MANILA, Philippines – Poll watchdog Kontra Daya has dared Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes to disqualify leftist Akbayan, which is being accused of being a Malacañang-backed party-list group.
In a statement released Thursday, spokesman Fr. Joe Dizon said Kontra Daya welcomes the disqualification of Black and White Movement, but dared the poll body to also disqualify Akbayan, which Dizon alleged has become influential under the Aquino administration.
Dizon said disqualifying Akbayan from the 2013 elections will remove doubts on the independence of Comelec from Malacañang and the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
“That remains to be their biggest test," said Dizon.
Dizon said officials of Akbayan, like Black and White, also occupy Cabinet positions in the Aquino administration, which makes the group unqualified in the party-list system.
"The people could not afford to relax until the entire system is completely purged of fake party-list groups," he said.
On Wednesday, Comelec disqualified 20 more party-list groups from participating in the 2013 polls, including Black and White and the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (Anad).
But Dizon said the poll body should also decide on “bigger and more influential groups.”
"Of course, we're happy that the Comelec has upheld our contention against these bogus party-list groups. We just hope that the streak of favorable decisions by our poll officials will extend to include bigger and more influential groups, specifically Akbayan, while recognizing party-list organizations that genuinely represent the marginalized and under-represented sectors," Dizon said.