Akbayan, Bayan Muna get Comelec OK

Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has allowed Akbayan and Bayan Muna party-list groups to run in 2013 mid-term elections.
Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the poll body was divided when it favored Akbayan in the disqualification case in a 4-2 vote on Tuesday.
“I voted against it. I took the dissenting position similar to Ako Bicol and it should not be granted,” Brillantes told reporters.

“It’s a multi-sectoral political party but some are saying they have (established) track record unlike Ako Bicol, which was new in 2010,” he explained.

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Those who voted in favor of the recognizing the groups were Commissioners Christian Robert Lim, Elias Yusoph, Armando Velasco and Rene Sarmiento, the poll chief said.
Commissioner Lucenito Tagle dissented while Commissioner Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca took “no part” in
the decision, Brillantes added.
Earlier, Bayan Muna asked the poll to disqualify Akbayan on grounds that its leaders hold key positions in government and are closely allied with Aquino administration.

Other groups like Anakbayan also sought the same after criticizing Akbayan for failing to represent the marginalized.

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President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has appointed Akbayan members in his cabinet and various agencies.

These include Presidential Political Affairs Adviser Ronald Llamas, Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales, National Anti-Poverty Commission chairman Joel Rocamora and Government Service Insurance System board member Mario Agujo.

The Comelec has been cleansing the list of accredited party-list groups in a bid to reform the system, which it claimed has been dominated by bogus organizations.
Among the party-list groups purged from the accredication list due to redundant representation are Ako Bicol. The Black and White Movement's party-list application has been denied on the same grounds.

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