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News: Advocacy News

Disqualification of 4 party-lists sought

Friday, 19 April 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Administration
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— Erwin Colcol (@erwincolcol) April 4, 2019

A party-list nominee is seeking to disqualify four other party-list groups in the May elections for supposedly receiving financial contributions from electric cooperatives.

(With Kontra Brownout Partylist Nominees Hon. Pete Ilagan, Engr. Roger Reyes and Atty Raffy Acebedo)

At a press conference in Quezon City on Thursday, Pete Ilagan, the first nominee of the NASECORE Kontra Brownout party-list, said they are filing a disqualification petition before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) against party-lists Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association (PHILRECA), Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC), RECOBODA, and Ako Padayon on Friday.

NASECORE Kontra Brownout party-list to file disqualification petition against four other party-list nominees in May polls for supposedly receiving financial contributions from electric cooperatives.

Lawyer Rafael Acebedo, who is also the fifth nominee of the NASECORE Kontra Brownout party-list, serves as the petitioner in the disqualification case.

Acebedo claimed that the four party-lists received financial contributions from electric cooperatives, an act which he said is prohibited under the Omnibus Election Code.

He cited Section 95, stating that no contribution for partisan political activity should be given by natural or juridical persons granted with "franchises, incentives, exemptions, allocations or similar privileges or concessions by the government."

Electric cooperatives are covered by this provision, Acebedo said, as they are public utilities.

"Meron kaming nakuha na kopya ng cheque, yung mga board resolutions which are very glaring. Sinasabi ng board resolution nila, Resolution Approving the Amount of P1 million for the Legislative Undertakings of Party-lists Represented by PHILRECA," Acebedo said.

"May cheque, may board resolutions kami, may mga deposit slips in the account of PHILRECA. So ito ay bayolasyon ng Section 95 at batay sa rules ng Comelec, it is also ground for disqualification at may criminal aspect pa ito," he added.

PHILRECA is the umbrella organization of all electric cooperatives in the county, Acebedo said.

Acebedo added that the nominees of the said party-lists are members of the Board of Directors of the electric cooperatives themselves.

For one, Acebedo's petition said that the biggest contribution PHILRECA received was P3 million from the Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative (DASURECO), whose general manager, Godofredo Guya, is the first nominee of RECOBODA party-list.

Meanwhile, DASURECO Board of Directors president Rodrigo Sacedor is also the third nominee of APEC party-list and a director and senior vice-president of PHILRECA.

For this, the petition said the party-lists, through the representation and facilitation of PHILRECA, "abused their power through their influence and positions... as they solicited and received financial contributions from franchised electric cooperatives intended for partisan political activity."

Aside from the disqualification of the party-lists, Acebedo's petition also wants the Comelec to make its decision to disqualify them public and declare the votes for them "null and void."

Ilagan said they have also raised this concern to the National Electrification Administration. However, he said that the administration of NEA also approved the resolutions granting contributions to the party-lists.

Ilagan also said officials from NEA may also be subjected to an action of the Office of the Ombudsman. — BM, GMA News

Note: PSME and NASECORE has a memorandum of agreement for PSME to support the advocacy of NASECORE to have reasonably price and reliable electricity and to fight corruption and abuses in the power industry.