“In terms of postering, we all know who are the real violators. Akbayan, Risa Hontiveros and Bam Aquino have the most number of illegally placed posters all over the country but they remain sacred cows that are not being touched by Comelec.” – PISTON
MANILA — Members of PISTON Partylist and other progressive organizations trooped to the Comelec national office in Palacio del Gobernador this morning April 16 anticipating its dreadded decision regarding the probable cancellation of accreditation of at least two progressive partylists. In the past few weeks, PISTON and Kabataan Partylists have been repeatedly branded and called to task by Comelec officials for alleged illegal postering, even as more numerous and glaring violations of pro-administration candidates abound. Comelec’s actions have tied up the time of some of these partylist candidates, even as they warned that their partylist groups are being demonized by no less than Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes himself.
Piston is accusing Aquino of having a hand in the moves to discredit and even disqualify his administration’s staunch critics. The Comelec has been acting like Aquino’s hatchet man against progressive partylists, Piston declared in a statement.
“Is this Hello Garci all over again?” asked George San Mateo, national president and first nominee of PISTON. “Are we being played as pawns in the continuing powerplay that Malacañang has been orchestrating since the start of the campaign period?”
San Mateo said Aquino has been using all his resources and influence to ensure that he will gain dominance over the the legislature and local governments. “Malacañang is using all possible dirty tricks in the book to ensure that the people will be rendered voiceless in this elite-dominated charade,” he said.
San Mateo said the Comelec has been making decisions favoring only the ruling party and its allies. “In terms of postering, we all know who are the real violators. Akbayan, Risa Hontiveros and Bam Aquino have the most number of illegally placed posters all over the country but they remain sacred cows that are not being touched by Comelec,” San Mateo said.
The transport leader warned that they will take the battle to where they are strongest — the streets. While they are also prepared to challenge the “political harassment” in various courts, San Mateo said, their millions of members, supporters and allies are also prepared to launch nationwide actions against “this blatant attack on our rights.”
San Mateo added that the Comelec seems to be taking its time delaying the decision in order to prolong its impact on PISTON’s campaign.
“It appears that Comelec is derailing our campaign,” San Mateo said. Still, recent surveys place PISTON at 24th rank, enough for one (1) seat in Congress, similar with Kabataan. “We challenge the Comelec to make their ruling now so that we can finally move on with our campaign,” San Mateo dared Comelec.
Piston said that protests are being held since yesterday at the regional offices of Comelec including Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Negros and Davao. He added that their chapters in Panay are also set to protest this morning. “We are prepared to launch simultaneous and bigger protest actions all over the country to condemn the attacks against progressive partylists,” San Mateo said. He added that Filipinos know that PISTON does not retreat from fights.”