HON. SIXTO S. BRILLANTES JR.
Commission on Elections
Dear Chairman Brillantes:
The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) is a national labor center comprised of different types of workers’ organizations in the private formal, informal and migrant sectors. Founded in 1996, APL affiliates include national and local unions, federations, workers’ community associations, workers’ cooperatives, and other labor groupings.
In behalf of the APL leadership and members, I write to register the APL’s unequivocal support to the Akbayan’s continued accreditation for the party-list elections in Congress amid the so-called “clamors” for Akbayan’s disqualification purportedly because it does not represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of society. While APL supports the banning of many pseudo party-list groups being used by unscrupulous persons and groups, this does not include Akbayan which was one of the first and oldest parties of the basic sectors to register for the party-list elections. In fact Akbayan was one of the original proponents of the party-list system of elections.
Consider as well the composition of Akbayan’s membership nationwide. The Party consists of thousands of individuals representing various mass organizations of the basic sectors –workers, farmers, fisherfolk, urban poor, women, youth, etc. In fact APL leaders and members were among those who founded the AKBAYAN in 1998; and many APL officers and members also serve as Party national, division and barangay chapter leaders and members who had been tirelessly campaigning and working for Akbayan since the first party-list elections in 1998, and had been very active in Party affairs.
The legislative agenda of Akbayan, as well as its social advocacies outside the halls of Congress, will likewise attest to the fact that it promotes and defends the rights and well-being of the working people. In labor legislation, Akbayan was at the forefront of pushing for the bills which strengthen labor and trade union rights, which oppose wanton contractualization, and which endorse living wage, among others. Akbayan was also one of the principal backers of the CARPER law for the peasants. To add a few more: Akbayan was and still is a leading campaigner for the FOI (Freedom of Information) and the RH (Reproductive Health) bills.
Of course, Akbayan was deeply involved in the movements to fight corrupt and abusive administrations, from the Estrada to Arroyo regimes.
The APL, therefore, respectfully asks the Comelec to either ignore or junk the said dubious charges and “petitions” to disqualify Akbayan. These are simply the latest desperate attempts of some rival individuals and groups spiteful and/or envious of the achievements and
popularity of Akbayan.
Very sincerely yours,
DANIEL L. EDRALIN