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MANILA, Philippines - While in the process of cleaning the list of partylist groups for the 2013 polls, an election watchdog calls on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to also look at groups with strong ties to Malacañang.
In a statement on Sunday, October 28, the group Kontra Daya said that this call is part of the vigilance that should be exercised, especially that the final list of partylist groups will be released next week.
Kontra Daya said that the groups Akbayan and the Black and White Movement -- both have members who are now top officials of the Aquino government -- should also be disqualified.
“Comelec should stand firm on its decision to clean the partylist system. If they do their job, they will get the overwhelming support of the people. If they cave in to the pressures coming from Malacanang, then this will severely affect their credibility. Comelec must see this process through to its logical conclusion,” group convenor Fr. Joe Dizon.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda earlier has defended Akbayan and Black and White Movement from parties that wish for their disqualification.
“Malacañang should not interfere in this process. When Lacierda makes a statement in defense of a partylist group, that can be construed as a signal to the Comelec. There could be pressure being brought to bear on the Comelec.” Dizon said.
Aside from these two groups, Kontra Daya claims that there are still many more questionable and unqualified groups that remain in the list. "A thorough cleansing is necessary. There are still those partylist groups made up of the rich and powerful, of relatives from a political clan, of nominees who do not belong to any marginalized sector,” Dizon said.
The group has earlier released a report that list the partylist groups that "make a mockery of the partylist system".
The poll body has already disqualified various groups from joining the 2013 elections, among them Ako Bikol, APEC, 1-CARE, Bantay, and Kakusa which are all incumbent partylist groups. - Rappler.com
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