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LP: Bulacan gov punished for bolting Lakas


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:47:00 12/03/2009

Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Elections, Local authorities, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines?Ousted Bulacan Governor Joselito Mendoza is being punished for bolting the ruling Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats coalition and joining the Liberal Party, according to Mendoza?s new party allies.

Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon of the Liberal Party believes the administration had a hand in the Commission on Elections? unseating of Mendoza five months before the 2010 polls.

The Comelec ruled the other day that following a recount, Roberto Pagdanganan, Mendoza?s opponent in the 2007 election for Bulacan governor, was the rightful winner of that contest.

The poll body annulled the proclamation of Mendoza and ordered him to vacate the post.

?Vendetta?

According to Biazon, the decision ?smells like political vendetta.?

The ruling party may be using Mendoza?s case to warn its members to remain loyal, or else, he said.

?The administration is now struggling to rein in its members and prevent an exodus to other parties and it will do anything to keep its members within the party,? he said in a statement.

Biazon claimed Lakas-Kampi-CMD may be using pending election cases as leverage against its members to ensure that they remain with the party.

?The threat of sudden resolution of election cases, as well as administrative and criminal cases of elected officials who are members of Lakas is the sword of Damocles that the administration has over its members,? he said.

Sen. Manuel ?Mar? Roxas II, the LP vice-presidential candidate, denounced the Comelec decision unseating Mendoza and installing Pagdanganan as Bulacan governor.

Roxas, the party president, accused the administration of trying to ?muzzle the Opposition and prevent its impending defeat in the coming elections.?

He claimed that until Mendoza and his Partido del Pilar aligned itself with the LP, there was no hint at all that Pagdanganan?s election protest at the Comelec had any chance of succeeding.

?Tool? of gov?t

He urged the Comelec en banc ?not to allow itself to be used as a tool of this corrupt government in thwarting the sovereign will of the people of Bulacan.?

But Lakas-Kampi-CMD spokesperson and Palawan Rep. Antonio Alvarez scoffed at the LP accusations, pointing out that the Comelec is an independent body.

?That theory does not fly because the decision was made by an independent constitutional body and not by Malacañang,? Alvarez said.

He pointed out that there were many ruling-party members who have not suffered the same fate as Mendoza?s.

The ruling coalition, which is believed to have the widest and most extensive political machinery, has been beset with defections even as it struggles to improve the ratings of its presidential standard bearer, Gilbert Teodoro.

Before Mendoza jumped to the Liberal Party, he and Pagdanganan were allied with the administration. Mendoza was with Kampi, while Pagdanganan was with Lakas. The two ruling parties merged earlier this year. Leila B. Salaverria and Christine Avendaño



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