Youth group Anakbayan called on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) today to include AKBAYAN in its list of partylist groups for disqualification in the 2013 polls.
Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan called AKBAYAN President Noynoy Aquino’s “favorite partylist” and said it is neither marginalized nor underrepresented.
“If the partylist system is a joke, then the biggest joke is AKBAYAN. They cannot possibly claim that they are marginalized and underrepresented when their leaders hold various positions in government,” he said.
AKBAYAN officials hold various government posts including cabinet-level positions. They include:
- Ronald Llamas, former AKBAYAN president, now presidential political affairs adviser and known “kabarilan”
- 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
- Precival Cendena, former AKBAYAN chairperson, is National Youth Commission commissioner
Some AKBAYAN nominees are also holding appointive positions such as Barry Gutierrez who is Malacanang undersecretary for political affairs.
“Allowing AKBAYAN to run is like allowing Malacanang and the president’s KKK to run for partylist. COMELEC’s ‘cleansing’ of the partylist system would be meaningless if it would turn a blind eye to AKBAYAN,” he said.
Crisostomo said COMELEC’s stringent approval process of the partylist system should not shield AKBAYAN and Palace-backed partylists from disqualification.
“Is this a real effort to ‘cleanse’ the partylist system or is it only meant to give Palace backed partylists undue advantage in the coming elections?” he asked.
Crisostomo said that while COMELEC allows Palace-backed partylists to run, accreditation of some legitimate groups like Kalikasan and Courage have been rejected.
COMELEC has so far disqualified 17 partylist groups from participating in the 2013 elections.
Crisostomo said Anakbayan and other youth groups will challenge AKBAYAN’s accreditation if COMELEC allows them to run.