Look who’s talking: Villanueva bares big racket churning out bogus party-list groups
Sen. Joel Villanueva claims that an “industry-scale” syndicate is operating close to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office promising guaranteed approval for party-list groups in exchange for cash.
“May mga balita tayo sa ilang sources natin na naging industriya na yan ng ilang corrupt practices doon sa bandang Maynila. Hindi bago sa ating lahat na may mga groups na umiikot ikot dyan na ginagawa na talagang raket ang pag accredit ng partylist tapos ibinebenta,,” said Villanueva.
“May mga groups naman dyan na yung partylist yun nga napaka glaring alam na alam mo na pag aari ng isang pulitiko o malaking politician whether governor, congressman, or mayor,” said Villanueva.
Villanueva said that abolishing the party-list system to punish some bad eggs was not the answer as proposed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
He said the solution was for the Commission on Elections to ensure that only legitimate party-list groups were accredited.
Villanueva said the Comelec should ensure that a representative either came from the marginalized sector or was tapped by that sector to represent its interests.
“Parang lahat tayo ang assessment natin ngayon gaya ng sinasabi mo parang puro yung mga naghaharing uri ang nakaupo ngayon. Parang di naman tama na marginalized rich,di ba? Dapat klaro ang boses ng marginalized sector ang naririnig, hindi ng isang tao o ng indibidwal,” said Villanueva.
Villanueva, the son of Jesus is Lord founder Eddie Villanueva, served three terms as representative of Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC), a party-list group. CIBAC describes itself as a “multi-sectoral political organization dedicated towards fighting graft, corruption and cronyism in government.”
Villanueva was also among the third batch of lawmakers who were charged last year by the National Bureau of Investigation for getting kickbacks from projects funded by their Priority Development Assistance Fund. Villanueva allegedly pocketed at least P2.3 million in the pork barrel scam of Janet Lim Napoles.
In a summary of the charges, the NBI said: “The lawmakers used their PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) in illegal transactions with Janet Lim Napoles’ NGOs to enable themselves to profit from the simulated disbursements and utilization of their PDAF.” The lawmakers routinely obtained 40 to 60 percent of the PDAF they gave to Napoles’ NGOs