NSA Testifies on the Petition for Cancellation of Registration of Gabriela Women’s Party List
National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, Jr., testified via VTC held at 10:00 AM on August 12, 2021 before the 2nd Division of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on the Petition for Cancellation of Registration against Gabriela Women’s Party, (GWP), General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership and Action, Inc., (GABRIELA, Inc.), and the General Assembly of Women and Reforms (GAWR) in the Party List System filed by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). The Petition is based on the ground that GABRIELA is receiving financial assistance from a foreign government and non-government organizations which violates Section 2, paragraph 5, Article 9 (C) of the Philippine Constitution which provides that political parties which receive financial assistance from any foreign governments and their agencies, can have their registration with the COMELEC cancelled. Further, Rule 32, Section 8 (D) of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure states that receiving support from any foreign government is one of the grounds for the cancellation of the registration of any political party.
Secretary Esperon testified that GABRIELA, Inc., GWP and GAWR are closely interconnected. He pointed out that the past Representative/s to Congress of GWP were Incorporator/s of GABRIELA, INC. in their registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For example, Rep. Emerenciana De Jesus representing GWP in Congress for the period of 2016-2019 was also an Incorporator and Chairperson of GABRIELA, Inc., for the period of 2013-2015. Representatives Liza Maza and Lana Linaban, all of GWP, were also Incorporators of GABRIELA, Inc.
Further, Secretary Esperon noted that GWP used the same acronym GABRIELA in its 2016 Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) submitted to the COMELEC and 2014-2015 General Information Sheet (GIS) with the SEC. Secretary Esperon also presented the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) Report stating that GABRIELA, GABRIELA, Inc., and GWP used their names interchangeably. The NSA further testified that Gabriela is receiving Belgian financial support, through Belgian accredited NGOs that were subjected to external financial audit by the international accounting firm MAZARS which was contracted by the Belgian government to audit or to review the Programs 2014-2016 and 2017-2021. The MAZAR’S REPORT shows that GABRIELA, together with IBON Foundation and KARAPATAN are the local partners of VIVA SALUD VZW., a Belgian accredited NGO. Secretary Esperon testified that the AMLC Report shows that VIVA SALUD sent a remittance to GABRIELA amounting to Php 1,811,867.35 on 28 March 2019 and six remittances from INTL. FCSTONE LTD. of London, United Kingdom, in amounts ranging from Php 1,058,392.42 to Php 2,190,628.52 from September 2015 to March 2019.
It was also noted that GWP Representative, Congresswoman Emerenciana A. De Jesus, a Gabriela Partylist Member and Chairperson of GABRIELA, Inc., from 2013-2015, contributed a total of Php 930,000.00 to GWP during the 2019 National and Local Elections as shown in GWP’s 2019 SOCE. To reiterate, she was also the representative to Congress under GWP from 2016 to 2019.
With the continued legal action against GWP, the NSA is exposing the party list’s willful and deliberate circumvention of the provisions of the Constitution and COMELEC rules.
of the National Security Adviser and Director General
National Security Council