Youth, drivers’ party-list disqualification bid assailed

Apr. 09, 2013

Tin-aw nga gi-single out mi sa Comelec.  Duha lang ka poster sa Piston ang ilang gihimong basehan sa pag disqualify sa among partido,” Edil Gonzaga, second nominee of Piston, a group of drivers.

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The progressive bloc scored the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for being “unfair” and for “singling out” progressive party-list groups and candidates.

This after Kabataan and Piston party-lists face an imminent disqualification after the Comelec filed a case for their supposed violation of postering rules last month.

Tin-aw nga gi-single out mi sa Comelec.  Duha lang ka poster sa Piston ang ilang gihimong basehan sa pag disqualify sa among partido,” Edil Gonzaga, second nominee of Piston, a group of drivers, told

The said posters were seen in Quezon City, in a place that didn’t fall under the Comelec’s “common poster areas” as stipulated in the Comelec Resolution 9615 or the Rules and Regulation Implementing the Fair Election Act (RA 9006).

But Gonzaga cried foul, citing the election propaganda of other candidates and party-list groups including that of Akbayan, 1Bap and even Team Pnoy that were displayed in restricted areas like flyovers and bridges.

The Comelec said that common poster areas refer to a structure “temporarily set up by the candidates or political parties for the exclusive purpose of displaying their campaign posters.”

Gonzaga called the disqualification move of the Comelec as part of the anti-Left campaign of the Aquino administration.  He emphasized that the drivers’ sector has been fighting against the incessant increase in the prices of oil and petroleum products and the abolition of the Oil Deregulation Law.

Gonzaga said they will file a temporary restraining order, noting that the Comelec can’t just disqualify them without due process.

Meanwhile, Kabataan Party called the Comelec’s move as “political harassment” that is “part and parcel of the Aquino regime’s systematic attack against members of the Makabayan bloc.”

The youth party-list cited Comelec’s disqualification last year of Kalikasan and Courage — party-lists that represent the environment advocates and government employees, respectively.  It also cited the previous threat of disqualifying Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party and Anakpawis, and tagging Teddy Casiño as one of the biggest ad spenders aligned with candidates from big political parties.

Casiño and these groups are all part of the Makabayan People’s Coalition.

Bai Ali Indayla, second nominee of Kabataan, said the Aquino administration regards them as “the staunchest critic, being the only genuine opposition in the country’s current political arena.”

She said that they already submitted the proof of compliance to election rules, including an “extensive photo documentation.”  However, the Comelec still pursued the disqualification case.

If Kabataan is disqualified, “the youth’s voice and interests will be more disenfranchised than it already is,” said Dianne Marie Solmayor, spokesperson of the Kabataan in the National Capital Region.

The progressive bloc also can’t help but notice that while they were pounced by the Comelec, other candidates and party-lists that have been allegedly violating campaign rules were not even disqualified.

Earlier, the Comelec announced that Akbayan and Buhay party-lists committed violations as well as senatorial bet Rissa Hontiveros.

“Comelec is siding with PNoy’s allies; it is zeroing in on PNoy’s critics and opponents,” GWP Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said, adding that the Comelec “is condoning the existence of bogus partylist organizations and even tolerating their campaign violations.”

Ilagan added that Comelec’s harassment against Kabataan and Piston is also a move to “effectively divert public scrutiny” from its failure in addressing issues surrounding the Automated Election System like the lack of credible software and delayed assembly of precinct count optical scan machines.

In the past elections, Indayla said that the government has been using all forces to limit the participation of progressive party-lists.  The recent disqualification case against Kabataan and Piston, she added, is only the tip of the iceberg.

“Progressive party-lists have always been the subject of the regime’s ire, and it is not surprising that Aquino is using his puppets in Comelec to further his agenda of undermining genuine people’s participation,” Indayla said.

With the recent developments, George San Mateo, national president of Piston, said that the upcoming elections “could turn out to be the dirtiest in terms of manipulation by the incumbent administration.”

In the meantime, both Piston and Kabataan said they will intensify their fight, “in the courts of law and in the streets.” (Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/

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