Manila, Philippines – “Why would you represent elected and appointed local government officials in a party-list which is supposed to be for the marginalized sectors? This is a clear example of how the party-list system is being bastardized in the name of extreme greed for power,” this was the statement of the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on the party-list bid of the newly-formed Malasakit Movement Party-list represented by former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Spokesperson Pircelyn Celine Pialago. The said party-list will represent elected barangay officials such as councilors (kagawad), and appointed personnel including watchmen (tanod), and barangay health workers.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA questioned the track record of former MMDA Spox to represent barangay officials in the Congress, and challenged her to seek a position at the local government level first before seeking a party-list seat.
“Does she even have a background of working as a village official? Before she aspires for a party-list seat, why not seek a barangay kagawad post for at least 1-2 terms or better yet, serve as a barangay tanod so she could directly experience and internalize their issues and concerns. We dare Ms. Pialago to prove her worth as the real representative of this group by undergoing this major overhaul in her political career,” Ronnel Arambulo, PAMALAKAYA Spokesperson said in a statement.
The fishers’ group believes that this party-list is “actually part of Malacanang-backed machinery to ensure the seats and interests of Duterte’s ruling political syndicate”.
PAMALAKAYA said it will “identify bogus party-lists backed and funded by the Malacanang and expose them to the voting public”. ###