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Questionable "OFW" Party List?

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Ahon Pinoy offers better life for migrant workers, in a Manila Times article caught my attention sent by Leila Rispens-Noel of the Netherlands one of the lead initiator of the recent Migrant manifesto for Issue-based Electoral Contest.

Isn’t that amazing a party list that will not just “represent” but “uplift” the life of migrant workers is like heaven sent, oh please someone wake me up. Is this for real? Well, I think the headline should have been with a question mark. Oh oh…. Here I go again getting jaded and really can’t believe that maybe it is possible that there are groups and individuals who really care for the milking cows errrr modern day heroes.

I searched the internet and found this on Votester site:

Ahon Pinoy is a confederation of different community-based mothers’ clubs which aims to address the concerns of women.

Now what in the name of kurdapya is that all about? And all the while this party list is supposedly the champion and messiah of OFWs. What the heck unless OFWs en masse will opt for sex change then this is the right party to join? Recent studies have shown a trend in the feminization of migrant workers wherein 70% of contract workers are women. If that is the case then how can they represent the OFW should it not be a confederation of lonely fathers left by their wife to be an OFW? Ok, it must be an error on the part of the webmaster of that site, so I went to their forum and found this from a Haruna guy, gay, gal whatever I am getting so confused now lol:

Kaming mga kababayan ninyo sa abroad ay umaasang magagawa ninyo ang inyong mga layunin kung sakali mang kayo ay maluklok na sa pwesto. Baka naman katulad din kayo ng iba diyan na kapag naka-pwesto na ay di na makausap at puro pakikipag-sosyalan na lang ang inaatupag o kaya ay puro publicity na lamang ang mangyari. Sawang-sawa na po kami! (Overseas Filipinos who are out of the country hopes that you can perform your objectives when you get elected into office. Hopefully you will not be like those who can’t be approached, too preoccupied with social functions and publicity gimmicks achieving nothing. We are fed up!)

Well, guess what I empathize with you Haruna, you are not alone in thinking along that line.

This early they found an adversary in Etta Rosales who is challenging their accreditation before the COMELEC (yes, the one that oversaw the last garcified election struggling to regain their credibility that is if they still have any after that episode). Ok so for those of you OFWs who have not opted for sex change this may not be a party for you but if you are curious (yeah it’s ok) go ahead and read on.

Ang had this to say on Etta Rosales’, “I find insulting the statement of Congresswoman Rosales insinuating that it was if my father was the one running. We are different persons and he [Chairman Ang] respects my views,” he said.

Ang challenged Rosales to raise the level of the campaign. “Let’s talk about issues, not about personalities,” he said.

He feels insulted he says, well whoever should feel insulted here are non other than the OFW themselves. Excuse me but is this not like telling OFWs that they are too dumb to represent themselves that they need the son of a presidential appointee to represent them?

Nak’s looks like we will have a high level campaign here, don’t go there Ms. Rosales lol, listen to the guy and talk about “issues”. Oh helloooo knock knock anyone home? The issue being raised is clear, I don’t know about this guy but he seems to not understand that his father Dante Ang, is the Chairman of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, a cabinet position that deals with OFWs. Talk about conflict of interest, ethics and delicadeza, say no more but there’s more according to Etta Rosales.

Not only are they backed by his daddy they are also headed by Director Nicon Fameronag of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Information and Publication Service (IPS). Yikes and he insist on not delving on personality, tsk tsk tsk excuse me but by forming a party list connected with the office of the Lady by the Pasig River you have become the issue, ambot sa imo da (I don’t know about you).

We have a problem here and I hope OFWs realize the implication of these events in relation to the proper representation of the sector. Sad to see that recent survey by SWS indicates a troubling scenario if elections were held today which I quote:

More than half of Filipino registered voters or 57 percent would vote for a party-list group if elections were held today, the independent pollster reported yesterday.

Other groups with three seats are Gabriela Women’s Party (6.4%), Akbayan! Citizen’s Action Party (7%) and Anakpawis (8%).

Nine groups would be able to send one representative each to the House of Representatives: Citizens Battle Against Corruption (2.2%), Ahon Pinoy (2.2%), Kabataan (2.3%), Alyansa ng Sambayanan para sa Pagbabago (2.4%), Anak Mindanao (2.4%), Anak Mahirap Learning Center Inc. (2.6%), Angat Ating Kabuhayan (2.7%), Angat Antas Kabuhayan Pilipino Movement (2.8%), and Aangat Tayo (3.6%).

Yes, if comelec acts favorably to Etta’s challenges then we are in good shape, so let us see what the outcome is or better yet why not bug the comelec about this so they know Overseas Filipinos are watching.

Etta Rosales is not just picking on Ahon Pinoy she is questioning a total of eleven (11) party lists that she fears are Malacanang’s “front” to prevent any future impeachment trying desperately to assure her majority mob errr party to quell those “impertinent” representatives vent on uncheating errr unseating her.

Questionable Newly Accredited Party-list Organizations listed by Akbayan

Sigaw ng Bayan Groups

Babae Ka! - Sigaw ng Bayan Member (Pro Peoples Initiative group). The group has links with Malacanang’s Office of External Affairs (OEA). In the recent SWS survey, it has a threshold rating of 1.5 %

Ang Kasangga- Has links with the Office of External Affairs (OEA) of Malacanang, the government office behind Sigaw ng Bayan. It is also associated with the Beta Sigma Fraternity. Its president is FORMER Assemblyman Jose Tumbokon. He started his career as messenger, rose through the ranks and served as chief of office before he became assemblyman and presidential adviser. He was appointed minister of state of information and official spokesperson of the Interim Batasan Pambansa and the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan during the Marcos regime.

Akbay Pinoy- Its Chairman is Bong Guro. This group is also a member of Sigaw ng Bayan. It was legally charged by Makati residents together with Sigaw ng Bayan for manufacturing signatures for the GMA administration’s People’s Initiative.

AKSA- Aksyon Sambayanan (AkSa) is a phony social democratic movement affiliated with the government ally Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP). Norberto Gonzales and its Secretary General Beth Angsioco head it.

Initiated by government officials or traditional politicians

KAKUSA - Its Chairman Emeritus is convicted child rapist and former Zamboanga del Norte Representative Romeo Jalosjos. It is represented by its national president, R. Dodong Canonigo. The Lamb of God Foundation, an outreach program for elderly inmates established by Jalosjos, is supporting it.

AHON PINOY OFW Party - backed up by Dante Ang, Chairman of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas and CEO of the Manila Times. The Number One nominess of Ahon is “Klink” Ang, son of Danter Ang. It has a 1.2% threshold rating in the recent SWS survey. Its president is Director Nicon Fameronag of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Information and Publication Service (IPS) (2003). He is also a member of ONE VOICE.

Biyaheng Pinoy- An association of tricycle drivers, Arsenio Abalos sits as director and national council member of the party. Who is Arsenio Abalos? The elder brother of COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos. Also, The group was founded and is chaired by Mandaluyong Vice-Mayor Jesus Cruz, who claimed to be a tricycle operator before.

ANAD- was formed in February 2003 by the National Alliance for Democracy (NAD), the movement that supplanted the dreaded Alsa Masa, a vigilante group organized by the government in Davao. NAD serves as the umbrella organization for all anti-communist forces in the country. In 2004, NAD registered ANAD as its party-list group.

AANGAT TAYO- Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) Pharma Executives Vice President Teddie Elson Rivera is the group’s president. PITC is a government-owned international trading company with over thirty years experience in the export, import and marketing of a wide range of commodities, industrial products and consumer goods.

In August of 2004, PITC was designated as a key agency in the implementation of the GMA’s 10-point legacy, which includes the lowering of the prices of essential medicines by 50%, by 2010. PITC is also in charged of importing medicines for GMA’s Botika ng Bayan.

Aangat ang Kabuhayan (ANAK) -Its number one nominee is Supt. Eduardo Octaviano of the Philippine National Police (PNP) National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

AGBIAG!- Marcelo Farinas II, Malacanang’s Secretary for External Affairs is the group’s Secretary-General. Agbiag enjoys the backing of Chavit Singson.

Heres more on Akbayan’s basis for challenging these party lists:

"We welcome pluralism but the accreditation of dubious and administration-backed groups to run under the party-list system makes a mockery of the law and the reasons for which the system was created in the first place," said Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales. "We challenge the COMELEC to show proof that it conducted evidentiary hearings to provide enough basis to allow these spurious groups to run in the elections."

"In its June 26, 2001 decision in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW v. COMELEC, et.al. (G.R. No. 147589, June 26, 2001), the Supreme Court ordered the COMELEC to evaluate if the party-list participants in the 2001 elections met its 8-point guidelines," recalled Rosales. "We want to know if these guidelines were observed in the accreditation process."

"This was the very same guidelines that led to the disqualification of MAD, VFP, Lakas-NUCD, NPC and PROMDI in 2001," added political analyst and Akbayan Chairperson Joel Rocamora. "These guidelines tell us that it's not enough that two or three ambitious proxies get together and run for Congress, there must be incontrovertible proof that they represent a constituency of marginalized and oppressed sectors."

"At the same time the COMELEC must look deeper into reports that some of these party-list groups are backed by government officials and offices, which is in violation of the same 2001 Supreme Court ruling," said Rocamora, "which said that the party or organization must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by, the government."

Atty. Byron Bocar, AKBAYAN legal counsel, said that the law is very clear on the participation of government officials in partisan activities. "Article IX-B, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution says that no officer or employee in the civil service may participate in electioneering or any other partisan activity," pointed out Atty Bocar, "but we have received reports that some party-list groups are being backed by government institutions such as the Office of External Affairs which was also behind the doomed initiative of Sigaw ng Bayan."

Are we just going to let this pass? Time and again these politicians and big vested interest groups have abused the party list system, enough is enough. Pass this on to OFWs you know ……………..

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