Akbayan denies seeking disqualification of leftist partylist groupsBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – The partylist group Akbayan denied Saturday it was allied with groups who asked the Commission on Elections to disqualify “communist” partylist groups.
In a statement, Akbayan denied a story in the Philippine Daily Inquirer identifying it as an ally of the People’s Advocacy for Collaboration and Empowerment (PEACE), New Guardians for Freedom and Democracy and Pro Democracy Foundation of the Philippines.
“In a story that appeared on the front page of Philippine Daily Inquirer on Oct. 27, 2012 (Akbayan hits back, seeks ouster of red partylisters) Akbayan Partylist was erroneously reported to be allied with … groups that filed a disqualification petition against Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan, Anakpawis and several other partylist groups before the Commission on Elections,” Akbayan said.
“Akbayan categorically denies any association or involvement with these groups. We are also not involved with any move to disqualify Bayan Muna and their affiliate partylist groups from the 2013 elections,” it added.
Akbayan said it made the statement to counter any perception that “may arise and mislead our fellow citizens into making the conclusion that Akbayan seeks to silence its detractors with the same dirty tricks that they resort to.”
“While we have found reason to disagree with Bayan Muna and their affiliates on a range of issues such as CARPER (the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms Law), and human rights abuses committed by non-state actors, and despite the malicious campaign they wage against us, Akbayan has no intention of adopting the same deplorable tactics,” the group said.
“We believe that the legitimacy of a political party or a partylist group should not be determined by the deliberate dissemination of lies and bigotry. We believe that the legitimacy of a party must be determined by its effectiveness in representing the interests of the Filipino people in the halls of government,” it added.