Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Independent congressional candidate decry double standard and harassment

Press Release
April 13, 2010

Supporters of an independent running for the congressional seat of the first district of Cavite held a picket at the Comelec office in Kawit, Cavite over alleged double standard in removing campaign materials. A hundred members of the labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) trooped to the new Kawit municipal hall at 10 am today for the protest while their leaders engaged in a dialogue with Comelec officials.

Adel Dinero, a PM leader who is running for the first congressional district of Cavite, led the protesters. He asserted that “We do not mind the operasyon baklas of the Comelec if they implement it fairly. But why are my campaign materials and tarpaulins of PM being removed while those of other candidates and party-lists remain?”

Dinero is a 33-year old political neophyte who is competing against established names such as Cavite City Mayor Totie Paredes and incumbent Rep. Jun Abaya. Dinero is an incumbent barangay kagawad of Aplaya, Kawit, and a community leader as president of Boracay Silangan Endeavor Neighborhood Association Inc. and general-secretary of Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Kawit, a federation of urban poor groups.

Joy Aguilar, a leader of PM in Cavite, declared that “The Comelec in Kawit is patently guilty of double standard. This is happening at the same time as several of our grassroots leaders are being harassed.”

In the past several days, Comelec personnel together with police men have been removing campaign materials of Dinero in the towns of Kawit, Cavite City, Noveleta and Rosario which comprise the first congressional district of Cavite.

Aguilar announced that the picket is only the start of larger protests that PM will lead if Comelec officials in Kawit cannot satisfactorily explain what she claimed as a “double standard in operasyon baklas.” She contended that the harassment is happening as Dinero’s independent campaign is gaining ground on a platform of change and empowerment.

Dinero explained that “I want to be voice of the youth, the workers and the poor of Cavite who are tired of the dominance and evils of patronage politics in the first district.” Aside from Dinero, another PM leader is running for a local position in the area, Nena Olvina for councilor of Rosario. The first district of Cavite is considered as the stronghold of PM in Cavite. Meanwhile PM is participating in the party-list elections on a platform of “Apat na Dapat.” These are the four working class demands for regular jobs, a living wage, affordable housing and universal healthcare coverage.

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