Comelec scores with party-list purgeBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chair Sixto Brillantes says the poll body is delisting at least six prominent party-list groups that have representatives in Congress.
You shine because you dare to fight powerful interest groups and expose the corruption in your midst.
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Many party-list groups were allowed by the Comelec, before Brillantes became its chief, because some poll body commissioners were allegedly bribed.
(The title “commissioner” fits them if they received “commissions” or bribes from interest groups.)
For how can you explain the fact that the pre-Brillantes Comelec allowed the Ang Kasangga and Ang Galing party-list groups to be represented in the House of Representatives while it disallowed 1-UTAK?
Ang Kasangga, which claims to champion the cause of sidewalk and balut vendors, is headed by Teodorico Haresco, a multimillionaire.
On the other hand, Ang Galing, which claims to fight for the rights of security guards and jeepney drivers, is headed by Mikey Arroyo, son of former President Gloria and Mike Arroyo, reportedly a notorious wheeler-dealer.
But the Comelec delisted 1-UTAK, a group supposedly representing bus drivers, which was headed by Angelo Reyes, a former Cabinet member and a retired five-star general.
Long before he committed suicide, Reyes told this columnist he didn’t believe in bribing the Comelec so his party list, which had won a seat in Congress, could be accredited.
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A friend who dealt with the pre-Brillantes Comelec said he had to bribe some commissioners in order to take part in the public bidding of some items to be used by the poll body.
He identified these Comelec commissioners, but I don’t want to name them for fear of incurring another libel suit.
Suffice it to say that the Comelec during the time of President Gloria was as corrupt as the people holding power.
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The government and peace advocates should withhold their rejoicing over the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
It’s too early to rejoice.
During the time of President Cory Aquino, the government signed a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The breakaway group at that time was the MILF.
The war in Mindanao continued despite Tita Cory’s peace accord with the MNLF because the MILF was not included in the peace talks.
The MILF, which signed the peace accord with the second Aquino administration recently, has its own breakaway group, the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters (BFF), which doesn’t recognize the peace pact.
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I know of a farmer who bought a piece of land from a Moro and converted the land into a farm.
When the trees were bearing fruits, the Moro’s relatives came to visit. They said they were left out in the purchase of the land and didn’t earn from it.
They wanted the farmer to pay them what they said was their share of the land.
That story is typical in Muslim Mindanao.
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