Heading the pack of Arroyo allies gunning for a congressional seat via the partylist system are Pampanga representative Mikey Arroyo of Ang Galing Pinoy and recently resigned energy secretary Angelo Reyes who was nominated by transport group 1-Utak.
Other groups believed to be associated with Arroyo are PACYAW which counts as its nominees Tourism Asst. Secretary Janet Lazatin and businessman Reynaldo Pineda, both allies of Arroyo from Pampanga. APO partylist has former Ilocos congressman Salacnib Baterina as its first nominee.
Ang Kasangga’s new first nominee is businessman Teodorico T. Haresco who, as one website says, “is primarily known for his involvement in the President’s Bridge Program, a sustained infrastructure and fast-track rural development project spanning over 14 years.” In December 2005, British newspaper The Guardian ran an article about a British firm “accused of making excessive profits in an aid project, by building what their critics call bridges to nowhere”. The Guardian cited Haresco, of the President’s Bridges Program, as the Philippine contact of the British firm.
The Association of Labor and Employees (ALE) has Pampanga provincial board member, businesswoman and known Arroyo ally Catalina Bagasina as its first nominee.
The Abono partylist has Robert Raymund Estrella and Franciso Ortega III, who hail from the prominent Estrella and Ortega political clans allied with the administration. Aangat Tayo’s nominee, Rep. Daryl Grace Abayon is the wife of Rep. Harlin Castillo Abayon (Lakas) of Northern Samar.
Partylist group KABAYAN has Palace exec Ron Salo as first nominee. Salo was undersecretary under the Office of the Executive Secretary of Eduardo Ermita in 2009 Salo was with the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office before moving to the OES.
The list of Arroyo allies running for partylist is not limited to the ones cited above. We need to do more research to expose these people.
All in the family
From the latest submission of nominees, Bayan noticed that there were those belonging to the same family who are running in one or two partylist groups.
Partylist group Batang Iwas Droga has Sheryl Genuino-See as its first nominee. Her husband, Gerwyn See is the first nominee of partylist group Abot Tanaw. BIDA was earlier assailed by watchdog Kontra Daya for being ineligible for partylist accreditation because it is a government funded and initiated entity.
In its website, BIDA says it is the brainchild of PAGCOR chair Efraim Genuino. BIDA’s first nominee is the daughter of Genuino. Sheryl See was also a previous nominee of Bigkis Pinoy, a partylist also affiliated with PAGCOR’s Genuino.
Abot Tanaw second nominee Mario Cornista is actually the chairman of the board of directors of BIDA, according to their SEC registration, yet he is running under a different partylist group. BIDA, Abot Tanaw and Bigkis Pinoy all have one thing in common, the PAGCOR connection and Genuino.
Kontra Daya is preparing to file a disqualification case against BIDA for violating the guidelines set by the Supreme Court in its ruling in Bagong Bayani vs Comelec that expressly prohibits government-funded entities from becoming partylist groups. BIDA’s accreditation, despite being a government project, was done by the Comelec Second Division of Nicodemo Ferrer.
Meanwhile, Bagong Henerasyon (BH) partylist has husband and wife as its first two nominees. Former Quezon City councilor Bernadette Herrara-Dy and her husband businessman Edgar Allan D. Dy are the first two nominees.
BUHAY partylist has father and son Mariano Velarde , Jr. and evangelist Bro. Mike Velarde as the first and fifth nominees respectively. ANAD partylist has Pastor Alcover, Jr. and Pastor Alcover II as the first and third nominees respectively.
The Alliance of Bicolnon Party has father and son tandem of architects Enrique Olonan and Henry Steve Olonan. ABROAD partylist lists as its first two nominees Danilo Magsino Dy, Angela C. Dy .
While there may be nothing in the law which prohibits members of the same family from being nominees of the same partylist group, it does seem strange that a system claiming to distribute power to the powerless ends up concentrating power the hands of a few.
ANAK partylist, which claims to represent the urban poor, has former Police Senior Superintendent Eduardo Octaviano, Jr. and infamous “euro-general” Eliseo dela Paz as the first two nominees.
APOI partylist has Maj. Gen. Melchor Rosales the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense and current DILG exec.
ARARO’s nominee is former PNP Regional 3 chief PC/Supt Quirino dela Torre. Many have pointed out the irony that it was during his stint as police chief that the Hacienda Luisita massacre happened.
National Security adviser Chavit Singson’s brother, Jose Singson, Jr, is also running as the second nominee of 1st Kabagis partylist.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are still many more.