MANILA, Philippines—A group of journalists wanting to participate in the May party-list elections on Thursday asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify Alyansa ng Media at Showbiz (AMS), which has high-profile cosmetic surgeon Dr. Manny Calayan as one of its nominees.
According to Jerry Yap, national chairman of the Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM), which claimed to represent professional media, they filed a petition for the removal or cancellation of the registration of AMS because it does not have any alliance with any other group nor does it have more than 100 members. It has also no chapter anywhere in the Philippines except for its headquarters in Metro Manila.
“AMS does not exist in the contemplation of the party list. It is virtually a ghost. It clearly has no track record,” Yap said in a statement.
The Comelec earlier barred ALAM from running in the May polls. According to the poll body, the journalists’ group had no track record and it failed to meet the requirements of representing marginalized sectors.
This prompted ALAM to file a petition at the Supreme Court (SC) questioning their disqualification from running in the elections.
Yap also insisted that AMS has not fought for the welfare of any journalist, broadcaster or print mediaman, and has no project for the upholding of press freedom or training seminars to upgrade the skills of the members of media.
ALAM president Berteni Causing, on the other hand, said Calayan, who was AMS No. 2 nominee in the 2010 elections and a known cosmetic surgeon and dermatologist, could not be considered a member of the media or show-biz media.
He said registering AMS as a party-list group would be a clear violation of the rule requiring nominees to be bona fide members of a marginalized group.
Causing has reiterated that AMS is not a marginalized group by any standard and does not represent any principle of governance because it has no program of action seeking to uplift its constituents, if it really has constituents at all.