President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that the Makabayan bloc party-lists (Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, and Kabataan) are “legal fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
During the March 29 airing of “Talk to the Nation” on PTV, Duterte claimed that five party-list groups have ties with the CPP. These groups being Kabataan Partylist, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela (KABAG). This statement was made in support of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson Lorraine Badoy’s claim that the mentioned party-list groups are in an alliance with the CPP against the government.
However, Duterte’s claim against the Makabayan Bloc as a communist legal front is FALSE.
The party-lists under this political coalition are recognized by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). Section 6.2 of the Republic Act No. 7941 or the Party-list System Act states that when a party-list “advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal,” its registration will be removed or cancelled. Makabayan party-lists have been part of the government since 2001. The party-lists are still included in the final listing of party-list candidates for the 2022 Elections released by the COMELEC.
Moreover, this isn’t the first time these party-lists have been falsely accused of being communist legal fronts. The Makabayan bloc has been red-tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) back in 2019, and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in 2021. The political coalition consistently denies the accusations against Makabayan having connections with the CPP, saying that “activism is not a crime.”
Read the full story on #factcheck of the University of the Philippines Baguio.