MANILA, Philippines - Representatives of party-list group Bayan Muna on Tuesday filed a petition at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo as nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) party-list.
In the petition filed by Bayan Muna's Neri Colmenares and Teddy Casino, the group cited four grounds for the disqualification of Arroyo as AGP's party-list nominee.
Bayan Muna said Arroyo does not represent and is not a member of the marginalized sector that he seeks to represent. It identified Arroyo as an "actor-businessman" who is a member of the ruling party Lakas-Kampi CMD and the son of the incumbent President.
"It is beyond the edge of reason, if not laughable, for him to claim that he represents the interests of, much less belong to, the marginalized sector of security guards and janitors or any other marginalized or underrepresented group," the petition read.
The group said Arroyo is already a member of Congress as Pampanga's 2nd district representative and as such, cannot be re-elected as congressional representative of a marginalized sector. It said the Supreme Court had previously ruled that the party-list system is "for those who cannot get in and not for those who are already in Congress."
It also noted that Arroyo is not a bona fide member of AGP and that the AGP is "not a legitimate party-list group."
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez earlier said Arroyo's bid to remain a member of Congress through the party-list elections could be jeopardized by new Comelec guidelines on screening party-list organizations.
Comelec Resolution 8806, a nominee should be "one who belongs to the marginalized and underrepresented sector/s, the sectoral party, organization, political party or coalition he seeks to represent; and able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole."
Jimenez said that under the guidelines, the party-list nominees must submit evidence to prove that they are members of the marginalized sector including speeches and articles about that advocacy.
He said that in the case of Mikey Arroyo, the President's son must prove that he is a member of the marginalized sector that he wishes to represent in Congress. Arroyo has been named as the nominee of Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP), which seeks to represent security guards and tricycle drivers in Congress.
"What we are saying here is that a person who wants to represent a party-list group as the nominee has to show that he is part of the party-list group. If he is not a tricycle driver and the party-list group is representing tricycle drivers, it would look like there are grounds for his disqualification," he said in an ANC interview.