Blowing their whistles in support of former Commission on Audit (COA) Auditor Heidi Mendoza and former military budget officer George Rabusa, members of Akbayan party on Monday staged a creative action to condemn the prevalent corruption inside the Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) involving the former generals of the previous administration.

Dubbed as the “blow your whistle for the brave whistleblowers”, truth advocates carried “oversized whistles”, noise gadgets and colorful posters at Philcoa, Quezon City where they conducted their “truth action.” They blew and gave away whistles to passersby and motorists to symbolize the people’s support to Mendoza and Rabusa. The group also said their activity is a way of telling the public that the search for truth, justice and accountability is not yet over.

“We give our utmost support to the brave whistleblowers that dared expose the gargantuan corruption inside the military. We laud them for their courageous efforts and as such, Akbayan together with the Filipino people will match it with the same act of bravery not only to expose the truth but also to hold those involved responsible,” former Akbayan representative Risa
Hontiveros said.

We, from Akbayan welcome the announcement of President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III concerning the naming of our very own, Akbayan President Ronald Llamas as one of his Presidential Advisers. We are honored by this pronouncement as it proves once more the sincerity, intensity and expertise of our leaders and of our political party in working towards the fulfillment of our people’s aspiration of a democratic and people-oriented government committed to reforms.

Pulse Asia's April 2010 Filipinos' Senatorial and Party-List Group Preferences for the May 2010 Elections

In keeping with our academic nature, Pulse Asia disseminates to the public some findings from its April 2010 Pre-Election national survey.

The survey fieldwork was conducted from April 23 to 25, 2010 using face-to-face interviews. Key developments in April 2010 include the following:

Mikey Arroyo’s party-list group violated COMELEC rules, says Akbayan

Group says Ang Galing Pinoy failed to submit required evidence proving Mikey’s link to marginalized sector, asks COMELEC to exercise “motu proprio jurisdiction” to disqualify Arroyo

“Gotcha Mikey.”

This is what Akbayan party-list told Presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Mikey Macapagal-Arroyo after the group discovered that Ang Galing Pinoy party-list failed to submit to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) pertinent documents proving that he and his fellow nominees belong to the marginalized sector.

Akbayan Representative Walden Bello said they determined this after they tendered a letter on Tuesday asking COMELEC Chairman Jose Melo through Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan, head of the poll body’s law department for a certified true copy of all the documentary evidences submitted by Ang Galing Pinoy (AG) and all its nominees.

Bello said pursuant to Section 6 (a) to 6 (d) of COMELEC Resolution No. 8807, party-list groups are required to submit documentary evidence to prove their nominees belong to the marginalized and underrepresented sectors, sectoral party, organization, political party or coalition they seek to represent.

“This is an outright violation of the election body’s own rules. It clearly shows Mikey’s lack of respect for the party-list system as well as the sector he is supposedly representing,” Bello said.

Bello said while other party-list groups dutifully comply with all the necessary requirements, Mikey’s party-list group is “ostensibly oblivious if not unapologetically indifferent to the need to comply with the necessary rules and requirements.”

“We cannot have double standards. Just because Mikey is the president’s son, he and his group is better than the rest of the party-list groups. They cannot just waive important rules and requirements designed by the COMELEC itself and expect to get away with it,” Bello said.

On Tuesday, Rafanan responding to Akbayan’s letter admitted that neither Arroyo nor AGP has submitted the required documentary evidence for nominees cited in Section 7 of Comelec Resolution No. 8807. He said their non-compliance would be a disadvantage to Mikey’s group.

As a result, Akbayan submitted another letter today to the COMELEC asking its law department and the honorable commission to act and immediately declare the disqualification of the nominees of Ang Galing party-list for failure to comply with the mandatory requirement of COMELEC Resolution 8807.

“One need not file a disqualification case to delist bogus nominees. COMELEC in motu proprio or on its own can disqualify any nominee who violated any of the limitations determined by the institution,” Bello asserted.

Bello said a party-list group’s failure to comply with the said requirement is a “fatal omission” requiring a motu proprio act from COMELEC. He said it is simply an administrative matter directly with the law department and the election body.

“We appeal to the COMELEC’s highest sense to take decisive action. As much as Mikey does not belong the party-list system, he and his group also pathetically failed to comply with the most basic yet important requirements needed to become nominees. Hence, the voting public needs closure from this nightmare the soonest time possible,” Bello asserted.

For her part, Akbayan Chairperson Emeritus Loretta Ann Rosales extended her appreciation to the efforts undertaken by the COMELEC to uphold the integrity of the party-list system. “We are happy that COMELEC has consistently heeded our proposals to safeguard the true intention of the party-list system.”

According to Rosales, the COMELEC’s public disclosure of the names of all party-list nominees and establishment of clear guidelines regarding the qualification of nominees are the result of Akbayan’s initiatives to reform the party-list system.

“There’s more work to be done. But in the immediate, as a proof of their commitment to improve the party-list system, the COMELEC must delist Mikey Arroyo as AG nominee for being the fraud that he is,” Rosales challenged.

Aside from Bello and Rosales, Akbayan’s other nominees such as Ellene Sana and Francis “Kiko” Isaac joined in submitting the letter to COMELEC urging the immediate disqualification of Mikey Arroyo and his fellow AG nominees from the 2010 party-list race.

Group says Ang Galing Pinoy failed to submit required evidence proving Mikey’s link to marginalized sector, asks COMELEC to exercise “motu proprio jurisdiction” to disqualify Arroyo

“Gotcha Mikey.”

Chief Justice appointment is best left to the next president, said Akbayan Party-List.

p2260383Akbayan Party-list called upon the Supreme Court to block petitions to allow Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to prematurely appointment the successor to Chief Justice Reynato Puno by filing an opposition to the pending petitions.

“To approve such petitions will be an affront to our constitution,” Akbayan Party-List Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales reminded the Supreme Court on Thursday.

According to Rosales, there is sufficient time to fill in the vacancy that CJ Puno will leave upon his retirement on May 17.