MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang today hit "national democratic groups" or natdem-aligned groups for their “histrionics” for allegedly muddling partly-list issues already being resolved by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In a statement posted on the Official Gazette, Malacañang said: “Natdem groups have accused Malacañang and the Presidential Spokesperson of favoring party-list groups and applying pressure on the Comelec to allow them to participate in the upcoming polls.”
“While these histrionics make for good copy and exciting television, it does our countrymen and the COMELEC a disservice by muddling instead of clarifying issues,” it added.
Several of natdem groups, such as Bayan Muna, are seeking to delist Akbayan, which allegedly does not represent the marginalized sector.
Akbayan is allied with the Aquino administration. Its former chief, Ronald Llamas, is currently the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs. Its former representative at the House of Representatives, Risa Hontiveros, is now seeking an elective post at the Senate.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was earlier quoted as saying that if Akbayan is delisted, so too should Bayan Muna.
“If that's the case, so should Bayan Muna because it's fielding… Teddy Casiño is running as a senatorial candidate. What is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander. That's the reasoning that they're going to say,” he said.
He stressed, however, that the issue is now up to the Comelec. He also said the Comelec’s rules and regulations are applicable to all.
The issue led to a clash when Anakbayan, the youth arm of the natdems, appeared at a press conference called by Akbayan. This eventually led to a shouting match and forcible removal of the activists from the venue.
Malacañang said: “We are all entitled to our opinions, but an informed public opinion is what strengthens our public institutions, and creates the kind of public discourse that leads to positive change.”