Comelec delisting of Migrante partylist politically motivated

 

Quezon City

 

October 222, 1009

 

 

   
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PRESS RELEASE
22 October 2009
Reference: Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairperson, MP#0927-2157292/landline: 911-4910

Partylist claims Comelec exclusion politically motivated

Migrante Partylist, a sectoral party of OFWs, directly accused the Comelec in preventing them from joining the partylist race in 2010.

"At least five partylist groups which have the same situation as Migrante were allowed by Comelec to run in previous elections. So why is Comelec now reversing itself? We believe that the delisting of Migrante is politically motivated," Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairperson of Migrante Partylist claimed.

In a press conference held in a restaurant in Quezon City, Migrante Partylist together with election lawyers and representatives of other progressive partylist questioned the credibility of the Comelec and its recent en banc Resolution 8679.

"Agrifil, Sagip-Kapwa, BISA, Pinoy Overseas Party and Banat Partylist were permitted to run in the 2004 elections even if the said groups failed to obtain at least 2 percentum of the total votes in 1998 and failed to participate in the 2001 elections. While Migrante, which is in the same predicament, was delisted by Comelec. This clearly shows that the Comelec's en banc resolution 8679 banning Migrante to run in the coming election is inconsistent with its previous decision," asserted Regalado.

The group believes that Malacanang allegedly has a hand in the Comelec's decision since Migrante has been a perennial headache to the Arroyo administration by constantly citing the government’s criminal neglect in cases of trafficking, human rights violations, abuse and exploitation of OFWs in various parts of the world."

"We smell a rat here and we challenge the Comelec to explain to us and to the many OFWs who have been clamoring for MSP to run why, at this time that we are stronger now to run for a seat, COMELEC is denying us this legitimate right!" Regalado added.

Regalado likewise predicted that the delisting of Migrante is just a prelude to suppressing progressive partylist groups in favor of partylist allegedly being backed by the Arroyo administration.

"Last election, the Arroyo administration fielded at least 9 pseudo-partylist groups headed by First Gentleman Mike Arroyo's sister Maria Lourdes Arroyo of Kasangga Partylist and President Arroyo's favorite general, Jovito Palparan of Bantay Partylist. Migrante is among those who exposed this in 2007 and we will expose them again this coming election," warned Regalado.

Regalado blamed Comelec for approving the registration of groups who allegedly cannot represent marginalized sectors as stated in the Partylist System Act.
"What a mockery Comelec has made of the law. Instead of giving credence and encouraging real partylist groups, the Comelec has already allowed the proliferation of farcical groups, the domination and manipulation of the ruling elite, and the accommodation of fascist generals and politicians from dynasties as nominees or representatives." Regalado concluded. ####

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http://migrantecampaign.ning.com
#10 Banuyo St.Brgy.Amihan, Project 3, Quezon City
Telefax: 9114910

 

     
           
           

 

PRESS RELEASE
21 Oct. 2009
Reference: Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairperson
Mobile: 09272157392

Migrante to picket embassies abroad
Migrants group launches cyber protest against Comelec

"Let our voices be heard, allow Migrante Partylist to run in the 2010 party-list elections!"

This call in the Facebook Causes (apps.facebook.com/causes/?m=ed6ae9f3) is fast becoming the battle cry of Migrante Partylist after being delisted by the Comelec last October 13, 2009.

"The call to allow Migrante to participate in the 2010 elections is gaining ground and we intend to make the world know that OFWs are being robbed of their right to representation if the COMELEC will not hear their plea," said Connie Regalado, Chairperson of Migrante Partylist.

Migrante was among the groups cited when the Comelec issued resolution no. 8679 ordering to delete 26 partylist in the list of registered national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions.

"Right now, OFW organizations from different countries abroad are already clogging the email addresses of the Comelec Commissioners to protest the disenfranchisement of overseas Filipinos," Regalado claimed.

The group asserted that they were denied due process since the "Comelec veered away from calling a hearing or even notifying the concerned parties before it issued the said resolution."

"Our chapters in all 23 countries have committed to hold protests in various forms to denounce the Comelec’s decision denying us the chance to be heard in the halls of congress while approving the participation of pseudo-partylists such as that of Mike Arroyo’s sister -Kasangga Partylist and Jovito Palparan’s Bantay Partylist," Regalado said. “We are likewise planning to launch an online petition.”

Already , Unifil-Migrante, the biggest chapter of Migrante in Hong Kong held a picket in front of the Philippine Consulate General at United Center Building, Admiralty, Hong Kong. The group denounced the Comelec for delisting Migrante and accused the Arroyo administration as the one behind Migrante’s exclusion.

"Our chapters in New Zealand has already sent a protest letter to Comelec Chairman Melo and officers of Migrante-Middle East have also conducted a press conference to protest the Comelec’s decision. Other OFW groups in Europe and North America also intend to protest in support of Migrante," Regalado added.

Regalado warned the Comelec that it will loose its credibility to hold an open and honest election if it will exclude legitimate representatives of the marginalized sectors as provided by law while it continuous to recognize pseudo-partylist groups.####
 

 

21 October 2009
 

Hon. Jose Melo
Chairman
Commission on Elections

DEAR HON. CHAIRMAN MELO:

Warm greetings from Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are writing to express our disappointment on the recent disqualification of Migrante Sectoral Party.

We urge you and all Commissioners to immediately review Resolution 8679, recall the disqualification order as having been devoid of due process and uphold the right of Migrante to participate in the 2010 elections.

Migrante was delisted erroneously, as it cannot be claimed to have failed to participate in two preceding elections or failed to obtain 2 percent of the votes cast in two preceding elections, as required by Republic Act 7941 (Party-list System Act). Disallowing Migrante to participate as a sectoral party in the May 2010 elections will curtail the positive initiatives of migrants worldwide to actively contribute in the exercise of governance. Migrante’s disqualification also renders government’s pronouncements that overseas Filipino workers are the "New Heroes" of the republic as meaningless proclamations or utterances of a farcical leadership.

It is the height of injustice that the Comelec qualified Malacañang-supported fake party-list groups like the one represented by the notorious Jovito Palparan to gain a seat in Congress, while disqualifying the leading and genuine advocate of the welfare of the marginalized overseas Filipino workers.

We are gravely disappointed over the failure of government agencies to ensure registration of more overseas absentee voters; more so now that Comelec unjustly disqualified Migrante from the 2010 party-list elections.

We pray for justice to prevail through your immediate action to heed our appeal for Migrante Sectoral Party to be allowed to participate in the 2010 party-list elections.

DENNIS MAGA
National Coordinator
Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand

 

           
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PROTEST IN HONG KONG
     
           
           

 

Press Release
21 October 2009
For reference: Dolores T. Balladares
Chairperson, Tel. No.: (852) 97472986

“Migrante is a thorn to the sides of the government”
Political prosecution drives de-listing – UNIFIL-HK

“Migrante is a thorn to the sides and a bramble in the hands of GMA. With its staunch stance against government policies on OFWs, Migrante has become the first progressive party-list victim of political prosecution by this administration prior to the 2010 polls.”

This was declared today by Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) as members of the group held a protest action at the Philippine Consulate General (PCG-HK) to condemn the decision of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to de-list Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP) in the 2010 partylist race.

“For years, Migrante has exposed the neglect of the GMA government to OFWs in distress, failure to curb overcharging of recruitment agencies, billion-peso scandals in the OWWA and policies that sell out the Filipino migrants for modern-day slavery. With such a record, GMA will not allow Migrante a fair chance to be in the Congress,” she added.

Balladares said that COMELEC en banc Resolution No. 8679 that ordered the de-listing is irregular and highly-questionable. She added that it violates the party-list rules because of its flawed interpretation of the law and the faulty process the COMELEC followed with the decision. Moreover, she said that COMELEC Commissioner Melo’s appeal to Migrante before to help in the registration is a de facto recognition of the group.

“With the absence of a legal basis, we strongly believe that the de-listing is politically-motivated and the dirty hand of the government is behind it. Who’s deathly afraid of Migrante and the potential electoral influence of OFWs? Only those who have the most to lose in the 2010 polls like GMA and her camp,” she remarked.

Balladares relayed that the “disgust of OFWs against the GMA government” has been clear for the past years. In her foreign trips, GMA has been hounded by protest actions from OFW groups especially from Migrante and its affiliates.

“From Hong Kong, to the United States, Japan and even in Middle East countries, Migrante and other OFW organizations never let go of the chance to protest against anti-people and anti-OFW moves of GMA. If Migrante is even allowed an opening to possibly take part in law-making, there is no way for GMA’s policies to continue and for her to go scot-free from her crimes. Thus, GMA basks in the grave disenfranchisement of Filipino migrants first through the pathetic efforts in the registration period and now the de-listing of Migrante,” she said.

The COMELEC decision has been met by protests from Migrante members and allies in different countries. In Hong Kong, UNIFIL is soliciting the support of different organizations in a petition to have the resolution reversed.

Last Sunday, the group gathered almost 50 organizations for the petition letter that they will fax to member commissioners of the COMELEC. Balladares said that they will continue to solicit the support of other organizations “until the COMELEC makes right its disservice to Filipinos migrants.”

“Migrante should be allowed to run. GMA and her camp shall only further earn the ire of Filipinos abroad if this political harassment against Migrante persists,” she concluded.


United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
2/ F., New Hall, St. John's Cathedral,
4 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 3156-2447
Fax. (852) 2526-2894 / 2735-4559
E-mail: secretariat@unifil.org.hk

 

     
     
           
     
           
           

 

News Release - October 23, 2009
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Satur C. Ocampo, MAKABAYAN President 0917-8226184
 

Satur: Thousands of OFWs disenfranchised with COMELEC’s delisting of Migrante

Party list coalition Makabayan today strongly urged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to reconsider its earlier resolution to remove Migrante Sectoral Party from the list of accredited party-list organizations participating in the 2010 elections.

“Thousands of overseas Filpinos are in danger of being disenfranched by this COMELEC ruling. They who contribute so much from the economy have for so long been marginalized by the electoral system. Now, once again, they are being denied their right to representation,” said Rep. Satur Ocampo, president of Makabayan.

In an en banc resolution last October 13, 2009, COMELEC barred Migrante and 25 other party-list organizations from participating in the 2010 elections. Migrante, according to the commission, participated and failed to gain seats in two straight elections prior to the upcoming polls.

It is on record, however, that Migrante only participated during the 2004 elections and signified their intent not to run in 2007 while maintaining the option to run in the next election.

“It is clear from its track record that Migrante is a legitimate party-list organization, with the largest and broadest membership among overseas Filipinos and their families in the Philippines. It cannot be denied that to delist Migrante is to disenfranchise their constituency,” explained Ocampo.

Ocampo further pointed to COMELEC’s wild inconsistencies in its decision to delist and maintain party-list groups in its accredited list. For instance, groups like BISA, Pinoy Overseas Party and Banat were allowed to run in 2004 even as they failed to garner the required two-percent of total party-list votes to garner seats in 1998. These groups also failed to run during the 2001 elections.

Meanwhile, groups with dubious representation like (Mike Arroyo’s sister) Ma. Lourdes Arroyo’s Kasangga Party-list and butcher general Jovito Palparan’s Bantay Party-list were allowed to participate in 2007 and defame the true spirit of the Party-List System Act.

“All these point to a political motive in the delisting of Migrante. After all, Migrante, along with the other progressive party-list organizations, have been the most vocal in criticizing government misdeeds and even exposing electoral fraud during the past elections,” said Ocampo.

Ocampo also urged the commission not to give in to pressure from Malacañang. He asked COMELEC to give progressive party-list organizations like Migrante a chance to finally run for House seats that would represent the millions of Filipinos long denied of due representation. ###

Vincent Michael L. Borneo
Political Affairs Officer
(Media and Public Relations)
Office of Deputy Minority Leader
and BAYAN MUNA Rep. Satur C. Ocampo
Rm. 416, RVMitra Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax no: 951-1027
Mobile: 09277968198

 


PAHAYAG SA MIDYA
17 Oktobre 2009

Pagbati!

Mariin nating kinokondena ang kuwestyonable at hindi makatarungang COMELEC en banc Resolution No. 8679 kung saan tinanggal nito ang Migrante Sectoral Partylist para hindi makalahok sa halalan 2010. Ang ma-anomalyang hakbang na ito ng COMELEC ay lantarang pagsupil sa karapatan ng sektor-OFW’s para magkaroon ng tunay at lehitimong boses sa kongreso.

Taliwas sa panuntunang-legal ang naging interpretasyon ng COMELEC sa Section 6, paragraph 8 na nakapaloob sa Partylist System Act (R.A. 7941). Malinaw na nakasaad sa naturang probisyon na maaari lang matanggal ang organisayong katulad ng Migrante Sectoral Partylist sa pangkalahatang-listahan ng COMELEC kung ito ay:

1.Hindi nakalahok sa dalawang magkasunod na eleksiyon;
2.Hindi nakakuha ng 2% ng boto sa ilalim ng partylist system sa loob ng dalawang magkasunod na eleksiyon.

Sa aspetong legal at teknikal, hindi maaring gawing sangkalan ng COMELEC ang nabanggit na probisyon para hadlangan ang pagpupunyagi ng sektor-OFW na magkaroon ng representasyon sa kongreso. Noong 2004, pumalaot ang Migrante Sectoral Partylist sa halalan ngunit ito ay nabigo na makakalap ng botong itinalaga ng batas. Dahil dito napagpasyahan ng buong pamunuan ng Migrante Sectoral Partylist na palakasin ang baseng-masa at kasapian sa buong mundo na nagtulak upang ipagpaliban ang paglahok nito sa halalan noong 2007. Sa makatuwid, isang eleksyon pa lang na hindi nakalahok ang Migrante Sectoral Partylist at ito ay noong 2007.

Dahil ba ang Migrante Sectoral Partylist ay kritiko ng rehimeng Arroyo kaya’t sagad ang pagwasiwas ng hindi makatarungan hakbang laban sa ating hanay? Ang iskemang ito ay isang tipo ng political harassment para patahimikin ang mga progresibong kilusan na patuloy na bumabatikos sa bulok na lipunan. May kasabwat na naman kaya ang Malakanyang sa COMELEC katulad ni Garci noon? Kung tutuusin ang Malakanyang ang may marubdob na pagnanasang tanggalin at patahimikin ang mga tunay na partidong kumakatawan sa marginalized sector ng lipunan natin. Sukdulang gumamit ng pandurukot, pagpatay sa mga kaanib at opisyales ng mga progresibong partylists. Ngayon naman ay ang pagtanggal sa Migrante Sectoral Partylist na tunay na kumakatawan sa interes ng mga Migranteng nasa labas ng bansa. Ngunit hindi tayo kailanman panghihinaan ng loob, bagkus, doble pa nating pag-iibayuhin ang pagmulat, pagmobilisa at pagpapakilos sa sektor na ating kinabibilangan para lalong mapagsilbihan ang malawak na bilang ng sambayan.

Sa halip, dapat na tuunan ng COMELEC ay ang pag-aalis sa mga pekeng partylist na pakawala ng Malakanyang katulad ng Bantay (Jovito Palparan), ANAD (Jun Alcover), Kasangga (Ma. Lourdes Arroyo, kapatid ni Mike Arroyo) atbpa.
Hinihimok natin ang masa’t sambayan na makiisa sa ating ipinaglalaban. Maging mapagmatyag at tutulan ang lahat na uri ng katiwalian!

Migranteng Pilipino sa buong mundo, MAGKAISA!
COMELEC Resolution No. 8679, IBASURA!

(SGD.) John Torres
Spokesperson
Migrante Sectoral Partylist
Eastern Region, KSA

Email: john_torresrt@yahoo.com.ph
 

           

 

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