appointees, associates also running in party-list race
November 12, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
Kontra Daya observed that there are party-list groups whose nominees
are recent incumbent government officials, including some who are
still believed to be supportive of the President despite their
controversial removal from public office.
The first nominee of
Pambansang Nagkakaisa sa Paggawa at Agrikultura is Socrates Piñol,
provincial board member of North Cotabato and brother of Department
of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
The first and third
nominees of Gawing Una Tagumpay ng Ordinaryong Mamamayan are worth
noting, as the first nominee, Rex Anthony Villegas, is a former
board member of Nayong Filipino who was fired due to a complaint by
another board member who happens to be a niece of President Duterte.
The third nominee, Maria Katrina Nicole Contacto, is a legal counsel
of Duterte in the latter's disqualification case in the 2016
elections. She is also chair of the Youth Affairs Committee of
The Hugpong Federal
Movement of the Philippines has as first nominee Peter Laviña,
former administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA)
who resigned amid corruption allegations, according to news reports.
Party-list’s first nominee is Jonathan Dela Cruz, former board
member of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) who was
fired due to alleged contract anomalies.
The first nominee of Bahay
para sa Pamilyang Pilipino, Inc., Naella Rose Bainto-Aguinaldo, was
appointed member of the Career Executive Service Board by Duterte in
2017. She also happens to be the wife of Commission on Audit (COA)
Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo.
For the Global Workers and
Family Federation, the first nominee is Ermie Lagman Garon, a
commissioner of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)
representing the business and industry sector and is a member of the
People’s National Movement for Federalism.
The first nominee of
Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa, Inc. (RAM) is Aloysia Tiongson
Lim, wife of Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Danilo
Based on its public
pronouncements, the Duterte Youth Party-list is apparently
supportive of the President and runs on a platform of countering
another youth party-list group that is known to be critical of the
administration. It is the only party-list group that has used
“Duterte” in its name. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) must
examine if such group is legitimately seeking to represent the youth
or is merely using the name of the President for political gain. The
group is also associated with Duterte appointee Ronald Cardema of
the National Youth Commission which raises questions on the role of
the government agency in the affairs of the party-list group.
Calls to COMELEC
COMELEC Spokesperson James
Jimenez said in a media interview that the poll body scrapped the
review of party-list groups due to the ruling of the Supreme Court
in 2013 – i.e., that nominees do not have to be part of the
marginalized and underrepresented sectors they claim to represent.
However, Kontra Daya
asserts that COMELEC can still look into several issues related to
the party-list groups. For example, the poll body can conduct a
public hearing on party-list groups and the track records of their
nominees in order to clarify their decision to run in the 2019
Some nominees appear to
have become overnight members and nominees of their party-list
groups, particularly during the period of the filing of candidacies,
thus raising questions regarding their track record and advocacy.
This may be the case for party-list groups whose nominees only
recently resigned from government just in time for the filing of
their certificates of nomination and acceptance.