Party-list Profile: AKBAYAN

Posted at 05/06/2010 3:22 PM | Updated as of 05/10/2010 12:50 AM

Akbayan Citizen's Action Party

Sector: Muti-sector

Official Website | Facebook

The Group

History: The party-building began in 1994 and after 4 years, AKBAYAN was established through its Founding National Congress in 1998.

The party is active in over 54 provinces, 237 municipalities and cities and 1,632 barangays nationwide. It is composed of several different sectors: the youth, women, fisher folks, farmers, elderly, teachers, gays and lesbians, Muslim and workers sectors.

It first won a seat in the 11th Congress with Loretta Ann P. Rosales as its representative. During the 12th Congress it won 2 seats and won 3 seats in the 13th Congress. They currently have 2 seats in the 14th Congress.

Goal: The party pushes for sustainable employment, easy access to education, reforming the current health care system, implement agrarian reform, allot additional finances for housing programs, address anti-corruption, and localize international peace treaties.

The Faces

  • 1st nominee: Walden Bello

Born in November 11, 1945 at Manila, Bello took up his Ph.D in Sociology at Princeton University in 1975. He took up his masters in the same university after taking a Humanities degree from Ateneo de Manila University in 1966.

He teaches Sociology and Public Administration Professor at the University of the Philippines, Diliman since 1997 and was the Executive Director of Focus on the Global South, a policy research institute based in Bangkok, Thailand. He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy in Oakland, California. He was the Visiting professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (2002), UC Irvine (2006), and UC Santa Barbara (2006). 

He taught at UC Berkeley for 4 years and was a Columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus. He has received numerous local and international awards and was awarded a Sociology doctorate Honoris Causa by the Panteion University, Athens, Greece in 2005.

  • 2nd nominee: Kaka Bag-ao

Bag-ao is the Executive Trustee of BALAOD Mindanaw, a law group based in Mindanao that is working for the advancement and protection of the rights of farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and women’s and other marginalized groups.

She is one of the counsels for the Banasi Farmers of Camarines Sur who have reclaimed their land in 2008, and the Calatagan Farmers of Batangas. She is the Convenor for the Alternative Law Groups (ALG) in 2005-2006 and as a Council Member thereafter. Awarded the 2008 Frederik Ozanam Award” by the Ateneo de Manila University.

She graduated high school from South Eastern College in 1985. She graduated college from De La Salle University in 1989.She graduated from Atene De Manila Law School in 1993. 

  • 3rd nominee: Tomazito “Tom” Villarin

Villarin graduated with a degree in AB Economics from the University of Sto. Tomas and took up a post-graduate Fellowship program on Governance and Development at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University in Brighton, England.

He joined Kaisahan, a rural-based policy advocacy group, and helped in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and in facilitating beneficiary participation in rural development governance. He worked with the Institute of Politics and Governance (IPG) and helped organize the Barangay-Bayan Governance Consortium.

He was the Executive Director and Corporate Secretary of the Sustainable Integrated Area Development (SIAD) Initiatives in Mindanao-Convergence for Asset Reform and Regional Development (SIM CARDD).

  • 4th nominee: Name: Ellene Sana

Sana was the Executive Director of the Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines (CMA), an independent policy advocacy group promoting the rights of overseas Filipinos. She was the Secretary of the Philippine Migrants’ Rights Watch (PMRW), a network of non-government organizations that was established in 1995.

She was the founding member and coordinator of the Philippine Solidarity for East Timor and Indonesia (Phil-Seti) in 1997 and a member of an International Election Observer Team in 1999. She is currently an active member of the Free Burma Coalition (FBC).

  • 5th nominee: Francis “Kiko” Isaac

Isaac was a sectoral council member of the youth assembly of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC). He is also a writer-researcher to different non-government organizations such as the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD), Partnership for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Services (PARRDS), Transnational Institute-Amsterdam (TNI) and Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN).

He was the youngest Vice-President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition in 2004 and was the Project coordinator of the Consortium on Electoral Reforms (CER).

Isaac is pursuing his Masteral studies in Political Science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He graduated college from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1997 and finished high school from Pasay City West High School in 1993.

  • 6th nominee: Ruperto “Ka Uper” Aleroza

Aleroza is the President of the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Samahan sa Kanayunan (PKSK), a national federation of farmers, fisherfolk and other rural-based organizations. 

The Performance

AKBAYAN has authored a total of 23 resolutions, one got adopted and the other 22 resolutions are pending in different committees. The adopted resolution HR 78 congratulates former Senator Jovito Salonga for being a recipient of the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service.

In 1998, through Rep. Etta Rosales, AKBAYAN exposed the corruption involving the payola of P500,000 per Congressperson in order to pass the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). The party also exposed the massive defrauding of 23,000 public school teachers in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the non-remittance of their Government Service Insurance Systems (GSIS) contributions and other fees that amounted to a staggering P1.2 Billion. 

AKBAYAN filed graft charges against First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and the architects of the NBN-ZTE deal. A staunch opposition of the current administration, they voted for the impeachment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her involvement in numerous anomalous deals as well as the “Hello Garci” scandal. 

The group also fought for the passage of the Cheaper Medicines Law and worked for the enactment of the CARP Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law.