Palace welcomes poll bid of 'NPA leader'

Posted at 10/22/12 6:53 PM

MANILA - Malacañang will not oppose the nomination of Randall Echanis, who was once arrested for allegedly being a leader of the New People's Army (NPA).

Echanis will join the 2013 party-list elections under Anakpawis.

"We have always maintained that a non-violent participation in the political mainstream would certainly be welcome from whatever sector you come from, whether from the extreme right or from the extreme left,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

He added the recognition of a legitimate process such as the elections is already an acknowledgment of “existing laws and therefore, any participation from previous rebels identified with either extreme left or extreme right would certainly be welcome to us.”

Meanwhile, Lacierda issued anew an appeal to the public to allow the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to do its job of cleaning the political system of unworthy party-list groups..

The Aquino-allied Akbayan has received criticisms it no longer represents the marginalized sector because its members are now well-entrenched in the administration.

"So there are plenty. And also the inclusion of some other party-list groups. So it's better to wait," Lacierda said of the Comelec process.

The Palace does not subscribe to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.’s statement that the delisting is taking a long time.

Lacierda said he cannot second-guess Comelec with respect to its work on the accreditation of party-list groups.