Anakbayan slams Comelec decision to allow Akbayan to run as party-list

YOUTH group Anakabayan condemned the Comelec’s decision to allow Akbayan to run in the 2013 polls. Malacanang’s hand in this decision is obvious.

Comelec has failed a major test of its integrity and credibility. Its being a Malacanang lackey is now clear, Vencer Crisostomo Anakabayan chair, said.

“We are outraged by this ridiculously pro-Palace decision further bastardizing the partylist system, he said.

“Lumping Akbayan together with Bayan Muna is obviously a spin to cover up a crime. The complaint against Akbayan is not due to its being a multisectoral party but due to its being party in power and obvious government connections,” Crisostomo said.

Comelec essentially echoed the Palace’s flawed line when it defended Akbayan: “if Akbayan goes, so should Bayan Muna.” This is an obvious spin which tries to muddle the issue of Akbayan’s government connections. Bayan Muna is not partying in Malacanang, Akbayan is.

There is clear legal grounds against the participation of Akbayan in the party-list race. In 2001, the Supreme Court (SC) in its ruling in the Bagong Bayani vs COMELEC case, released guidelines regarding the party-list elections. It clearly prohibited the participation of government “or its officials” in party-list affairs. It said that:

“..the party or organization must not be an adjunct of, or a project organized or an entity funded or assisted by, the government..It must be independent of the government. The participation of the government or its officials in the affairs of a party-list candidate is not only illegal and unfair to other parties, but also deleterious to the objective of the law..,”

In the same ruling, the SC also ruled that nominees of a party-list must not only represent a marginalized sector but must themselves belong to the marginalized sectors they seek to represent.

“..not only the candidate party or organization must represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors; so also must its nominees. ..the nominees must be Filipino citizens ‘who belong to marginalized and underrepresented sectors, organizations and parties.’”

In separate rulings in 2001 and 2009, the SC also ruled against the participation of major political parties in the party-list race. It compared the party-list system to a student dormitory “open house,” which by its nature allows “outsiders only, not the dormers themselves” to enter.

Meanwhile, it has disqualified Courage, a party-list group of rank and file employees because it is “government-backed.” But they allowed Akbayan undersecretaries to run? This is height of hypocrisy and travesty, he said.

The group said, they will pursue all efforts to disqualify Akbayan from the party-list polls and further expose them to the public as a bogus party-list. They have been exposed as a garapal, landlord party-list and will surely be rejected by the public.

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