Kontra Daya flags 3 Bicol partylist groups in report
By Mavic Conde
Election watchdog Kontra Daya flags 124 party-list groups participating in the 2022 elections. Three of them are from the Bicol region.
Bicol Saro, AKO Bicol, and 1-UTAP Bicol or One Unified Transport Alliance of the Philippines Bicol Region are among the identified partylists to have issues that voters should be concerned about, according to Kontra Daya's recent report. For the former, it is the link to political dynasty; and for the latter, it's the connection with big businesses.
In the report, Kontra Daya states that Bicol Saro first nominee Nicolas C. Enciso VIII was a former representative of 1Pacman partylist. While third nominee "Delia C. Simbulan is the former Municipal Mayor of Nabua, Camarines Sur."
The report also reads: AKO Bicol's "incumbent representative Elizaldy S. Co is the owner of the Sunwest Construction and Development Corporation, the contractor of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) Package 2A in 2016, which also bagged P1.32 billion government contracts during the pandemic."
The 1-UTAP party-list has no mark under any of the categories that Kontra Daya used for flagging the over a hundred party-list groups, which also include dubious advocacies, connections with government or the military, incumbent officials, and with court cases and/or criminal charges or implicated in PDAF scams. The Kontra Daya, however, mentioned in the report that its first nominee "Exequiel P. Longares was PDP Laban Legazpi City Council President in 2018."
The report also includes the 53 party-list groups that are unflagged. This includes Kusog Bikolandia, which according to its description and was cited in the report, it "will champion the formulation of programs and projects under an integrated socio-economic plan for the Bicol Region."