MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 1) - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has released its resolution canceling the accreditation of incumbent party list group Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP) as well as the application of new group Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM).
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. already announced the cancellation of AGP’s accreditation as early as October 10. AGP was represented in the House of Representatives by former First Son Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo.
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said almost all the members of the en banc, except for those overseas, voted to cancel AGP’s accreditation on the ground that its nominees for the 2013 elections do not represent marginalized sectors.
The party also allegedly does not have a track record of helping the sector it claims to represent.
Arroyo’s name is not included anymore in AGP’s nominees. For 2013, their nominees are: Charlie Chua, Eder Dizon, Jerold Dominick David, Ryan Caladiao, Alan Trinidad, and Bernardo Corella Jr.
Arroyo is already a third term congressman. He was district representative for the 2nd district of Pampanga for two terms before running under AGP in 2010.
AGP also failed to show up during the Comelec's hearing on the screening of party-list groups.
Meanwhile, Sarmiento also revealed that the en banc denied the application of ALAM, which claimed to be a multisectoral group but had no track record of helping the sectors it claims to represent.
The poll body also considered the appeal filed by ALAM after its application was already denied at the division level. The appeal raised the allegation that Comelec employees offered to get the group accredited in exchange for P3 million pesos.
ALAM's application was denied at the division level in September.
The resolutions for the two cases are still being circulated among the commissioners.
Sarmiento also welcomed the Ako Bicol Party-list’s decision to appeal the cancellation of their accreditation before the Supreme Court.
This way, the high court could gloss over the poll’s decision last October 10, he said.
Poll watchdog Kontra Daya, meanwhile, urged Malacanang to stay out of the ongoing purge of the party-list system.
In a statement, Kontra Daya reminded the poll body “to uphold the strict standard set by the party-list system that bars groups and individuals who do not represent the under-represented and marginalized sectors.”
Comelec stressed that "while the Comelec has done a commendable job so far, it stressed that public vigilance remains crucial to ensure the integrity of the party-list system.” The group also expressed concern that Malacanang, through its public pronouncements, has been influencing the Comelec on its decision concerning Palace-linked party-list groups.