MANILA, Philippines - Critics of Akbayan are just envious of the Palace-affiliated party-list group, one of the organization's officials said Thursday.
"I think critics are envious of Akbayan's success in representing the marginalized sector," Rep. Walden Bello told ANC Prime Time.
He said Akbayan welcomes the Commission on Election's (Comelec) efforts to weed out the party-list system.
"We are happy there is a cleansing of party-lists. The Comelec must reassess those who were already accredited," he said.
Left-wing Anakbayan party-list has asked the Comelec to disqualify Akbayan, saying Akbayan is not marginalized since it is allegedly a favorite of President Benigno Aquino.
Anakbayan pointed out that Akbayan's members hold key positions in the administration like human rights chief Etta Rosales, Anti-Poverty Commission Chair Joel Rocamora, Presidential Adviser Ronald Llamas, and senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros.
Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes said the poll body will release a ruling on a disqualification case Monday.
He said 7 to 8 incumbent party-list congressmen will see their accreditations revoked as well.
Brillantes stressed that the Comelec has the authority to review the groups' qualifications.
The poll body has junked 52 of the 172 new applicants for party-list accreditation.
Brillantes said even Akbayan may lose its accreditation at the end of deliberations.
Bello, however, doubted this and took a swipe at the complainants in the disqualification case against them.
He said the Comelec is familiar with Akbayan's work in representing marginalized sectors.
"Akbayan is a multi-sectoral party-list that has always represented the marginalized, the peasant workers, indigenous men and women, and overseas Filipinos, and I think the Comelec naman is very aware of our records," Bello said. - with reports from ANC