Philippines: Survey Plunge of Leftist Partylist Groups Blamed on Manipulation

Apr. 25, 2007

MANILA — Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that there was no other way to explain the drastic fall in the survey ratings of the bloc of progressive party-lists but for one reason: the Social Weather Station has given in to pressure from Malacanang to compromise its findings in favor of party-lists funded by the Macapagal-Arroyo government and in favor of candidates of Team Unity.

“The SWS’s crediblity has recently been under attack from TU and Malacanang because of its major foreign research partners has supposedly pulled out. It’s highly unlikely that the popularity and acceptability of the bloc of progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) could fall so drastically without there being foul play. In any case, these latest SWS survey results all the more puts the pressure on us and our supporters to heighten vigilance and protect our votes in May,” said Beltran.

“Our national membership and mass base will not take these latest survey results lightly. Malacanang’s party-lists are hardly visible in the media or campaig trail and it’s quite questionable how they could just so suddenly shoot to the top of the surveys. Something stinks badly here,” he insisted.

Anakpawis secretary-general Cherry Clemente in the meantime issued the charge that Malacanang and its fraud operatives were behind the drop in the survey ratings of Anakpawis and its sister parties.

“Malacanang’s front party-lists are the ones now taking the lead in the surveys and this is nothing to rejoice over. These party-lists supported and backed by Malacanang are nothing but mouthpieces for the administration, Their main function if most tragically they win in May will be to parrot the stance of Malacanang on all major economic and political issues, nevermind if they attack the welfare of the marginalized sectors they supposedly represent.”

“We take these latest survey results as a challenge to protect our votes. It’s a statistical impossibility for us to fall so drastically in the ratings given the strength of the support we are receiving at the grassroots level. Our campaign is of a genuinely national scope and we penerate deep into the grassroots level of the major marginalized sectors. We are even more determined to protect and defend our votes in May and make sure than none of them are credited to Malacanang’s party-lists,” she said.

In the meantime, Anakpawis Rep. Beltran said that he hopes to be released before May 1, 2007 International Labor Day when Anakpawis Party-List holds in miting de avance. Beltran’s legal counsels led by Atty. Romeo Capulong of the Public Interest Center filed for a motion for Beltran’s temporary release on May 1 .Beltran is Anakpawis’ chairman and first nominee. The motion was filed the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150.

Anakpawis is endorsing senatorial candidates Loren Legarda, Manny Villar, Joker Arroyo, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Aquilino Pimentel III, Francis Pangilinan and Ralph Recto. These candidates have been invited to join Anakpawis in its miting de avance on May 1.It has been clarified, however, that Anakpawis is still open to endorse four more candidates and as opened its miting de avance to all other senatorial candidates.

One of the most crucial factors justifying Anakpawis’ endorsement of candidates is their support for the campaign for Beltran’s release and the dropping of the trumped-up charges against him. #

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