Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano, Inc. (Agbiag)

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Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano, Inc. (Agbiag) is a COMELEC-accredited party-list running for a congressional seat in the 2010 national elections. Its name is Ilocano for "Long live", and it advocates the agricultural sector and plans to push for legislations, reforms, and programs supporting the growth of local agriculture.

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Controversy

Agbiag was touted as a Palace front during the 2007 elections, when it first eyed congressional seats. In a memorandum issued by the Malacañang’s Office of External Affairs in October 2006, Agbiag, together with three other party-lists, Babae Ka, LYPAD, and KALAHI, was accused of being an administration party-list and supposedly a beneficiary of electoral funds. Administration support for party-lists was seen as an effort to form a congressional alliance to derail impeachment complaints against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Despite questions on its legitimacy, Agbiag has again gained COMELEC accreditation for the May 2010 elections, enraging militant groups and election watchdogs. They note that the Palace is trying to use the party-list system by enlisting pro-administration party-lists to create a coalition in the House of Representatives rumored to be composed of the president’s congressman-allies, ex-Arroyo cabinet officials, members of the Arroyo family, and the president herself, who is running for Congresswoman in the second district of Pampanga. The creation of such a powerful coalition is suspected to be a move to change the constitution and install Arroyo as Prime Minister.

Running for 2010 elections

Although it failed to secure congressional seats during the previous elections, added to that the fact that its integrity as a party-list is slighted, Agbiag is serious about its plans for the 2010 elections. The party chose Patrick Antonio as its nominee long before the 6 March 2010 deadline for submission of nominees.

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