March 1, 2010
The anti-fraud and election monitoring group Kontra Daya today slammed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for having allowed a government-sponsored partylist group to run in the 2010 elections.
Kontra Daya convener Fr. Joe Dizon said the “partylist group” Batang Iwas Droga, or BIDA, should not have been accredited for the 2010 elections.
“This group was initiated by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) Chairman Ephraim Genuino,” Dizon said. “It is like Richard Gomez’s Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga, or MAD.”
Launched in June 2003 as an anti-drug campaign project, BIDA describes itself in its website (www.bida.org.ph) as “the brainchild…of Genuino.” Pagcor’s partners in this project are the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB). It was recently accredited as a partylist group for the upcoming elections.
“Why is it being allowed to run when it’s a government-sponsored project?” Dizon said.
Dizon cited the 2001 Supreme Court decision in the case of Ang bagong Bayani-OFW Labor party v. Commission on Elections, et al, which states that a partylist group “must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by, the government” and “must be independent of the government.”
The Supreme Court, in the same decision, argues that “the participation of government and its officials is not only illegal and unfair to other parties, but also deleterious to the objective of the law,” which is to allow marginalized and underrepresented sectors to elect their own representatives to Congress.