA plans to command an alternative power center from congress by exercising patronage and blood politics.

"The Arroyos' undertaking though legally permissible is appalling as it highlights the unappeasable hunger of the Arroyo family for political power while bringing to new heights the concept of political dynasties. With this latest caper, decency and propriety or whatever is left of it are completely petered out from our political process, leaving only raw and unadulterated impunity," Akbayan Chairperson Emeritus Loretta Ann Rosales said.

The group said Mrs. Arroyo, her son Diosdado Arroyo, her brother-in-law Ignacio Arroyo, and her sister-in-law Ma. Lourdes Arroyo are running as representatives of the following, respectively: 2nd district of Pampanga, 1st district of Camarines Sur, 5th District of Negros Occidental, and Ang Kasangga Party-list. Recently, it was reported that Mikey Arroyo, incumbent representative of the 2nd district of Pampanga, is planning as a party-list representative.

Party-list System

Rosales who is also a three-time former Akbayan part-list representative derided the Pampanga Representative's bid to become a party-list lawmaker.

"What marginalized group will Mikey end up representing? The party-list system intends to provide space for the representation of marginalized groups that would otherwise have no opportunity to win in traditional politics that dominates the district representation race. It is not a space for trapos, much less the first family, to use as an alternative route to Congress," Rosales said.

Rosales said the young Arroyo's entry in the party-list race is highly questionable. "This perpetuates the bastardization of the party-list system. The administration has already succeeded in claiming representation with Marilou Arroyo, now, an up and coming trapo like Mikey will break into the system with a party-list of his own choosing," Rosales asserted.

Dubious Party-list Groups

Rosales said many of the accredited party list organizations for the 2010 race are the same as those which their group challenged as administration-fielded bogus groups in the 2007 midterm elections.

In 2007, Akbayan launched the Bare the List campaign against accredited party-list groups suspected of being fronts of Malacanang. A still-operational campaign blog found at was mounted in 2007 identifying the pseudo party-list groups. The list includes COMELEC accredited groups for the 2010 polls and controversial incumbent groups such as Bantay which is represented by the military general infamous for allegedly masterminding extrajudicial killings, respectively.

Legislative Political Fortress

Meanwhile, University of the Philippines College of Law Professor Ibarra Gutierrez III said the legislative branch of the government is an attractive political fortress for the Arroyo family.

"Let us remember, many of Mrs. Arroyo's political debacles came from the legislature. Thus, one efficient way of hurdling all of these is by sacking Congress," Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez also said Mrs. Arroyo could make use the powers of the legislature to punish a new, yet unfriendly administration.

"Let us remember, congress has the exclusive authority to initiate an impeachment complaint against an incumbent President. It has relative control of the budget. It can also initiate congressional inquiries or even has the power to declare state of war or state of emergency. These things are enough to destabilize a new government," Gutierrez asserted.

Family Business

For her part, Akbayan Vice President Marichris Cabreros said the Arroyo five's bid in the legislature is disheartening. She said this is especially true as the country is currently celebrating the 24th anniversary of the first people power uprising.

"After twenty four years, the very things we rebelled against are back in full force," Cabreros said.

Cabreros enjoined the Filipino youth to mount a "new Edsa", this time by exercising not only their right to suffrage but also to exercise their right to campaign against those that make a mockery of elections and the country's democratic processes.

"Almost a decade of Mrs. Arroyo's reign has left the youth a future with no promise. With her closest relatives in congress, running the country will seem like a tightly-knit family business. That is too much. This must stop," Cabreros said.

The group said the Deny the Five Campaign would use multiple arenas to campaign against the Arroyos. It includes voters' education, internet activism targeting social networking sites, a people-oriented shame campaign and a party-list watch out to expose bogus party-list groups.


Arroyos, Reyes and other party-list intruders to face disqualification cases from genuine party-list groups

By Partido ng Manggagawa (Worker's Party)

25 February 2010

The labor party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) today said Mikey Arroyo, energy secretary Angelo Reyes and other party-list intruders will face tons of disqualification cases before the courts once their names appear in the list of party-list nominees after the March 26 deadline.

The group said the template is ready for such cases since unlike before, the latest Supreme Court ruling on the party-list matter made it mandatory to publish the names of party-list nominees.

“Surely the list shall bare the Empress and her men’s new party-list clothes,” said PM Chair Renato Magtubo.

Reyes is reportedly one of the nominees of the party-list group 1-UTAK, while Mikey is preparing to make a ride on at least five party-list groups who are eyeing him as nominee. The Office of External Affairs of Malacanang and the administration party reportedly have organized several groups either as sectoral or regional parties to compete in the party-list system

PM on the other hand is preparing a watch-list of groups and persons identified with Malacanang to warn the public of the President’s impending take-over of the House of Representatives.

The group insists that these bogus party-list groups are mere part of the bigger plot to extend the regime of plunder and failed governance.

PM said Mikey Arroyo and Angie Reyes, aside from being patently not marginalized, are examples of failed governance specifically in the power industry with the people still reeling from the most expensive power rates in the world and facing yet another power crisis in the near future. Arroyo chairs the energy committee in the House while Reyes heads the DOE.

Further, as a union leader and former party-list representative, Magtubo said the mockery of the party-list system by the same persons who benefited much from the people power uprisings is one of the biggest absurdities of this post-Edsa democracy that the country is celebrating today.

“The 1987 Constitution gave us, the real marginalized sectors, token representation of 20% in Congress. Not only were the elite powers made it hard for the real majority like us to be represented in Congress. Now the Arroyo clique even craves to raid the two-cents that the marginalized hardly ever had,” added Magtubo.

The group claims that the raiding of the party-list system by the Arroyo clique started in 2004 with the entry of palace-back party-list groups and became very pronounced in 2007 with an Arroyo having been elected representative of the party-list group Kasangga.


The Arroyos are bastardizing the party-list system

By Akbayan (Citizens Action Party)

The Arroyos are bastardizing the party-list system in order to keep themselves in power.

"This is not surprising at all," said Akbayan nominee Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao regarding the admission of current Pampanga District 2 representative Mikey Arroyo that he is being asked to represent a party-list in the coming May elections.

“If the Arroyos, particularly GMA can tarnish the sanctity of the elections in what is now known as the Garci controversy, then it is not surprising that the Arroyos can do this as well,” noted Bag-ao.

Bag-ao explained that the entry of Mikey in the Lower House via a party-list nomination will mean another vote for GMA, who is gearing to gain the speakership of the house.

“The Arroyos and their cohorts are paving the way for GMA to gain the speakership of the house,” added Bag-ao.

In 2007, the Akbayan party-list successfully led the action in asking the Supreme Court to compel the Commission on Elections to void its Resolution 07-0724. The resolution stops party-lists groups to name their nominees.

As a result of this action, several personalities backing GMA then were found to be the nominees of questionable party-list groups, including former Gen. Jovite Palparan, who is being suspected as the mind behind the summary killings of several activists.

In the May elections, several members of the GMA’s official family, including Eduardo Ermita and Agnes Devanadera, are running for congressional seats.

Former secretary Jocjoc Bolante, who hogged the headlines because of the fertilizer scam, is also running for a seat in Congress.

If Mikey succeeded in gaining a seat in Congress, he could be the fifth Arroyo in the lower house, including GMA, brother Iggy, uncle Ignacio Arroyo and Kasangga party-list representative Maria Lourdes Tuason Arroyo-Lesaca.

Add to these that Lakas-Kampi-CMD have at least 170- congressional district candidates, who will most definitely support GMA.

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