In the April 4 program of Laban Kasama ang Bayan (SMNI), Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, first nominee of Abante Sambayanan party-list group, claimed that the party-list groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc (i.e., Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan, Anakpawis and ACT Teachers) were agents of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and were formed to protect the latter. In addition, Celiz claimed that these organizations were part of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines or the NDFP (Laban Kasama ang Bayan, 2022).

According to Sec. 6 of the Party-list System Act of 1995, party-list groups that “advocate violence or unlawful means to seek their goal” (CRALAW, n.d.) would have their party-list registration removed or canceled. In 2020, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) junked due to “insufficient evidence” (CNN Philippines Staff, 2020, para. 1) a disqualification case against the Makabayan bloc which was at the time accused of having ties with communists.

The party-list groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc are also not part of the NDFP. According to its website, the NDFP was formed in 1973 and is composed of the CPP, NPA, and 15 revolutionary underground allied organizations (National Democratic Front of the Philippines, n.d.). The Makabayan bloc is a coalition of party-list groups formed in 2009 whose common advocacy is to advance the “politics of change” (Bulatlat Contributors, 2009, para. 2).

The party-list groups of the Makabayan bloc are duly recognized by the COMELEC. In the case of Bayan Muna, it has participated in the party-list race since 2001 (Bayan Muna Party-list, n.d.).

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Kontra Daya (Against Fraud) is an election watchdog based in the Philippines.