Akbayan accused of being Aquino 'lapdog'-A A +A
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
MANILA -- The Akbayan party-list should be disqualified from joining the 2013 elections for being a "lapdog loyalist and a puppet" of the Aquino administration, multisectoral groups said Wednesday.
The groups headed by Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Kontra Daya's Fr. Joe Dizon, and Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr., filed a formal petition before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) seeking the disqualification of Akbayan, a party-list group established in 1998.
The tides have turned, the groups said, because Akbayan has turned into a party-list group, which they protested against during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The groups likened Akbayan to the Ang Galing Pinoy, 1-Utak, Ang Kasangga, ALE and Bida, groups that were previously identified with the former president.
Ang Galing Pinoy has for its representative, Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo, a son of the former leader.
"Akbayan is not qualified to run in the party-list elections because it is no longer a marginalized and underrepresented political party," the groups said.
President Benigno Aquino III has appointed Akbayan officials, founders and nominees in key government posts under his administration.
They include Presidential Political Affairs Adviser Ronald Llamas, Commission on Human Rights Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales, National Anti-Poverty Commission Chair Joel Rocamora, Government Service Insurance System Board of Trustees member Mario Agujo, National Youth Commission commissioner-at-large Percival Cendaña, Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibarra Gutierrez III, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor Commissioner Angelina Ludovice-Katoh, National Anti-Poverty Commission spokesperson Risa Hontiveros, and Social Security System Commissioner Daniel Edralin.
Akbayan is one of the hundreds of party-list groups with existing registrations that are undergoing review from the poll body.
For the 2013 party-list race, Akbayan has Gutierrez as its second nominee and Ludovice-Katoh as its third nominee.
Risa Hontiveros, former Akbayan president and representative, meanwhile is running under the ruling Liberal Party (LP) senatorial ticket.
In a text message, Hontiveros said Akbayan is not a party in power.
"We enjoy the government's support but only as a coalition partner and ally. We don't receive any funding from the government," she said in a text message.
The petitioners noted the Supreme Court ruling on the Ang Bagong Bayani case, which states: "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, which is to enable citizens belonging to marginalized and underrepresented sectors and organizations to be elected to the House of Representatives."
"To believe that Akbayan officials are not using their posts to promote their party is the height of political naiveté," Bayan's Reyes said. (Kathrina Alvarez/HDT/Sunnex)