The Abang Lingkod Party List aired its strong objection to complaints of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas–Negros against it based on the previous associations of its principal nominees in a statement it issued yesterday.
Denying Abang Lingkod the opportunity to participate in a democratic process according to existing laws,is in effect an infringement of its members basic human right guaranteed by our Constitution, the statement furnished the DAILY STAR by its second nominee, Negros Occidental Board Member Patrick Lacson, said.
Members of the KMP-Negros Wednesdaypicketed the Commission on Elections in Manila to call for the disqualification of the Abang Lingkod party-list group, which they described as agroup of the government-funded Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigadeand big landlords.
KMP–Negros secretary general Greg Ratincalled on the Comelec to immediately deny the petition for registration of Abang Lingkod, whose first nominee is Joseph Stephen Paduano, also known as Carapali Lualhati, RPA-ABB national commander.
“As far as nominees are concerned, we believe that it is immaterial at this point, partylist nominees come and go. What is more important is the party itself and its intention to help many Filipino farmers. I am confident of our intention and sincerity to be of service tour countrymen,” Lacson said.
Yesterday, the KMP Negros also submitted a letter of grave concern to COMELEC Commissioner Sixto Brillantes citing the alleged crimes committed by the RPA-ABB.
COMELEC spokesman James Jimenez yesterday said approval of allparty list applications for the 2013 polls are expected to be made by end of September.
They are now in the process of verifying all ofallegations, Jimenez added.
The Abang Lingkod statement denied the allegations of KMP Negros that its does not represent the interest of the farmers as it is, in reality, an alliance between landlords and the RPA-ABB.
“We stand behind theConstitution and By-Laws of our Party List to secure food security and help in the poverty alleviation efforts of the government, tapping in the process individuals and volunteers whose background and vocation have been oriented to agriculture and aqua marine development including micro-finance, technology enhancement and productivity research,” the statement said.
Abang Lingkod chairman and fifth nominee,former La Paz, Tarlac MayorJohnson Manuel, and a farmer himself, has submitted to theComelechis judiciary affidavit affirming and defending the desireof theAbangLingkodto participate in the coming elections, it added.
“We expressed our belief and faith in the fairness and integrity of the Commissioners of theComelecto decide and accept our petition and resolution based on the merits of our submitted affidavit and documents. We alsowish toconveythis earlythat theAbangLingkodas a Party List shall not waver in its mission to serve our fellow Filipinos,” the statement said.*CPG