CONFIDENTIAL documents allegedly emanating from Malacañang were divulged to the public by militant party-list groups today, depicting an apparent counter-scheme of the Arroyo administration to prevent “leftist and left-leaning party-list organizations” from gaining more seats in the House of Representatives this coming election.

The documents, presented during a joint press conference by Migrante, Gabriela Women’s Party, Anakpawis, Kabataan Party and Suara Bangsamoro, seem to bolster claims by party-list groups, including Akbayan, that some of those accredited by the Commission on Elections to vie for party-list seats in May are indeed connected with the government in terms of support, assistance, personnel and program.

The first document, a secret memorandum dated October 16, 2006, addressed to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and coursed through her special assistant, Atty. Erlyn de Leon, informs the president of the setting up of the Office of External Affairs Special Concerns Group (OEA-SCG) headed by Assistant Secretary Marcelo Fariñas II. The group, the memo said, will focus on the participation of Malacañang’s grassroots and allied NGOs and people’s organizations in the 2007 congressional elections.

Read the OEA memo and the attached party-list counter-plan.

The memo also outlines the objectives of OEA-SCG’s electoral campaign, which are as follows:

  • Provide full support to several Comelec accredited party-list groups that are ascertained to be pro-administration and ensure the winning of nine (9) to twelve (12) seats in the House of Representatives;
  • Form a party-list bloc that will support the plans and programs of the administration and help in countering destabilization moves by the opposition as well as left-leaning party-list groups;

  • Contribute in the overall campaign to substantially lower the number of votes of leftist and left-leaning party-list organizations, and in the process reduce the seats of these anti-administration parties in the House of Representatives.

Attached to the memo is the supposed party-list campaign proposal that will provide support to the following four main party-list groups identified with the Arroyo administration:

  • Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano (Agbiag!)
  • Babae para sa Kaunlaran (Babae Ka)
  • League of Youth for Peace and Development (LYPAD)
  • Kalahi Advocates for Overseas Filipinos (KALAHI)

Two to five more party-list groups are being eyed for OEA-SCG’s campaign plan, possibly including a coalition of Muslim and indigenous peoples that are already registered party-list groups.

A proposed budget of P5.5 million was requested to cover expenses for the groups’ activities, which include organizational and consolidation meetings, operational support, conventions of Comelec accredited and pro-administration party-list groups. The said activities were supposed to have been conducted from October to December last year.

Funding assistance to OEA-SCG and other pro-administration party-list groups was also urgently requested, and which was to be taken from Arroyo’s intelligence funds.

Interviewed on ANC last March, Agbiag! and Babae Ka did not deny receiving assistance from the Office of External Affairs in setting up their organizations. Interestingly, Agbiag!’s secretary general is no less than Asec Fariñas.

Babae Ka spokesperson Sally Dagami, on the other hand, also reportedly admitted that the group counts OEA employees as members.

Akbayan has already sought the disqualification of Agbiag!, Babae Ka, LYPAD, and Kalahi, along with 12 other party-list groups it deems to have dubious backgrounds — Akbay Pinoy OFW-National, Aksyon Sambayanan (AKSA), Ahon Pinoy, Aging Pilipino Organization (Aging Pinoy), Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD), Aangat Tayo, Angat Ating Kabuhayan Pilipinas (ANAK), Barangay Association for National Advancement of Transparency (BANAT), Bantay, Biyaheng Pinoy, Kapatiran ng mga Na Kulong na Walang Sala (Kakusa), and Kasangga sa Kaunlaran.

It is clear from the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in its ruling on Ang Bagong Bayani v. Comelec (G.R. No. 147589, June 26, 2001) disqualifying Mamamayang Ayaw sa Droga (MAD) that party-list groups must not be associated with or funded by the government. The high court said:

The party or organization must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by, the government.

“The participation of the government or its officials in the affairs of a party-list candidate is not only illegal and unfair to other parties, but also deleterious to the objective of the law: to enable citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations to be elected to the House of Representatives,” the SC held.

The SC also stipulated the following qualifications to guide organizations participating in the party-list system of representation:

  • The mainstream political party, sector, organization or coalition must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7941 (the Party-List Act).
  • The political party, sector, organization or coalition must represent the marginalized and underrepresented groups identified in Section 5 of RA 7941.
  • Religious groups are prohibited from registering in the party-list system but members thereof are not prohibited from running for public office.
  • A party or an organization must not be disqualified under Section 6 of RA 7941.
  • The party must not only comply with the requirements of the law; its nominees must likewise do so.
  • Not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors; so also must its nominees.
  • While lacking a well-defined political constituency, the nominee must likewise be able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole.

25 Responses to Palace ‘special operations’ for party-list elections bared


Ambuot Saimo

April 21st, 2007 at 1:50 am

This is another evidence that the Arroy-ko administration is on panic mode and paranoid that should the opposition garner enough seats in the lower house to impeach her she is “history”. And if this is true (this scheme had materialized and the money was provided to finance this project) this could be another ground for impeachment. It’s technical malversation plain and simple.




April 21st, 2007 at 9:59 pm

sakop ng EO 608 ang memo at counter-plan na yan, ah! paano nakalusot?

EO 608…ang bago na namang pakulo ng masekretong administrasyon…

kahit sa records nila, itinatago ang EO! wala pa ang 608, eh.


Diego K. Guerrero

April 22nd, 2007 at 3:27 am

Philippine bogus President Gloria Arroyo and her cohorts are desperate to stay in power by prostituting the party-lists system, massive electoral fraud, intimidation and bribery. Taxpayers’ money and other government resources are being utilized for her political survival and greed of political power. Comelec Chairman Benjamin Abalos and Malacanang Palace are conspiring to win by hook and by crook at congressional and national levels. OEA chief Farinas’ memo in the hands of the leftists groups had expose Gloria Arroyo’s evil plan. Legitimacy of the Arroyo presidency is at stake in May 14, 2007 midterm elections. The Filipino electorate will definitely reject pro-administration candidates and fake party-list groups.



April 22nd, 2007 at 4:57 am



Babae Ka party-list

April 22nd, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Babae para sa Kaunlaran (BABAE KA) party-list has denied all allegations that it is a Malacanang-backed organization. We have not requested or received even a single centavo from the Office of the President or from any government agency.

For the information of PCIJ and its readers, we shall posting here our press releases since March 21, 2007.

March 21, 2007

“Accusation is nothing but a cheap shot aimed at gathering media mileage at our expense”

The Babae para sa Kaunlaran or BABAE KA condemns in the strongest possible words the unfounded accusation of Akbayan that the former is an “administration front”. This is nothing but a cheap shot aimed at gathering media mileage at our expense and that of other legitimate party-list organizations.

BABAE KA is not a government-controlled party-list organization. BABAE KA is a legitimate organization existing since 2005 and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before being accredited by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). It submitted all the requirements and went through the legal process. It has organizational presence in majority of the regions and provinces of the country.

As an organization, BABAE KA never received even a centavo of assistance from the Philippine government. It will support programs of government that it deems as pro-people. However, BABAE KA will be critical of programs that shall negatively affect Filipino women and the people, in general.

Unlike its accuser, BABAE KA has no political agenda or ideology except to advance the rights and welfare of women and the Filipinos, as a whole. BABAE KA views itself as a centrist organization and not a leftist or rightist coalition.

BABAE KA does not have multimillion pesos in campaign funds like AKBAYAN but it has the logistics garnered from its officers and members and the organizational network around the country that will guarantee a decent and possibly victorious campaign.

BABAE KA urges AKBAYAN leaders to be true to their written program and to stop engaging in gutter politics and mudslinging. BABAE KA also urges AKBAYAN to be brave enough and militant enough to admit its mistake and apologize publicly.

For more information, please visit the BABAE KA website at



Babae Ka party-list

April 22nd, 2007 at 4:43 pm

Here is the April 2 Press Release of BABAE KA party-list

APRIL 2, 2007

“Rep. Rosales lied on national television”

Partylist group Babae para sa Kaunlaran (BABAE KA) has accused Akbayan of using its position to discriminate against Filipino women even as it challenged Rep. Loreta Ann Rosales to issue a public apology for spreading lies and disinformation about the organization.

“Filipino women have the Constitutional right to self-organization and to campaign for legitimate issues and concerns. To question these rights is to discriminate against women. Akbayan’s tirade against BABAE KA is violative of the Philippine Constitution and numerous laws of the land protecting women’s rights,” said Ruth Vasquez, BABAE KA president.

“In a desperate attempt to save face, Rep. Rosales even lied last week on national television that she has already met BABAE KA Chairperson Sally Dagami who allegedly admitted to being employed with Malacañang’s Office of External Affairs, which is farthest from the truth.” Vasquez said.

“All the 5 nominees of BABAE KA are not government employees,” Vasquez added.

BABAE KA officers also revealed that Akbayan is a party-list coalition with members among civil servants including professors of the University of the Philippines and union leaders in several government agencies.

“Unlike Akbayan, BABAE KA will never question the Constitutional rights of any public servant. We will remain true to our principles and we will always respect the rights of our fellow Filipinos,” Vasquez pointed-out.

“We were accused, tried and convicted before the bar of public opinion with Etta Rosales and her Akbayan hatchet-men acting as the accuser, judge and jury. But the truth will surely surface and Akbayan will be unmasked for this unjust and anti-women witch-hunt. For these lies and disinformation, Akbayan must issue a written and verbal public apology,” Vasquez said.###


Babae Ka party-list

April 22nd, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Here is BABAE KA’s press release dated April 21, 2007

APRIL 21, 2007

“Another propaganda scheme of another leftist organization”

WOMEN party-list Babae para sa Kaunlaran (BABAE KA) today categorically denied that it is a stooge of Malacañang even as it challenged Gabriela party-list to file a formal complaint.

Sally Dagami, BABAE KA chairperson, said that, “For the nth time, we want the Filipino people to know that BABAE KA party-list is not a Malacañang-backed organization. BABAE KA has not received a single centavo from the government.”

“Just like Akbayan’s, the accusation of Gabriela is another cheap-shot by another leftist organization that is aimed to generate media projection at our expense. The document that this so-called cause-oriented have shown publicly is a fabrication. BABAE KA knows nothing about this,” Dagami added.

Dagami stressed that she has never met an Assistant Secretary Marcelo Fariñas of the Office of External Affairs.

“I do not know Mr. Fariñas. In fact, this is the first time I heard of his name,” Dagami stated.

Ruth Vasquez, BABAE KA president, said that, “Mukhang isa na namang kuryente ito, to borrow media’s parlance. Kinukuryente ng Gabriela ang media sa inanunsyo nila.”

“The document shown by Gabriela could be written by anybody. It could be a product of the dirty-tricks department of extremist organizations. Wala kaming alam sa mga pinagsasabi nila,” Vasquez explained.

Dagami challenged Gabriela to file formal complaints against BABAE KA “so that we could also file formal charges against the leaders of this group.”###



April 22nd, 2007 at 8:08 pm

so, anong pinagkaiba ng Babae ka sa Gabriela?



April 22nd, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Too many political parties, too many accusations and counter accusations, maybe baseless, maybe something on them, then denials and more denials and counter denial, and all the while the voters are still wondering what’s really going on and election just around the corner. Transparency is still lightyears away, I guess, nobody seems to have the definitive ideas what’s really going on. muddle, muddle…


Babae Ka party-list

April 22nd, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Both are women’s party-list organizations. As to difference, we could not speak for Gabriela. They have their own principles, mission, vision and goals. Although they have been tagged as a leftist party.


BABAE KA is a sectoral women’s party-list organization advocating and promoting the rights and welfare of marginalized and under-privileged Filipino women through participation in the political and democratic process and policy reforms.

The organization’s membership is composed of women, 18 years and above, of varied occupations, educations, interests, ethnic origins, and religious beliefs. Men who have contributed to the cause of the sector are also accepted to the organization as “honorary women.”

BABAE KA has evolved from being a cause-oriented civil society organization at the time it was organized in early 2005 to a comprehensive women’s political party.

Initially named as Kababaihan para sa Inang Bayan or Kababayan, the organization first focused its efforts in the delivery of basic services to poor and needy communities thru medical and dental missions, livelihood projects, skills trainings, counseling, social and political awareness discussions and similar socially relevant programs.

To date, the organization’s efforts has benefited more than 45,000 indigents largely women and children in urban poor communities in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon and other parts of the country.

The decision to convert the organization into a women’s political party and participate in the party-list election system stemmed from the realization that the sector needs genuine representation in the House of Representatives.

If elected, BABAE KA could make a difference by bringing direct services to its constituents at the grassroots level, and mobilizing the women sector in productive and constructive activities that would contribute to nation building and development.


An economically empowered, politically enlightened and socially responsible woman for a progressive nation.


To bring women to the forefront in the attainment of progress and development through:

1. Presenting a genuine representation of women with the foremost aim of helping stir the country towards attainable progress and development;

2. Awakening the women’s compassion, gentleness and strength against poverty, criminality and vices;

3. Harnessing women power in the development and promotion of innate Filipino virtues of respect to elders and authority, nurturing the youth and family preservation and development;

4. Inculcating self-preservation and respect among women, defending and upholding women’s basic rights, welfare, privileges and freedom from the bondage of a patriarchal society.

Ang Ating Mga Kagyat na Programa

Pagsasabatas ng “Equal Employment Opportunity Law” na magbibigay ng karapatan sa mga kababaihan at kalalakihan na mahigit na 35 taong-gulang na matanggap sa trabaho

Pagtaas sa maternity leave mula 60 araw hanggang 90 araw, at paternity leave mula isa hanggang dalawang lingo

Libreng gamutan at gamot sa mga komunidad at may kapansanan

Diskwento sa mga bilihin at gamot para sa mga kababaihan

Tulong pampinansyal at teknikal upang iangat ang kabuhayan ng mga pamilyang Pilipino, lalu na ang mga pamilya ng mga OFWs

Pagsuporta sa pagpapatuloy ng repormang agraryo, modernisasyon ng agrikultura at komprehensibong pagpapaunlad ng kanayunan


All nominees are officers of BABAE KA.
All are from marginalized sectors.
All nominees are not government employees.


Babae Ka party-list

April 22nd, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Please allow us to post BABAE KA’s Press Statement on equal employment opportunity.

19 APRIL 2007

Babae Ka to push for equal employment opportunity law

If you are a woman or a man and looking for a job, you will always see in the advertisements, “female, 20 to 35 years old” or “male, 25 to 40 years old” as one of the qualifications. Not anymore, that is if the proposal of women’s party-list Babae para sa Kaunlaran (Babae Ka) will be enacted by the next Congress of the Philippines.

Babae Ka chairperson Sally Dagami today announced that the group would prioritize the passage of the “equal employment opportunity law” which will ban discrimination by age, gender and religion in the process of employment.

“Discrimination in employment is illegal and immoral. It has been practiced in this country and the Department of Labor and Employment has done nothing about it. It is about time that this discrimination especially against women who are pregnant and all citizens who are above 35 years old be considered an offense punishable with imprisonment,” Dagami explained.

Ruth Vasquez, president of Babae Ka, stated that the group is finalizing research work on the preparation of a bill on equal employment opportunity.

“Given the chance we make it to Congress, this will be the very first proposed law that Babae Ka will file. The ‘Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 2007’ which will be patterned before the ‘Age Discrimination Act of 1967’ that was enacted by the Congress of the United States,” Vasquez said.

The proposal, Vasquez noted, will make it unlawful for any employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age, gender and religion.

“In this proposed bill of Babae Ka, even the printing of any employment advertisement that will tend to be discriminatory to age, sex and religion shall be unlawful,” Vasquez added.



April 23rd, 2007 at 11:17 am

15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
(Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms -Constitution Act of l982)

**during the years the courts in several decisions had included “sexual orientations” among the groups entitled to Equality. Now it is complete.

Suggestion: Entrenced the Equality Rights in the Charter and include all the Groups, including all the marginalized groups that all the party lists represent, thus after making one issue parties irrelevant and revert back to parties system that will represent only principles, ideologies, programs, and adherence to the Contitutions and Laws of the Land.


KABATAAN Partylist

April 24th, 2007 at 1:42 am

[…] Read the pcij report here. […]


Babae Ka party-list

April 24th, 2007 at 2:03 am

To naykika,

Point well-taken.
If the suggestion is for Babae Ka party-list, rest assured that it will be included in our program.
Thank you.



April 24th, 2007 at 5:53 am

alecks, i wish you could feature the secrets of EO 608, the Order that keeps state secrets safe. thanks in advance.


Alecks P. Pabico

April 24th, 2007 at 10:02 am

Yes, Baycas, we have an upcoming post on this. We just got hold of the text of the order and waiting for a copy of the memorandum circular on which EO 608 is based.


Office of the Propagandist? «

April 24th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

[…] Rosalinda “Sally” Dagami is Babae Ka’s Chair and First Nominee who has admitted to media that many members of Babae Ka are employees of the OEA (Office of External Affairs, under the OP). Whilst Dagami Babae Ka continues to vehemently deny being backed by or receiving funding from Malacanang, the PCIJ has recently released a report on a confidential official OEA memorandum requesting GMA for funding for a campaign to install a “pro-administration party-list bloc” in Congress. […]



April 25th, 2007 at 1:04 am

Babae Ka party list,
thanks for considering that one paragraph that is the basis of all our laws that make us more equal to one another and to enact laws to correct the deffeciencies and the pains of discrimination and inequities. And most importantly to strike down laws upon challenges base on that provision that are downright discriminatory and racist. and I hope you keep your words.



April 25th, 2007 at 8:26 pm

i don’t see any distinction between the two groups as to the purpose, vision, mission or programs both are espousing. it’s all about women’s welfare and empowerment. the only difference maybe, while the other is tagged as a leftist group the other one is said to being backed by malacanang for the purpose of which everybody knows already. with all these denials in spite of those damning evidence, if ever Babae Ka makes it in congress, it will be very easy to uncover the group’s true color just like what marcolecta did in messing up the impeachment case against gloria.

— — —

the Comelec stinks. too many election violations specially by the administration candidates and backers. the latest is this promised cash incentives to iloilo barangay officials by injustice gonzales if the former can deliver 12-0 for team unity. gonzales even got the nerve to say that there’s no violation because he is not a candidate himself. #$%&@ what a stupid remark for a justice secretary and a lawyer at that. while the Comelec’s reply? “no comment”. so pathetic. the Comelec didn’t even know (or just playing dumb) that they have the power to investigate any reported violation even in the absence of a complaint.


Babae Ka party-list

April 26th, 2007 at 12:13 am

We read and even printed the alleged Memorandum. Even assuming if that Memorandum is true, which was already denied as a fake, the name of Babae Ka was never mentioned in it.
Babae Ka was allegedly mentioned in the “attachment”, which has no signature in it.
To repeat, Babae Ka never requested and never received even a single centavo from the Office of the President or any government agency.
Maybe those accusing us of this or that could first visit our Headquarters and see if we are indeed well-funded.
For information about Babae Ka chairperson Rosalina Dagami, please check this website:
Philippine NGO Center on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc.


Babae Ka party-list

April 26th, 2007 at 12:16 am

To naynika,
Yes, we will keep our word. Thank you and best regards.


i-site’s 2007 Election Files » And the party-list nominees are…

May 7th, 2007 at 11:38 pm

[…] See related post: “Palace ‘special operations‘ for party-list elections bared” […]


INSIDE PCIJ » And the party-list nominees are…

May 7th, 2007 at 11:51 pm

[…] “The Court has consistently made it clear that it frowns upon any interpretation of the law or rules that would hinder in any way the free and intelligent casting of the votes in an election,” it added. See related post: “Palace ‘special operations‘ for party-list elections bared” 2007 elections, comelec, party list, supreme courtPosted in In the News, Comelec Watch, Access to Information, 2007 Elections |  […]



May 8th, 2007 at 5:18 pm


All nominees are officers of BABAE KA.
All are from marginalized sectors.
All nominees are not government employees.

and their names are?

(not to foment meta-discussion, alecks, et al, but i for one would like to understand why this party-list org has not named its nominees, only its chair… thanks be the gods, if they exist, for the Supreme Court decision to bare them.)


Alecks P. Pabico

May 8th, 2007 at 6:54 pm

Hi Jester, we already made available the list of party-list nominees on i-site’s 2007 Election Files blog.

But for your convenience, here are their names:

  • Rosalinda Q. Dagami
  • Ruth T. Vasquez
  • Maria Corazon M. Tumang
  • Aida Cristina M. Sunga
  • Ma. Luisa Z. Lantin

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