Rich and powerful dynasties behind majority of 38 partylist group winners

(L-R) Bicolano businessmen Zaldy Co (FACEBOOK PHOTO) and Wilbert Lee (BICOLTODAY.COM)
Bicolano businessmen Zaldy Co (left) and Wilbert Lee. BICOLTODAY.COM
Bicolano businessmen Zaldy Co (left) and Wilbert Lee. BICOLTODAY.COM

By Nato Reyes

Today the Comelec proclaimed 38 party list groups, occupying 53 of the 58 congressional seats reserved for the party list system. Only 5 seats are left to be filled. From the list below, it is clear that the Supreme Court ruling allowing non-marginalized groups and nominees to enter the pary tlist race will only result in the domination of the system by the rich and powerful. What greater proof than this result for 2013? We have party lists that serve as extensions of political dynasties. Party lists that are family enterprises, where the nominees are are related to each other. Party lists that are connected with the police, judiciary, local governments and even Malacanang.

The Supreme Court, Comelec and even the Aquino regime, are all ultimately responsible for the “bastardization” of the party list system.




Buhay Hayaan Yumabong

Known to be the parytlist group of Bro. Mike Velarde of the El Shaddai, the current nominees include Velarde’s son Mariano, former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, and businessman Irwin Tieng of the Tieng faminly that controls Solar Sports.  The representatives of the top partylist group are known multi-millionaires.

Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation, and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms

The group seems to be more representative of school adminstrators and owners. Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Piamonte, is the former executive director of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and board member of the University of Regina Carmeli in Malolos, Bulacan; 5th nominee, lawyer Joseph Noel Estrada, is the vice president for administration of the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) & executive director of the Coordinating Council of PrivateEducational Associations (Cocopea)

Bayan Muna

Group will be represted in Congress by two long-time pro bono human rights lawyers.
4. 1-CARE

1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy

Previously disqualified by Comelec but was accredited after SC ruling changing the qualifications of partylist groups. Group supposedly seeks to represent electricity consumers, which is a broad category and could include both marginalized and well-off consumers.

Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party

During the campaign, Akbayan billed itself as a “coalition partner” of the Aquino regime. The partylist group has gained considerable in-roads in the current government and is believed to be supported by Aquino. Its second nominee was a former undersecretary of the Aquino government. Akbayan has been criticized as being no longer marginalized because of the influence and resources it has gained as part of the ruling coalition. Despite their perceived advantages, Akbayan’s votes went down this year compared to the 1.05 million they got in 2010.
6. AKB

Ako Bicol Political Party

AKB’s representatives in Congress are known multi-millionaires. The group was previously disqualified by Comelec but was accredited after the SC ruling allowing non-marginalized groups and nominees to participate in the partylist race.

Abono Party-list

Their representatives come from the Estrella & Ortega political clans in Pangasinan & La Union & are both multi-millionaires. Most of their votes came from Region 1, particularly La Union and Pangasinan where their Estrella and Ortega clans are influential in local politics, having also family members elected via the regular congressional districts. Abono got 33.81% of the total partylist votes in Region I. It got 70.63% of the PL votes in La Union and 36.76% of the PL votes in Pangasinan.

OFW Family Club, Inc.

The nominees of this group are mostly from the Seneres family led by former ambassador Roy Seneres. His son Roy, Jr. is the third nominee while daughter Hannah is the fourth nominee.

Gabriela Women’s Party

The group will be represented by two women’s rights activists belonging to the progressive women’s movement.

Cooperative NATCCO Network Party

Its incoming representative Cresente Paez has a declared net worth of P6.5 million. Its biggest votes came from Region 7.
11. AGAP

Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines

Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Briones, is chair of big security firm Audacious Services & is a multimillionaire with a net worth of₱46.62 M. Most of its votes came from Region 4A.

Citizens’ Battle Against Coruption

The group has two sets of nominees. One led by former representative Luis Lokin and another led by incumbent representative Sherwin Tunga.

Magdalo Para sa Pilipino

A partylist group organized by former rebel soldiers of the same name.

An Waray

Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Montejo, is a multi-millionaire with a net worth of ₱19.69 M while his family owns the MontejoNewspaper & Hotel Alejandro, a prominent & luxurious hotel in Tacloban City. Most of its votes came from Region VIII where it got 38.11% of the total PL votes. In Tacloban City, where former An Waray rep Bem Noel is running for mayor, the group got 61.23% of the total PL votes.

Abante Mindanao, Inc.

Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Rodriguez Jr., is the brother of Cagayan de Oro Rep. RufusRodriguez & is a multi-millionaire with a net worth of ₱9.12 M. Most of its votes came from Region X, being able to get 28.3% of the total PL votes.

ACT Teachers Party-list

The group will be represented by Antonio Tonio who taught at the University of the Philippines and is a long-time activist for teacher’s rights.

Butil Farmers Party

Earlier disqualified by the Comelec  because the group failed to prove that its nominees belong to the agriculture & cooperative sector. The group was later accredited after the SC ruling revising the partylist qualifications.
18. AMIN

Anak Mindanao Party-list

Incoming representative is the wife of ARMM Governor-elect Mujiv Hataman, who was also formerly the representative of Anak Mindanao. Governor Hataman has demonstrated that he can compete and win in regular elections for the gubernatorial position.  AMIN got 32.9% of the total PL votes in ARMM.

Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support, Inc.

The group is associated with the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) whose head used to be Chief Police Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. The group is believed to have been a government initiated project later used for the partylist race. Pagdilao will be the incoming representative.

Kalinga-Advocacy for Social Empowerment and Nation-Building through Easing Poverty, Inc.

The group is associated with the religious group Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ (4th Watch) with top nominee, incoming Rep. Ferriol being the daughter of PMCC Bishop Arturo Ferriol.

LPG Marketers Association

The group does not represent any marginalized sector; top nominee, Rep. Ty, is a multi-millionaire with a declared ₱15.18 M net worth & an incorporator of Omni Gas Corp., Republic Gas Corp., Pinnacle Gas, Multi Gas Corp., Extraordinaire Gas Corp. & Suncrest Gas Corp.
22. TUCP

Trade Union Congress Party

Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Raymond Mendoza, is a lawyer and husband of North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño Mendoza. Raymond’s father Democrito is TUCP President & Chairman of OPASCOR, a cargo handling company at the CebuInternational Airport. While a sectoral party, its biggest votes came from Region 7 and 11.

You Against Corruption and Poverty

Top nominee, Rep. Lopez, is a multi-millionaire businesswoman with a declared net worth of ₱29.44 M in 2011. Formerly a “youth” sectoral party, its biggest votes came from only one area, Region XII where it got 23% of the PL votes.
24. AGRI

Agri-Agra na Reporma para sa Magsasaka ng Pilipinas Movement

Group was earlier disqualified by the Comelecbecause the group allegedly stopped existing after the 2010 elections, when it ran but lost, and was only revived in February 2012. Group has since been accredited after the SC ruling on partylist qualifications.

ANGKLA: Ang Partido ng mga Pilipinong Marino, Inc.

Top nominee and incoming representative, Jesulito Manalo, is a presidential appointee to the Road Board as private sector representative. He is also the corporate secretary of the Philippine Racing Club Inc. & the Heritage Park Management Corp. as well as president of the Summit Rural Bank of Lipa; Jesulito’s relative, Jose Miguel, a lawyer, is 3rd nominee; 4th nominee Alfredo Haboc is the Dean of the Mapua-PTC College of Maritime Education and Training; 5th nominee Augusto Perez is also a lawyer
26. ABS

Arts, Business and Science Professionals

Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Leonen-Pizarro, is the wife of Court of Appeals Justice Normandie Pizarro & is a multi-millionaire with a declared net worth of ₱40.38 M in 2011.
27. DIWA

Democratic Independent Workers Association, Inc.

Group claims to represent the labor sector though none of its nominees come from the labor sector. Rep. Aglipay, is daughter of former PNP Chief Edgar Aglipay who is also the partylist president. The Aglipays own one of the country’s largest security agencies. Its biggest vote came from Region VII where one of their nominees is a regional PADPAO president and former OIC Vice Governor of Bohol. Diwa topped the partylist race in Bohol, getting 11.49% of the total PL votes in the province.

Kabataan Party-list

The group will be represented by youth activist and environmental lawyerTerry Ridon.


The group will be represented by long-time chair of the fisherfolk group Pamalakaya.

Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation, Inc.

Incoming representative Weslie Gatchalian (proclaimed by the Comelec just last October2012), is the son of tycoon & socalled “Plastics King” William Gatchalian. He holds key positions in the family’s businesses. His brothers Sherwin and Rex are currently Mayor & 1st district Congressman, respectively, of Valenzuela City. Alay Buhay topped the partylist race in Valenzuela City, getting 38% of the PL votes according to the Comelec’s website.

Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma, Inc.

Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Sharon Garin, a multi-millionaire with a networth of ₱25.87 Mcomes from a powerful political family in Iloilo that includes her Oscar Garin, mother San Joaquin mayor Nimfa Garin; brother Iloilo vice governor Richard Garin, sister Guimbal mayor Christine Garin & sister-in-law Cong. Janette Garin. As expected, most of its votes came from Iloilo where it got 20% of the total PL votes of the province.
32. 1-SAGIP

Social Amelioration & Genuine Intervention on Poverty

2nd nominee Edgardo Madamba is the assistant head of the Quezon City Urban Poor Affairs Office (UPAO) & is facing a graft complaint before the Ombudsman;
33. AVE

Alliance of Volunteer Educators

Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay, comes from the known Magsaysay political clan in Zambales that includes former Zambales Governor Vic Magsaysay, former Senator & 2013 Liberal Party senatorial bet Jun Magsaysay & incumbent Zambales 1st district Congresswoman & 2013 PDP-Laban/United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial bet Mitos Magsaysay

Adhikaing Tinataguyod ng Kooperatiba

First nominee Isidro Lico is an incumbent congressman with a declared net woth of P14.11M as of 2011.
35. 1-BAP

1 BANAT & AHAPO Party-list Coalition

First nominee  and incoming representative Silvestre Bello III was an official of the Aquino, Ramos and Arroyo administrations. Bello was former DOJ secretary and head of the government peace panel negotiating with the NDFP. He was also a former senatorial candidate.


Top nominee, incumbent Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, used to occupy administrative positions at the Ilocos Norte provincial government & counselor of Sen. Bongbong Marcos when he was still 2nd district Congressman of Ilocos Norte; 3rd nominee Rodolfo Tor is a retired PNP Police Director & former UN Police Commissioner; 2nd & 4th nominees, Alexander Lopez & Reynaldo Parungao, respectively, are both lawyers
37. AMA

Ang Mata’y Aalagaan

Incoming representative Lorna Velasco is the wife of Supreme Court AssociateJustice Presbitero Velasco while 2nd & 3rd nominees (Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera & Vincent Michael Velasco, respectively) are their children. Dubious group that seemsinterested only in representing the interest of the Velasco family. Another Velasco sibling, Lord Allan is already the congressman of Marinduque. As expected, most of their votes came from the Marinduque, with AMA getting 18.81% of the total PL votes of the province.

Ang Nars, Inc.

Incoming representative Leah Primitivo Paquiz was a former head of the Philippine Nurses Association.


[Re-posted from]



  1. Political dynasties should be outlawed in the Philippines. Concentration of power in a small group of people is counter to good governance and promotes cronyism and abuse of power. It also fosters unfair competition as the candidate with connections enjoys an unfair advantage over the other candidates. This is a disservice to the people as bright and promising candidates who may possibly be more qualified gets lost in the established political network of the dynast.

    The idea of political dynasties in the Philippines, I feel, is totally out of control.


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