'Akbayan, Anakbayan, ano ba yan!'

Posted at 10/16/12 5:25 PM

Akbayan, Anakbayan take tiff to cyberspace

MANILA - The sparring between party-list groups Akbayan and Anakbayan has extended to cyberspace.

On Twitter, Anakbayan posted a statement condemning the violence allegedly by Akbayan, adding that it “just goes to show who’s afraid of free speech and discourse.”

Akbayan also posted its own statement on the microblogging site, saying Anakbayan’s actions “proved the undemocratic character of the extreme left.”

This morning, the two groups engaged in a tussle when members of Anakbayan went to a press conference arranged by Akbayan at Max’s restaurant in Orosa, Manila to emphasize why they should not be disqualified by the Commission on Elections from the 2013 polls.

The Anakbayan members reportedly accused Akbayan of hypocrisy, as the former had called for the disqualification of perceived Arroyo allies in 2007. The members of the two groups eventually came to blows.


The confrontation ended with the Anakbayan members being escorted out of the press conference’s venue by Akbayan supporters and venue security personnel.

In subsequent posts on Twitter, Akbayan said, “Anakbayan's hooliganism shows how little they respect the values of free speech and political diversity.”

“We will not be intimidated by the right or the extreme left. We will continue to be a democratic left political party of the marginalized.”

Meanwhile, Anakbayan posted a statement on its Facebook page.

Anakbayan NCR Secretary-General Dianne Marie Solaymor, who according to the statement was at the morning’s press conference, said Akbayan is merely “dodging questions on their eligibility to run as a party-list group by veering into the usual act of tagging us fronts of the so-called ‘extreme left.’”

Representatives of the party-lists also took to cyberspace to vent their ire at their opponents.

According to Akbayan spokesperson Barry Gutierrez on his Twitter account, “Shouting till you're hoarse is easy. Sitting down and working to get things done is hard. We choose to work.

Anakbayan National chair Vencer Crisostomo, meanwhile, posted a photo of Akbayan with placards saying “No to Pro-admin Partylist!

“Akbayan pressconf circa 2007. Did they bring these placards in today's pressconf?” he quipped.

The online word war has gotten mixed reactions from netizens, who have either used the conflict to justify their call for the party-list system to be dismantled, or have taken sides in the matter.

However, other netizens simply called for peace.

“Akbayan.....anakbayan..ano bayan!!..tigilan na ang bangayan..tulungan na lang ang bayan...” @AdosOctubre tweeted. - with a report from ANC