Aquino-backed party-list group 'a big joke'-A A +A
Saturday, September 29, 2012
A YOUTH group called Saturday on the Commission on Elections to disqualify President Benigno Aquino III's supposed "favorite" party-list group, Akbayan.
Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan, said the Akbayan party-list group, which won two seats in the 2010 elections, is neither marginalized nor underrepresented.
"If the party-list 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.
The youth group noted that Akbayan officials are holding various positions in the Aquino government, including the Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, former Akbayan president and the party-list group's first representative in the 11th Congress.
Aquino also appointed former Akbayan officials Ronald Llamas as presidential political affairs adviser, Joel Rocamora as head of National Anti-Poverty Commission, and Precival Cendena as National Youth Commission commissioner.
"Allowing Akbayan to run is like allowing Malacanang and the president's KKK (kaklase, kaibigan, kabarilan) to run for party-list. Comelec's 'cleansing' of the party-list system would be meaningless if it would turn a blind eye to Akbayan," he said.
One of the administration candidates for the midterm elections in 2013 is former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros, who ran under the Aquino-led Liberal Party in the 2010 polls but failed to make the cut.
During Akbayan's Fifth Regular Congress in May, the President denied he was being controlled by the party-list group. "We are controlled by the people," he said.
Crisostomo added that while the poll body allows "Palace-backed party-lists" to run, accreditation of some legitimate groups like Kalikasan and Courage have been rejected.
Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, also the party-list group's first nominee for the 2013 elections, said the accusation of Crisostomo was "expected."
"It's expected from an irrelevant group. Akbayan's record of public service speaks for itself," he said in a text message.
The Comelec targets to release the list of accredited party-lists on October 10. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)