Ako Bicol Party-List Statement
10 October 2012
We are deeply saddened by the COMELEC decision to disqualify the Ako Bicol (AKB) Party-List from participating in the coming 2013 elections. It’s very disheartening not only for the three representatives of AKB but most especially for the one million five hundred twenty-five thousand (1.525 million) voters of the last 2010 elections who voted for the AKB – more than one million one thousand (1.1 million) of which were from the Bicol region. They trusted the COMELEC who gave the accreditation and allowed the registration of the AKB.
We are at a loss because in 2010, the COMELEC 1st Division has given us the accreditation as a registered political party who could participate in the elections under the party-list system, which was penned by Commissioners Sarmiento and Velasco. After having won and having been duly elected by our constituents, cases seeking the cancellation and disqualifications were filed causing the deferment of our proclamation. However, the COMELEC, through its 2nd Division composed of Commissioners Ferrer, Yusoph, and Tagle, upheld the valid participation of the AKB as a political party.
The track record of the AKB shows that it has advocated the causes of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors. They are composed of voters in Bicol and the other five hundred thousand from different parts of the country. We sympathize with our multi-sectoral constituents throughout the Philippines who will be prejudiced by this unfortunate decision.
We assure our supporters that we will exert all available legal remedies. We have been through many trials and obstacles before but we have prevailed. We were voted as the No. 1 Party-List and we are optimistic that in the end, justice will prevail.