Akbayan gains new mandate

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After an exhausting, difficult and sometimes perilous campaign, the Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party overcame the odds against them and won a fresh mandate in the recently concluded Philippine national elections last 10 May 2004. The Akbayan Party-list secured 852,473 votes or a convincing 6.7% of all votes cast entitling them three seats in the House of Representatives for the next three years.

Akbayan party-list representatives to the 13th Congress, Rep. Etta Rosales, Rep. Mayong Aguja and Rep. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel, were sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide last 28 June 2004. The three representatives are bringing the party’s priority legislations in the parliamentary including progressive bills on anti-discrimination issues for gays and lesbians, criminalizing human rights violations on torture and enforced disappearances, issues on reproductive health, Labor Code amendments, peace and security in Mindanao and electoral reforms. Akbayan also vowed to continue with its legislative work on the just compensation of Martial Law victims.

Recognizing this new mandate, Akbayan stated to remain steadfast on its commitment to promote “principled and platform-driven politics, social justice, economic equity, genuine participation and responsive leadership.” In the next three years, the Akbayan party-list representatives shall prioritize legislative reforms on “basic services (health, education, housing, utilities); economic policy (poverty alleviation, agriculture, labor and taxation); peace and human rights (migrant workers’ rights and peace in Mindanao) and electoral reform.”

Akbayan won two seats in the 12th Congress which ended in mid-June 2004. In the Philippine party-list system, one seat is equivalent to 2 percent of the total votes cast in the party-list contest. The 13th Congress will open its first session on July 2004 after the new Philippine president delivers her State of the Nation Address (SONA).

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