March 24, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) is preparing to file disqualification cases against alleged bogus party-list groups based once the list of nominees is officially released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on March 27. The group also welcomed the announcement by the Comelec that it will issue a guideline on party-list nominees.
“The party-list system is stricken with a virus and it must be cleansed. Comelec’s belated prescription may help disinfect the party-list system but it is the vigilance of genuine groups and the concerned public that will heal the disease,” argued Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.
The group submitted its list of five nominees to the Comelec main office in Intramuros at noon today, a day after the end of PM’s congress that elected its nominees from more than a hundred delegates. The group went to the Comelec while wearing face masks to symbolize its call to cleanse the party-list system. Scores of delegates accompanied PM’s nominees and held posters with the message “Disinfect the party-list system” and “Linisin ang sistemang party-list.”
“In compliance with the letter and spirit of the party-list law, PM’s five nominees truly represent the working class. They include three union officers with decades of experience as unionists and two former student activists who have spent their adult lives serving the struggles of the workers and the poor,” Magtubo explained.
He added that “A party-list of security guards is bogus if its first nominee is a presidential son who also happens to be an incumbent congressman. A party-list of transport workers is a sham if its first nominee is an ex-general who also happens to be cabinet secretary.”
The labor group is also holding consultations with other genuine party-list organizations on a common agenda of defending the party-list system as means for representation for traditionally marginalized sectors. PM also declared that they will push in the next Congress for an amendment to the Party-List Law to plug the loopholes that have led to alleged abuses.
He stated that “Besides GMA’s not-so-hidden agenda of packing the House of Representatives with her relatives or former cabinet secretaries in order to get elected as House Speaker, the party-list is also being abused as a back-door entry for trapos who find it cheaper spending P20 to 30 million compared to the P50 million or more in traditional congressional races.”
In order, the five PM nominees are:
1. Renato Magtubo: former president of the Fortune Tobacco Labor Union
2. Gerardo Rivera: recently elected president of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association
3. Judy Ann Miranda: former UP student council officer who went full time as working class organizer
4. Wilson Fortaleza: former student activist who also went full time as working class organizer
5. Ma. Luisa Parroco: vice president of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative employees union.