Progressive Indigenous Partylist Submits List of Nominees, Exposes Dubious Rivals

Media Release
March 22, 2010

Ahead of the March 26 deadline, KATRIBU Partylist, a progressive sectoral party of indigenous peoples submitted to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) the names of its nominees Monday.

“In submitting the names of our nominees ahead of the COMELEC deadline, KATRIBU would like to set an example and challenge other partylist bets who claim to represent indigenous and Moro peoples to be transparent about their platforms and nominees,” said KATRIBU Spokesperson Piya Malayao.

“We are proud to reveal that KATRIBU nominees rose from the grassroots, genuinely represent the interest of tribes across the country, and are in no way related with the Arroyo administration,” Malayao said.

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“It’s about time that the historically marginalized and neglected indigenous peoples in the country be heard in Congress with a voice of their own,” she added.

First ever “Solons” from tribes

The first nominee of KATRIBU is Beverly Longid, a grassroots indigenous rights activist from Mountain Province of Bontok-Kankanaey ancestry. She is followed by Genasque Enriquez, a Manobo farmer, single-motor driver and community development worker from Surigao del Sur. The third is Nelson Mallari, an Aeta community organizer and an indigenous rights and environmental activist from Pampanga.

Completing the list are Kerlan Fanagel, a B’laan from Sarangani Province and Virgelio Aniceto, an Ibaloi from Benguet, fourth and fifth nominees, respectively.

“If Katribu wins seats, any of the five nominees will be the first partylist representative to rise from his or her tribe,” claimed Malayao.

Another dubious partylists, nominees exposed

Of the partylists which have indigenous and Moro peoples as constituents, it is not only Energy Undersec. Zamzamin Ampatuan’s Adhikain ng mga Dakilang Anak Maharlika (ADAM) partylist which is facing public scrutiny.

KATRIBU exposed yet another list of government officials reportedly behind or being eyed as nominees of some partylist groups claiming to represent indigenous and Moro peoples.

Two commissioners of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Eugenio Insigne and Jannette Serrano-Reisland, are reportedly the nominees of the Agapay Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance (A-IPRA) and Partido ng Katutubong Pilipino, respectively.

Based on the Commission’s website, Eugenio is still the commissioner for CAR and Region 1, and Serrano of Central Mindanao (Region XII). Both Commissioners were former NCIP Chairpersons appointed by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.NCIP is an office under the Office of the President.

Another Arroyo front?

KATRIBU also expressed alarm over the public endorsement of Abante Tribung Makabansa (ATM) by Jesus Dureza, presidential adviser on Mindanao and chair of the newly-created Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

ATM was formed by the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples Conference for Peace and Development (MIPCPD), whose Council of Advisers reportedly include Dureza, Energy Sec. Angelo, Reyes and Army Col. Allen Capuyan.

Capuyan, a former head of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ special operations group, figured in the controversial ‘Hello Garci’ wiretapping operations.

“We fear that the Arroyo administration is capitalizing even on the marginalized condition of indigenous peoples by investing on certain partylists. It is deplorable that many of the President’s appointees, let alone her relatives, are all over the partylist system,” lamented Longid, who is also the Chairperson of KATRIBU.

“Arroyo and her lackeys are hell-bent on destroying whatever fragment of democratic space is left for marginalized sectors if only to secure their clout in the next Congress,” she added,

Longid also said that the encroachment of the government and its officials into the partylist race undermines the meaningful political participation of indigenous peoples, exposing them to further political misrepresentation by the opportunists and the privileged.

A number of partylist groups and their nominees identified with the Arroyo administration have earlier been exposed by the anti-fraud group Kontra Daya and progressive partylist representatives.

Shade the qualified, reject the fake

To dramatize their protest against what they call “bastardization of the partylist system,” KATRIBU leaders marked “X” the ovals of the said questionable indigenous partylists and their nominees printed on an enlarged sample ballot.

In another enlarged sample ballot, they shaded the ovals of qualifications enumerated in the Partylist Law to remind COMELEC that the Partylist System was envisioned to give representation to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and not to privileged politicians

“We urge COMELEC to seriously investigate the said questionable partylists and their nominees and delist those who are clearly not qualified. We also call upon the electorate to scrutinize partylists and reject those deemed dubious,” Longid said.

Reference: Beverly Longid, KATRIBU Partylist President

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