Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lawmaker appeals to other party-lists to not sacrifice the interest of their constituencies in exchange for Malacanang backing

Wednesday February 14, 2007

Lawmaker appeals to other party-lists to not sacrifice the interest of their constituencies in exchange for Malacanang backing

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that in the flurry of the beginning of the election season, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have also begun their campaign against the bloc of progressive party-lists and harass and intimidate members and sympathizers participating in the campaign activities and sorties. Beltran said that all throughout the day yesterday when Anakpawis and its sister party-lists conducted a motorcade all over Manila and Quezon City, they were followed by elements of the PNP and their civilian operatives who took pictures of the participants with their digicams.

"While the mainstream and big-time politicians especially those allied with the Macapagal-Arroyo government are having a field day campaigning, the bloc of progressive partylists are being subjected to harassment tactics. The party-lists allied with Malacanang are without doubt not having the same problems that we are. They are being backed by the administration and also have the goal of defeating their more progressive counterparts who vigilantly oppose Malacanang's anti-poor and anti-people bills in congress," he said.

According to Comelec reports, a total of 153 organizations have expressed their desire to gain seats in Congress on May 14 – twice the number in the 2004 elections. Out of the 153 that want party-list representation in the House of Representatives, 44 have so far been accredited.

"How many of these party-lists are allied or even directly funded by the administration? There are even reports that some party-lists are being utilized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), serving as mouthpieces for the military in the regions and provinces where they are campaigning," he said.

Beltran cited an AFP operations report titled SPECIAL SOT PROJECT: COUNTER PARTY-LIST AT THE BARANGAY COUNCIL (12 MONTHS IMPLEMENTATION) "Developing A Better Community Leadership To Address The Grassroot Problems At The Barangay Level" -AFP Onward To Political Warfare Arena(LTC Yogyog-NIWG1). In it, it was was stated that when linked nationwide, 'AFP friendly Party-Lists like the ANAD, VFP & AKAP will have better chances to win a seat in Congress to work for the benefits of the security sector and their dependents."

"It's also most unfortunate that there are party-lists who allow themselves to be used by Malacanang and support its programs and policies regardless of how these same policies go against the welfare and interest of their respective constituencies," he said. "Party-lists should instead unite to push for the passage and legislation of measures that will give higher wages, job security and wider access to social services for the marginalized sectors, as well as measures that protect the civil, democratic and human rights of the poorer sections of society. These are the very same measures that Malacanang will not allow to be passed into law."#


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