MANILA - Leftist group Anakbayan accused the Aquino administration of manipulating the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the 2013 mid-term elections as it sought the disqualification of party-list group Akbayan.
Anakbayan members staged a picket outside the Comelec office in manila as it filed its disqualification case.
Anakbayan’s Vencer Crisostomo said Grace Padaca’s appointment as Comelec Commissioner is proof that the Liberal Party is controlling the poll body.
Cristostomo criticized Comelec for not acting on the disqualification against Akbayan. He described Akbayan as a Malacañan party-list group and President Aquino’s favorite, arguing it is not underrepresented.
Crisostomo said, unless Akbayan is disqualified, it will be proven that Padaca was appointed to Comelec to control the poll body.
He said they will be taking other legal steps as he called on the public to be vigilant to make sure Malacañan is not manipulating Comelec for their candidates.
Last week, Anakbayan wrote a letter to Chairman Sixto Brillantes. "We believe that allowing AKBAYAN to run in the party-list 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.”
Anakbayan pointed out that Akbayan fails to comply with the following requirements for party-list groups:
• 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 Malacañang's undersecretary for political affairs
• Angelina Ludovice-Katoh, 3rd nominee is a Commissioner in the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
Anakbayan said 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.
"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 groups.”