Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lim appeals Comelec ruling on his disqualification


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Detained Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim yesterday formally filed a motion for reconsideration asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to reverse its resolution which disqualified him from running in the senatorial race in the synchronized national and local elections next year.

“Today, I have filed my motion for reconsideration to the Comelec resolution disqualifying me. I am confident that I can prove my capacity to wage a national campaign,” Lim, who is presently detained at the Camp Crame Custodial Center for the February 2006 alleged mutiny and the November 2007 siege of the posh Manila Peninsula Hotel, told members of the media.

The appeal, which seeks to return his name in the official list of senatorial candidates and acknowledge him as a credible candidate, was filed before the poll body by Lim’s lawyer.

On Tuesday, the Comelec released a list containing the names of qualified candidates for the national positions, including eight presidential bets, eight vice presidential candidates
and 58 senatorial candidates.

Lim, former commanding general of the Army’s elite First Scout Ranger Regiment, was not on the list of approved senatorial contenders.

He assailed the Comelec decision which he branded as “baseless and unconstitutional.”

The Comelec had disqualified Lim apparently because of his seemingly questionable capability to launch a national campaign due to his lacking of organizational support.

But Lim refutes this, saying he has not only several organizational endorsements and backing, but even the support of at least four major political parties..

According to him, he has been adopted as a guest candidate by four major political parties: Deposed President Joseph Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s Liberal Party (LP), Evangelist leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva’s Bangon Pilipinas and Sonia Roco’s Aksyon Demokratiko.

“Among the evidence that I have included in my motion for reconsideration are proof of party affiliation and adoption by four major political parties, the number of volunteers committed to assist me and the various organizations that undertakes my support. I trust that the Comelec will see what I have complied with the requisites of the law,” he said.

Lim’s fellow coup-accused and detainee, Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, who is running under Sen. Manny Villar’s Nacionalista Party, has made it to the Comelec’s list of qualified senatorial candidates.

In another poll-related issue, the executive director of a survey firm yesterday lashed back at members of the LP for questioning the integrity of the pollster’s latest survey.

Ed Malay, executive director of The Center, said while he does not want to spoil the spirit of the Christmas season, he has to straighten the things Aquino’s campaign manager, former Arroyo Cabinet member Florencio “Butch” Abad had maliciously imputed against his person and that of his survey.

“In the spirit of the season, I hope we who are involved in politics may be able to live in peace and at peace with one another. I have no quarrel with Butch Abad, but I hope they will be civil enough as to exercise a certain degree of ethics and not question our surveys as much as we don’t question theirs,” Malay said.

On Wednesday, Abad was quoted by a national daily (not the Tribune) questioning the integrity of the results of the latest survey conducted by The Center which showed Aquino’s lead over his rival on the downswing.

“I don’t want to cast aspersion on anyone involved in that survey, but there is no doubt that SWS (Social Weather Stations) and Pulse Asia have more corporate subscribers,” he was quoted to have said.

Defending his survey results, Malay said surveys produce different results “as responses are dependent on the mood and sentiments prevailing at the time the survey is conducted.”

“It is possible that the SWS and Pulse Asia will have almost similar results because both have a common research organization that conducts their surveys,” he pointed out.

Malay stressed that he and his firm are not new to survey activities as they “have been doing this for quite some time and surveys are what guided us in plotting our strategies during the 1992 campaign of former President Fidel Ramos.”

In his analysis of the results of The Center’s survey, Malay said Aquino’s ratings took a stationary dive owing to his dodging of the issue on the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway project, from which the Aquino family benefited, and the issue of the distribution of the lands in Hacienda Luisita, which his family also owns, to its farmer-tenants under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

Carp was implemented during the term of Aquino’s late mother, former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. The Aquino-Cojuangco family, however, has been refusing to give up the lands in Hacienda Luisita and has been fighting its sugar plantation workers in court and has allegedly been employing deadly “scare tactics” to harass them. Mario J. Mallari and Charlie V. Manalo

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