October 2, 2012
Hon. Sixto Brilliantes
Commission on Elections
Dear Chairman Brilliantes,
We are leaders from various organizations and registered voters respectfully call on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to disqualify “AKBAYAN! Citizen’s Action Party” from participation in the 2013 elections.
We believe that allowing AKBAYAN to run in the partylist elections would be a mockery of the party-list system and would be contrary to the COMELEC’s promise to rid the party-list system of bogus parties and nominees.
The Supreme Court, in the Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Party vs Commission on Elections case, set the following requisites for accreditation of party-list groups like political parties, sectors, organizations or coalitions:
The religious sector may not be represented in the party-list system;
The parties must not be disqualified under Section 6 of RA 7941 (Party-List System Act);
The parties must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by, the government;
The parties must not only comply with the requirements of the law; its nominees must likewise do so;
The parties must represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors; so also must its nominees;
The parties must likewise be able to contribute to the formulation and enactment of appropriate legislation that will benefit the nation.
Currently, AKBAYAN officers and members hold various government posts including cabinet-level positions. Among them:
Ronald Llamas, former AKBAYAN president, now presidential political affairs adviser
Etta Rosales, former AKBAYAN president and representative, is now Commission on Human Rights chief
Joel Rocamora, former AKBAYAN president and ideologue, now head of National Anti-Poverty Commission
Percival Cendena, former AKBAYAN chairperson, is National Youth Commission commissioner-at-large
AKBAYAN nominees for 2013 also hold appointive positions:
Barry Gutierrez, 2nd nominee is Malacanang’s undersecretary for political affairs
Angelina Ludovice-Katoh, 3rd nominee is a Commissioner in the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
This shows that AKBAYAN is well-entrenched in government and its nominees cannot claim to be marginalized and underrepresented.
With members appointed in key positions in government, government programs, projects, machinery and funds would be at the disposal of their members and of their party, giving them undue advantage over other party-lists.
Allowing AKBAYAN to run would be like allowing Malacanang itself to field candidates for party-list. This is absurd and clearly unacceptable.
We respectfully pray that COMELEC investigate AKBAYAN party-list and their nominees and if it is determined by the Commission that they are not qualified as party-list groups and nominees, remove and/or cancel the registration of AKBAYAN and deny due course the certificate of nomination filed by the party-list group.
We would be more than willing to articulate our position further and provide any assistance to COMELEC on the matter.
League of Filipino Students
National Union of Students of the Philippines
Student Christian Movement of the Philippines
Kilusang Mayo Uno