Saturday, May 8, 2010

Comelec rules Arroyo son can represent guards, drivers

By Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:02:00 05/09/2010

Filed Under: Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010

Original Story:

THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (COMelec) has paved the way for Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, the son of President Macapagal-Arroyo, to represent security guards and drivers in Congress, citing his work in supporting and advancing projects intended to benefit the marginalized.

The Comelec’s Second Division Saturday dismissed two petitions filed by the Bayan Muna and Gabriela party-list groups seeking to disqualify Arroyo from the party-list race.

Arroyo is one of the nominees of Ang Galing Pinoy, a party-list group representing security guards and drivers.

The petitioners contended that Arroyo could not be considered as belonging to the marginalized sector for whom the party-list system was devised.

In its decision, the Second Division noted the requirements for nominees set forth in the party-list law, which includes the nominee being a member of the organization three months before the polls.

It said the party-list group can have different kinds of members for as long as majority of them belong to the marginalized sector which the group seeks to represent.

“Any member of the party-list group of good standing, whether belonging to the majority or not, is entitled to be nominated by the party, for the law merely requires that the party-list nominee must be a ‘bona fide member of the party or organization which he seeks to represent for at least ninety (90) days preceding the day of the election,’” it said.

The division noted that Arroyo became a member of Ang Galing Pinoy on Nov. 20, 2009, six months before the elections.

It said that Arroyo had “actively supported and advanced the projects and programs of the party by regularly attending its meetings, livelihood and skills program and farmers’ day activities.”

This gives him the right to be one of the group’s nominees, the commissioners said.

“Evidently, respondent had clearly immersed himself with the hopes and aspirations of the party and the sector it represents. He has as much right to be a nominee as any other member of the party,” the ruling said.

With the Second Division ruling in favor of Arroyo, the petitioners warned that there would be a flood of rich, privileged, powerful people attempting to represent the marginalized.

“Allowing an incumbent district congressman from the ruling party, who is the multimillionaire son of a sitting President, to run as a party-list representative removes any and all obstacles for wealthy, powerful and influential politicians to steal the party-list system from the truly marginalized and under-represented,” said Bayan Muna member Teodoro Casiño in a statement.

Original Story:

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