July 21, 2010
The Comelec decision allowing Mikey Arroyo, presidential son and former district representative, to sit as a partylist representative will ultimately destroy the partylist system. It is a gross violation of the partylist law and existing jurisprudence on the matter.
Mikey’s attendance at the opening of the 15th session of congress, when the new president delivers his first State of the Nation Address, is meant to insult the Filipino people and taunt the new administration. It is a grim reminder that the much-despised Arroyo’s are still very much in power.
The Aquino administration should now exert its own effort to block the return of Mikey Arroyo to the House of Representatives. At the very least, the Aquino administration should see the issue as a means by the Arroyo family to consolidate their grip on power and avoid any accountability for their misdeeds.
There can be no ‘daang matuwid” if Mikey makes a mockery of election laws, the partylist system and the House of Representatives.
With its decision, the four Comelec commissioners who voted in favor of Mikey have shown utter incompetence and even partiality towards the previous appointing power. These commissioners cannot be trusted to carry out their mandate of ensuring that the laws related to the elections are correctly upheld. They appear incapable of understanding the law. They have lost the trust of the electorate. They must resign.
Attention must be paid to the case of Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer who is responsible for accrediting en masse dubious partylist groups. Ferrer is also responsible for accrediting the Batang Iwas Droga (BIDA), an entity funded by the Phillippine Games and Amusement Corporation (PAGCOR). The funding given by PAGCOR to BIDA is now the subject of government investigation. It is a basic tenet of the partylist system, as articulated by the Supreme Court, that a partylist group cannot be an entity funded by government. Yet Ferrer chose to look the other way and accredited BIDA. (Bulatlat.com)
Renato Reyes, Jr.
Bayan secretary general