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ANG GALING Pinoys Mikey Arroyo

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BUHAYS Mike Velarde

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1-UTAKs Angelo Reyes


Mikey Arroyo leads 35 party-list solons

28 groups get seats in House

By Tarra Quismundo, Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:16:00 06/01/2010

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Inquirer Politics

MANILA, Philippines?Amid boos at the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the group of Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel ?Mikey? Arroyo, a son of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, was given a seat in the House of Representatives Monday despite unsettled petitions questioning his nomination to the party-list system.

Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP), an organization purportedly representing security guards, farmers, tricycle drivers and small businessmen, belongs to the initial batch of 28 groups that would be occupying 35 of the 57 seats in the House reserved for party-list lawmakers.

Among those proclaimed winners were AGP and progressive groups such as Akbayan, Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Kabataan.

The Comelec deferred the proclamation of 11 other party-list groups, including the one leading in the tally as of May 17, Ako Bicol Political Party (Ako Bicol), at its headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.

Velarde, Reyes

Ako Bicol is facing a petition for the cancellation of its registration, along with Buhay, 1-Care, CBAC, LPGMA, MBIS-OWA, Apec and Anad.

Three groups?1-Utak, A Teacher and Butil?have disqualification cases against one or more of their nominees.

The first nominees of Buhay and 1-Utak are El Shaddai founder Mike Velarde and former Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, respectively.

Militant lawmakers, who have long been opposing Arroyo?s nomination, vowed to push their protest all the way to the Supreme Court.

Recall of AGP proclamation

About an hour after the proclamation and the boos, Comelec Chair Jose Melo said AGP?s proclamation would be recalled because of a pending motion for reconsideration against Arroyo?s nomination.

Melo told reporters that the poll body was set to issue an amended resolution on Tuesday to remove AGP from the list of proclaimed party-list winners.

?It will have to be recalled. We will be issuing a resolution,? he said.

Melo said he and the commissioners had overlooked the fact that there was still a pending motion for reconsideration before the poll body regarding Arroyo?s qualification as the first nominee of AGP.

Second division

A few days before the May 10 elections, the Comelec second division allowed Arroyo to be a nominee of AGP, saying he ?actively supported and advanced the projects and programs of the party.?

The division added that Arroyo, who opted not to run for reelection in the second district of Pampanga to give way to the candidacy of his mother, had been an AGP member since November 2009.

Fight not over

Rep. Teddy Casio of the militant party-list group Bayan Muna said the fight to disqualify Arroyo was not over. ?Mikey Arroyo cannot rest on his laurels yet. It?s not yet time to party,? Casio said.

He said Bayan Muna would bring its petition against Arroyo?s nomination to the Supreme Court, where it won a disqualification case against an already proclaimed organization in 2001.

?It?s not really about making life difficult for the Arroyos. It?s about getting justice for the party-list system itself. We don?t want the party-list system undermined and tarnished,? he said.

Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello shared Casio?s sentiment: ?Akbayan will also continually challenge his being there because it is very clear that he has no historical ties with the security guards sector and that was fully fabricated.?

Protection from prosecution

Bello said the emerging Arroyo bloc in Congress must be stopped as the outgoing President was obviously building a clique ?to protect her from the severity of the law.?

Ms Arroyo has been dogged by allegations of corruption, election cheating and other anomalies during her nine-year administration. She will step down as President on June 30.

?I think it is very important that we exact and have justice because we do not want the allies of GMA (Ms Arroyo) to be protecting her from prosecution,? Bello said.

Four Arroyos

Arroyo?s sectoral representation places at least four Arroyos in the House: Ms Arroyo as representative of Pampanga?s second district; her second son, Diosdado ?Dato? Arroyo, who was reelected Camarines Sur representative; and her brother-in-law, reelected Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr.

Mikey Arroyo was not around at Monday?s proclamation and missed the howls of protest. He is in the United States ?taking a rest? and has yet to receive news about AGP?s win, said the group?s chair, Charlie Chua.

The 28 proclaimed and 11 ?deferred? groups comprise the 39 party-list groups from which the 57 party-list seats shall be drawn, as calculated by the Comelec.

If one or more of the 11 will have their registrations canceled with finality, the groups next in line will be elevated. Nominees with disqualification cases may withdraw in favor of other nominees.

Each party-list group submitted by March 26 a list of five nominees each.

Melo said the Comelec was set to review other groups that still have pending disqualification cases either against the party or the nominees, and to decide whether these groups would be proclaimed and listed in the amended resolution.

Melo earlier read a resolution which calculated the number of seats to be given to each group.

Two seats each

Seven groups will get two seats each, namely the Coalition of Associations of Citizens in the Philippines, Akbayan, Gabriela, Coop-Natcco, Abono, Bayan Muna and An Waray.

The rest will have one seat each. They are the Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines Inc. (Agap), Alliance of Barangay Concerns Party (Anad), Butil Farmers Party, Anakpawis, Kabataan and Abante Mindanao Inc. (Abamin).

ACT Teachers, Youth Against Corruption and Poverty (Yacap), Kasangga sa Kaunlaran Inc. (Ang Kasangga), Bagong Henerasyon (BH), AGP, Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano Inc. (Agbiag), Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA), Art Business and Science Professionals (ABS) and Trade Union Congress Party.

Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan Inc. (Agham), Democratic Independent Workers? Association Inc. (Diwa), Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong ng Walang Sala (Kakusa), Kalinga-Advocacy for Social Empowerment and Nation Building Through Easing Poverty Inc., (Kalinga), Alagad Party-List, Una Ang Pamilya (1 Ang Pamilya) and Alliance of Volunteer Educators (AVE).

Based on the Comelec?s final tally as of May 17, there were 29,441,706 votes cast for the party-list race. Already deducted from this number, according to Melo, was 308,335 votes garnered by eight party-list groups whose participation in the polls were barred with finality.

Carpio formula

In the previous formula, a group must win at least 2 percent of the votes cast for the party-list elections to be eligible to a seat in the House.

In April 2009, the Supreme Court declared the 2-percent threshold unconstitutional and gave, through the Carpio formula, a seat to a party-list group that won less than two percent, and one or more additional seats to a group that has more than two percent.

However, the total number of party-list representatives must retain 20 percent of the total number of seats in the House, in accordance with the Article VI, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution, the high court ruled.

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