Comelec should not stand by as Philippines’s party-list system is manipulated, bastardized — Beltran

Apr. 24, 2007

MANILA — Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that the Commission on Elections is being bureaucratic when it justifies its refusal to investigate the allegations that the Arroyo government is funding several party-lists running in the May 14 elections by saying that no one has filed any official complaint.

“The Comelec has the duty and responsibility to investigate such reports and allegations because they have a serious import on electoral law. As important is the necessity for the Comelec to have the foresight and initiative to investigate such reported anomalies with or without any one filing an official complaint. The Comelec’s explanations for not taking action on these reports is bureaucratic at best; but one cannot help but think that the Comelec is trying to inhibit itself from investigating this maldevelopment of bogus party-lists because of pressure from Malacanang itself,” he said.

The activist lawmaker said that the Comelec should be more responsive to the issue of government-funded bogus party-lists and not wait for the filing of any formal complaints.

“The issue is serious and grave enough to warrant a full-blown investigation. It’s unthinkable why the Comelec should be so dismissive to tackle this matter head on. This is a serious case of potential electoral fraud and disenfranchisement of genuine party-lists. Also, Malacanang and several of its agencies and officials also stand being accused of corruption and false representation if they’re proven to be behind the fielding of these fake party-list groups,” he said.

“We hope that Chief Comelec commissioner Benjamin Abalos will not be remiss in his duty and merely stand by as the party-list law and the party-list system are manipulated and bastardized. The participation of these fake party-list groups funded by Malacanang are anomalous and illegal, and it serves only the interest of Malacanang, not the marginalized sectors.,” he concluded.#

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