Philippines: Gabriela Gives Comelec Copy of Partylist Memo, Urges Probe

Apr. 24, 2007

MANILA — Gabriela Womens Party members today trooped to the Commission on Elections office to give copies of the confidential memo to COMELEC Chairperson Benjamin Abalos while urging the body to conduct a speedy investigation on the alleged hatchet plot using public funds against progressive partylists.

This is a prelude to our filing of charges against Assistant Secretary Marcelo Farinas II for violating provisions in the Omnibus Election Code that prohibits partisanship in elections by government officials and use of public funds, Cristina Palabay, Gabriela Womens Party Secretary General, said.

Farinas has a lot to explain, starting from the alleged partylist-for-sale scheme traced to the Office of External Affairs, to this hatchet job against progressive partylists. It does not for Farinas to deny all these as black propaganda against the government, Palabay said.

For instance, Palabay explained, according to Farinas himself , his leave started in March, a full month since the election campaign period started. This means, he was and is still a public official at the same time campaigning for its partylist as its secretary general.

Palabay explained further that the memo has served as the framework for which the public can understand Malacanangs preoccupation with the partylist elections, and how the Palace has mobilized government agencies to disenfranchise partylists from the opposition.

In the coming days, we will expose another paper trail which will further show that Malacanang engages in partisan politics, Palabay said.###

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