Philippines’s progressive party-lists being edged out of legislative arena

May. 21, 2007

MANILA — Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that the abduction and ‘salvaging’ or summary execution of members and officials of the progressive party-lists will most likely continue long after the 2007 elections because the incumbent administration is hell-bent on driving out the progressive party-lists from the legislative arena.

“This is the main and primary goal of the administration. By abducting, executing and criminalizing our members, leaders and official representatives, the Macapagal-Arroyo administration seeks to drive progressive activists out of the legislative arena and at the same time weaken the democratic protest movement. No more proof is required to show that there is no genuine democracy in the Philippines, and that the incumbent presidency does not abide by the rules of civil and democratic rule,” he said.

He said that there were already plans to redeploy the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the urban poor communities in the National Capital Region (NCR) while troops in the provinces where more on the lookout for civilian members of the progressive party-lists and people’s organizations than for members of the New People’s Army.

Beltran said that the large scale fraud operations that continue to attack the votes of the progressive party-lists and the continuing persecution of members and volunteers of the progressive party-lists should not go be allowed to escape public notice.

“There is more than meets the eye to Macapagal-Arroyo administration’s attacks against the progressive party-lists. By attacking us, the administration also seeks to put to stifle the voice of the marginalized sectors who ironically comprise the large majority of the Filipino population. The attacks against our party-lists are attacks against the aspirations of the marginalized sectors and their righteous and justified demands for economic and political reforms in the country. Unlike the bogus party-lists Malacanang established and set lose in the May 14 elections, progressive party-lists and other party-lists critical of the administration genuinely represent the marginalized sectors and lobby, campaign for their interest,” he said.

“The legislative agenda of the progressive party-lists mirror the demands and needs of the marginalized sectors of workers, farmers, urban and rural poor, as well as those of special sectors of women and youth. By stealing our votes and denying us our rightful seats in congress, the Macapagal-Arroyo administration is also killing the voice of the marginalized sectors and making sure that their demands and issues do not reach the halls of congress and find even the most basic legislative expression.”

“Malacanang spokespersons and defenders allege that the main agenda of the progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women’s Party is to support the calls for impeachment of the president. There is no truth to this. More important than this is our advocacy for the economic needs and political rights of the marginalized sectors we represent. Malacanang’s party-lists if allowed by the Comelec to secure an ill-won and fraudulent victory will do nothing in Congress but support the anti-poor, anti-national economic measures of the administration and laud the worsening political repression against the Filipino people,” he said.

“A victory of the Malacanang front party-lists is a tragedy for the marginalized sectors.”#

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