(As amended by the Fourth Regular Party Congress)
We, Filipinos, guided by the principles of democracy, justice, freedom, human rights, gender equality, respect for diversity, and environmentalism, Seeking an end to the old politics of patronage, elitism, exploitation, patriarchy, and people’s disempowerment, Committed to promote a new politics of principles, platform, accountability, women’s and people’s empowerment, Convinced that these ideals may be peacefully and effectively realized through a progressive political party, by and for our people, in active solidarity with all like-minded and like-spirited, national, and global parties and organizations and peoples movements, do ordain and promulgate Constitution.
Article I: NAME, SYMBOLS, AND HEADQUARTERS
Section 1. Name. The name of the party shall be AKBAYAN Citizens’ Action Party, and it shall otherwise be known as “AKBAYAN!”
Section 2. Colors. The colors of the Party shall be red, green, and purple.
Section 3. Symbols. The official logo, slogan, anthem, and other symbols of the Party shall be approved by the National Council.
Section 4. Headquarters. The Party shall establish and maintain National Headquarters in the National Capital Region and Regional Headquarters in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Article II: DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES, OBJECTIVES, AND POLICIES
Section 1. Vision and Mission of the Party. AKBAYAN! envisions a Participatory Democracy and Participatory Socialism where the State upholds and exercises authentic processes of participatory governance, with a citizenry that exercises power and constantly engages the State.
AKBAYAN! shall pursue and complete the struggle for democracy and equity by aspiring to become the nation’s governing party rooted in the ideals of socialism, humanism, internationalism, feminism, and environmentalism in solidarity with mass movements.
Section 2. Nature of the Party. AKBAYAN! is mass-based, democratic and pluralist party.
a. It draws its membership and base from the masses.
b. It takes masses’ standpoint in the tactical and long-term fights for full democracy, social justice, gender equality, and the promotion of socialism.
c. Its leadership and rank and file activists are immersed with the masses.
d. It exercises democratic consultations and meaningful participation in its decision-making processes and program of action.
e. It affirms the importance of diversity of ideas, thoughts, and beliefs as integral to democracy.
Section 3. Principles. AKBAYAN adheres to the following basic principles:
a. DEMOCRACY: which builds upon the right of every Filipino to full and effective participation in national and local political governance, asserts political pluralism among political society, and empowers the marginalized majority of the citizens against elite political hegemony and oppression along socialist ideals.
b. EQUITY: which upholds the right of the working peoples against economic exploitation towards an equitable share in the fruits of their labor, asserts the autonomy of the free association of toilers,
takes the stand, and relies on the teeming strength of the working peoples to end feudal vestiges and the most repugnant forms of capitalist exploitation.
c. HUMANISM: which underscores the fullest dignity due to all human beings across and within generations, families, clans, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientations, nations, attendant cultures, spirituality, as well as our relationship to Mother Earth; asserts the autonomy of the free association of social movements in civil society; and works towards the full self-expression and self-realization towards resolving social alienation.
d. INTERNATIONALISM: which painstakingly works to end violent conflicts among nation-states all over the globe; promotes various forms of international cooperation towards peace, development, and justice; underscores solidarity among the world’s peoples especially the working peoples, social movements and toilers’ parties; and actively partakes in broad actions to end all forms of colonial and imperial adventures of the most powerful nation-states.
e. SOCIALIST FEMINISM: which sees class and patriarchy as the root causes of gender inequality; opposes class exploitation and gender oppression; asserts that the personal is political and that women’s rights are human rights; values reproductive and productive work of women; works towards the elimination of the sexual division of labor; moves for the transformation of perspectives on gender relations, sexuality, reproduction, and the family; and promotes women’s empowerment as a strategy towards class and gender equality and equity.
f. ENVIRONMENTALISM: which sees capitalism, patriarchy, and extractive industrialization as sources of environmental degradation; works towards a national framework for the integration of development and conservation by redefining needs, undertaking asset reforms, and promoting alternatives to the industrial mode of production; rediscovers the feminist principle in nature and view of the earth as sustainer and provider that promotes the nurturing value for Mother Earth; celebrates indigenous knowledge and local participation in development; and enables communities to care for their environment.
Section 4. Political Objectives. As a national political party adhering to Participatory Democracy and Participatory Socialism, AKBAYAN! shall endeavor to achieve the following :
a. To position AKBAYAN! in direct opposition to traditional elite rule challenging the socio-political and economic order that traditional politics seek to entrench and perpetuate.
b. To gain political mandate within the institutions of governance both in elective and appointive positions at the national and local levels; and work for the expansion and accumulation of such footholds of power towards catapulting the party into a position of meaningful influence in national governance.
c. To encourage and promote the culture and praxis of active citizenship where people actively participate in the affairs of their communities in particular and the whole nation in general and in exacting accountability from their government; and to provide appropriate venues for people to practice direct democracy in governance and decision-making processes and other community affairs.
d. To maintain the closest possible cooperation and launch joint undertakings with the working class, peasants’ and other toilers’ mass, and other social movements including those of overseas Filipinos (OF).
e. To coordinate with various civil society organizations on the local, intermediate, and national levels for development, democratization women’s empowerment, and other purposes for the betterment of the peoples’ welfare.
f. To engage in solidarity work with the various peoples’ movement and organizations abroad, while giving premium to toilers’ parties and organizations.
Section 5. Organizational Objectives. As a mass-based, democratic, and pluralist party, AKBAYAN! shall endeavor to achieve the following:
a. To develop itself into a platform-based and programmatic national political party that is capable of propelling progressives into positions in government and organizing and mobilizing progressive professional public servants towards the transformation of the State mechanisms and processes.
b. To develop alternative programs that embody and reflect the party’s vision of governance, and to proactively promote the common good of the citizens.
c. To pursue the strengthening of active citizens’ and mass movements to develop a critical mass that can effectively exert political pressure to check and fiscalize the government.
d. To encourage and proactively engage in the establishment and strengthening of instruments of direct democracy and alternative centers of power where citizens can collectively express, articulate, and act on the people’s will.
e. To develop and sustain financial self-reliance.
f. To provide its Members such training, support, and other services as may be required to develop them into effective gender-sensitive and gender-sensitive leaders in various political and electoral arenas.
g. To develop strategic and tactical alliances and other operational arrangements with organizations and individuals, whether domestic or international, pertinent to the pursuit of its basic political and organizational objectives.
h. To promote collective leadership thru a committee system to ensure democratic decision making.
i. To develop and institutionalize capacity building, programs, services, policies, mechanisms, and other initiatives that address gender inequality and discrimination and promote women’s empowerment.
j. To develop policies and mechanisms that promote an organizational culture that is gender-sensitive, gender-responsive, and respectful of diversity.
Section 6. Policies. The basic policies of the Party are as follows:
a. At least thirty percent (30%) of all leadership positions at every organizational level shall be reserved for women.
b. The selection of Party Candidates at local levels shall be the domain primarily of the Party Units concerned.
c. All Official Candidates of the Party must be Members of, and duly accountable to, the Party.
d. AUTONOMY AND SUBSIDIARITY: Local initiatives shall be encouraged and local decisions safeguarded. However, higher Units and Organs may override such initiatives and decisions when higher interests of the Party so require.
Article III: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Qualifications. The basic qualifications for membership in the Party are as follows:
a. At least 18 years of age.
b. Certification of Completion of the Party’s Basic Orientation Seminar.
c. Endorsement by the Unit Chair concerned, and whoever is authorized by the immediate higher unit, or equivalent officer, and full acceptance by all the Members, of the Chapter to which he/she shall belong.
d. Payment of membership fee to be determined by the National Council.
e. Oath of Membership.
Section 2. Disqualification. Any of the following shall suffice as a ground for the disqualification of anyone who aspires for membership in the Party:
a. Commission of any act contrary to the basic principles of the Party.
b. Membership in any organization, the interests of which are in conflict with the interests of the Party.
Section 3. Rights. Every Party Member in good standing shall have the following rights:
a. To be fully informed about the Party.
b. To nominate candidates to any elective position in the party, vote and be ELECTED as a Party Officer or Candidate.
c. To avail of Party services and facilities.
d. To participate in Party activities pertinent to the Party Unit, Organ, or Formation to which he/she belongs.
e. To express opinions and to submit suggestions, through proper and appropriate means, with a view towards promoting the interests of the Party or its constituencies.
f. To file any complaint against any Party Officer or Member.
Section 4. Duties. Every Party Member shall have the following duties and obligations:
a. To abide by the Party’s Constitution and By-Laws and its Platforms.
b. To keep himself/herself informed about official Party matters.
c. To comply with all duly-promulgated Party regulations, procedures, and decisions.
d. To pay, in full and on time, all Party fees, dues, and assessments.
e. To work towards the advancement of the Party’s interests by promoting and defending the Party’s principles, objectives, platforms, programs, and candidates.
f. To actively recruit Members for the party.
g. To assist fellow Members who are in need.
h. To actively participate in Party activities.
i. To safeguard the Party’s confidentiality.
j. To register as a voter and;
k. To promote gender equality and justice, including respect for the sexual orientations of Members.
Section 5. Member in Good Standing.
A Party Member in good standing is one who:
a. Is not delinquent in the payment of dues, fees and/or assessments.
b. Is not under suspension under Article XI, Sections 4 and 5 of this Constitution.
Section 6. Termination of Membership. Membership in the Party shall be terminated by resignation or expulsion in accordance with Article XI on Arbitration and Discipline.
Article IV: DUES, FEES, AND ASSESSMENTS
Section 1. Annual Dues. Subject to the regular review of the National Council, the minimum annual membership due to be paid by each Member shall be as follows:
a. P 1 per month for Members who are unemployed, not regularly employed or seasonally employed.
b. P 1 per week for Members who are regularly employed but are earning less than the minimum wage.
c. 1% of basic salary for Members who are regularly employed and earning at least the minimum wage.
Section 2. Allocation. Membership dues shall be allocated as follows:
a. Forty Percent (40%) to the Chapter.
b. Twenty Percent (20%) to the Section.
c. Twenty Percent (20%) to the Division.
d. Twenty Percent (20%) to the National Executive Committee.
At least 20% of funds from membership dues shall be automatically allocated for direct services in addressing cases of violence against women (VAW) across all levels.
Section 3. Special Fees. Special fees and assessments may be imposed by the National Executive Committee on Party Members
Article V: PARTY UNITS
Section 1. Party Units. Party Units shall be organized as follows:
d. City and Provincial Council.
e. Regional Council.
Section 2. Chapters. The Chapter shall be the basic unit of the Party. Thus:
a. Chapters shall be organized at the Barangay level. Chapters may also be organized in worksites, schools, and other institutions as may be prescribed by the National Council. A Chapter shall have a minimum of 12 Members.
b. Several Territorial Chapters may be formed at the Barangay level in cities.
c. A Member may choose to affiliate to a Chapter in the Barangay or his/her residency or to a Chapter in his/her place of work or study.
d. Every Member must belong to one Chapter.
e. A Barangay Coordinating Body shall be set up at the Barangay for purpose of coordinating several Chapters.
Section 3. Sections.
a. A Section shall consist of a minimum of six (6) Chapters. A section shall have a minimum of 72 Members.
b. A section shall be formed at the municipal level. In cities, sections may also be organized in area zones, workplace, universities and colleges, and other institutions or worksites or in a manner that these cities are subdivided administratively by the local government concerned or as prescribed by the National Council.
Section 4. Divisions.
a. A Division shall be formed at the level of the province, at the congressional district, and /or highly urbanized and independent cities.
b. A Division shall consist of a minimum of three (3) Sections across 3 municipalities. In cities, division shall be set up across 3 zones or in a manner that these cities are subdivided administratively by the local government concerned or as prescribed by the National Council.
c. A Division shall consist of a minimum of 216 Members.
Section 5. City Council and Provincial Council.
a. In the case of cities with more than one Division, a city council shall be formed.
b. The provincial council shall be formed at the provincial level with the minimum of two (2)divisions.
Section 6. Regional Council.
a. A regional council shall consist of at least 3 divisions covering at least 3 provinces. In case of NCR, there shall be one (1) regional council.
b. Regional council formation shall follow government designated regions unless otherwise determined by the national council.
Section 7. Roles and Functions of Party Units.
a. All party units shall have the following fundamental duties:
1. Develop and implement a local political party program of action.
2. Foster the basic ideological foundation and political education of each Member.
3. Ensure internal party democracy.
4. Generate, augment, and mobilize resources for Party’s activities.
5. Encourage Members to pay their dues and ensure the collection of such payments.
6. Promote the general principles and platform of government of the Party to the public.
7. Abide by and conform to the general regulations of the Party.
8. Ensure all party and programs shall be gender-sensitive and gender-responsive.
b. The Chapter shall have the following duties:
1. Serve as the primary collective of Members wherein their views are expressed, crystallized, and translated into a common political action.
2. Serve as a forum for a continuing interaction and discourses among Members.
3. Be primarily responsible for party recruitment, education and expansion.
c. The Section shall have the following functions:
1. Supervise the organizational development, education, and expansion programs of the chapters within its jurisdiction.
2. Initiate and implement activities, plans, and projects in consultation with the Chapters and Party Groups within its area of jurisdiction, in accordance with the general principles of the Party and the collective instructions and policies of higher party units.
3. Manifest the views and opinions of Chapters within its jurisdiction to the Division on matters concerning the Party.
4. Assist the Division on information dissemination and implementation of Party’s programs, decisions and positions on national, regional, and sectoral concerns and issues.
5. Submit reports regularly to the Division concerned.
d. The Division shall have the following functions:
Sustain or maintain the Party’s growth within its jurisdiction and supervise the organizational development, education, and expansion programs of lower party units.
1. Initiate and implement activities, plans, projects, and decide on matters affecting the organization in consultation with lower party units within its jurisdiction and in accordance with the general principles of the Party and the collective instructions and policies of higher party units and organs.
2. Promulgate the general instructions from higher party units and organs to the general membership.
3. Coordinate the activities of all party units within its scope.
4. Manifest the views and opinions of lower party units within its jurisdiction to higher party units and organs on matters concerning the Party.
5. Facilitate and monitor the services provided by the Party to the general public.
6. Submit reports regularly to the next higher party unit concerned and furnish the National Secretary General a copy of such reports.
Delegate other functions to lower party units if necessary.
Section 8. Unit Officers. All Party Units shall elect, and shall be governed by at least an executive committee composed of at least five Members including the Chair, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
The executive committee shall implement and supervise policies, plans, and programs drawn by the party units concerned.
The party units may create other positions, including a focal person for women’s concern, as they deem necessary for the effective and efficient management of their party unit.
The core officers shall perform the following responsibilities and functions:
a. The Unit Chair shall preside over all the meetings of the Unit, prepare the agenda for the same, and represent the Unit in the next higher Unit, unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution.
b. The Unit Secretary shall serve the Unit’s records, documentation, and communication needs, and shall perform such other functions as may be assigned him/her by the Unit Chair.
c. The Unit Treasurer shall safekeep and administer the Unit’s funds and other re sources, ensure the prompt and effective collection of all dues, fees, and special assessments from Unit Members concerned, and coordinate with the Treasurer of the next higher Unit regarding the remittance of such collections.
Section 9. Designated Representatives.
All Divisions, City/Provincial, and Regional Council shall designate one (1) representative from each of, but not limited to, the following mass movement formation: labor, peasant, women, and youth. All designated representatives shall be considered as officers of the party unit concerned.
Section 10. Succession. In case a position in the Unit leadership is left permanently vacant by the death, permanent incapacity, resignation, or expulsion of the person concerned, and other reasons, such as:
a. The next in rank may assume the vacant position or;
b. The remaining unit officers, if they are still in the majority, may appoint the replacement to the vacancy or;
c. The unit concerned may hold a special election to fill up the vacant position.
The said designated or elected replacement shall serve for the remainder of the term of office.
Section 11. Unit Meetings. Party Chapters shall meet regularly at least once every month, Sections at least once every two (2) months, Divisions at least once every quarter; and City/Provincial and Regional Councils at least twice a year.
Section 12. Party Units Abroad. – Party units abroad shall be organized in accordance with the Party’s By-laws promulgated by the National Council in accordance with Section 2, a, 4) of Article VI.
Article VI: NATIONAL ORGANS AND FORMATIONS
Section 1. The National Congress. The National Congress shall be the highest governing and policy-making body of the Party.
a. Powers. It shall also have the following exclusive powers:
1. To elect the Party’s National Chairperson, President, Secretary-General, and the Members of the Party’s National Council.
2. To ratify and amend the Party’s Constitution and amendments or revisions there to, National Platform, and the General Program of Action.
3. To elect the Party’s national and party-list Candidates.
4. To act on recommendations submitted to it by the National Council and National Executive Committee.
b. Delegation. Representation to the National Congress shall be proportional to the actual membership of the Party units concerned. The Voting Delegates to the National Congress shall consist of:
1. Representatives from the Divisions.
2. Members of the National Council.
3. Representatives from the Mass Movement formations.
4. Representatives from elected public officials.
5. Representatives from formations abroad.
The National Council may decide on additional factors for representation in the National Congress.
c. Regular Congress. The National Congress shall convene once every three years.
d. Special Congress. A Special Congress may be convened upon the petition of, at least, 50% of the delegates of the previous National Congress or of at least 2/3 of all the Members of the National Council.
Section 2. The National Council. The National Council shall be the governing and policy-making body of the Party in-between National Congresses.
a. Powers. It shall have the following exclusive powers:
1. To elect from among the Members of the National Council elected at large, the Party’s National Vice-Chair, National Vice-President, National Treasurer, National Arbiter, and National Ombudsperson.
2. To formulate the Party’s stand on issues of national or regional concern.
3. To approve the National Platform, the General Program of Action, and any pro posal for amendments and or revision to the Party’s Constitution prior to the submission of the same to the National Congress for ratification.
4. To promulgate the Party’s By-laws and other rules and regulations as may be deemed necessary.
5. To act on recommendations submitted to it by the National Executive Committee.
6. To create a Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
7. To create special bodies and formations.
8. To resolve with finality all electoral protests.
9. To promulgate its own internal rules and regulations to organize itself in order to perform its functions and duties.
b. Composition. The National Council shall be composed of the following Members:
1. The National Chairperson.
2. The National President.
3. The National Secretary-General.
4. Seven (7) Representatives each from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and five (5) from the National Capital Region (NCR).
5. Eight (8) Representatives elected-at-large by the elected representatives from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, NCR, mass movement representatives, and LGU representatives in a manner prescribed by the National Council.
6. Ten (10) Mass Movement formations representatives consisting of two (2) each from labor and peasants, and one (1) each from the youth; women; lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT); fisher folk; urban poor; and overseas Filipinos (OFs).
7. Four (4) representatives from the elected AKBAYAN! local government officials representing Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and NCR.
8. One (1) National Ombudsperson.
9. The elected party-list representatives and other party-list nominees of the party.
10. The Chairperson Emeritus.
c. Manner of Election.
1. The National Chairperson, President, and Secretary General shall be elected by plurality vote of all the voting delegates of the National Congress from nominations submitted to the National Congress by any Member of the Party in good standing.
2. The seven (7) representatives each from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and five (5) from the NCR to the National Council shall be nominated and elected by the voting delegates from the said areas.
3. The eight (8) Members-at-large shall be elected by the representatives from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, NCR, mass movement representatives, LGU representatives, the President, Chairperson, and the Secretary-General, in a manner prescribed by the National Council.
4. The ten (10) Representatives from the Mass Movement Formations of Labor, Peasant, Youth, Women, LGBT, Fisherfolk, Urban Poor, and Overseas Filipinos shall be elected by the assembly or caucus of each formation.
5. The four (4) Representatives from the AKBAYAN elected local government officials shall be elected by their respective assemblies from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and NCR.
6. The National Ombudsperson shall be elected at large by all the voting delegates of the National Congress.
7. The Party-list Nominees of the Party shall be elected by a plurality vote of all the voting delegates of Congress. Candidates shall be nominated by any Member of the Party in good standing and forwarded to the National Congress.
8. The Chair Emeritus shall be chosen by acclamation by the National Council.
d. Frequency of Meetings. The National Council shall convene within 60 days after the National Congress and every six (6) months thereafter.
e. Filling of Vacancies. Vacancies in the National Council shall be filled up by the Council in the following manner:
1. Vacancies among the Representatives from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and the NCR shall be filled from among the nominees from the area concerned.
Vacancies in the National Executive Committee shall be elected from among the Members of the National Council.
Section 3. The National Executive Committee.
a. Powers. The Powers of the National Executive Committee shall be the following:
1. Approve the program and agenda for all meetings of the National Congress and the National Council.
2. Approve all fees and special assessments to be imposed on any Party Member.
3. Ensure the provision of the Party’s organizational and operational needs.
4. Ensure the implementation of Party’s organizational policies.
b. Composition. The composition of the National Executive Committee shall be as follows:
1. The National Chairperson.
2. The National President.
3. The National Secretary-General.
4. The National Vice-Chairperson.
5. The National Vice President.
6. The National Treasurer.
7. The National Arbiter.
8. Four (4) Members elected at large.
9. Party-list representatives and other members elected to congress.
10. Chair Emeritus.
The Ex-Officio Members: a) Congressional Chief-of-Staff; and b) AKBAYAN! Youth Chairperson. c) the other party-list nominees and d) deputy secretary general.
c. Manner of Election to the other Positions of the Executive Committee. the National Vice-Chairperson, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Arbiter shall be elected by the representatives from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, NCR, mass movement representatives, and LGU representatives, the president, chairperson, and secretary–general, the eight (8) members-at-large from among the eight (8) members-at-large of the national council.
d. Filling of Vacancies. Vacancies in the National Executive Committee shall be elected from among the Members of the National Council.
Section 4. The National Advisory Council.
a. Role of the National Advisory Council
1. It shall be the consultative body of the National Council and the National Executive Committee with regards to the Political and Economic governance issues as well as, Social and Cultural concerns.
2. It shall render assistance as may be required from it by the National Council.
b. Composition and Election
1. May be composed of as many Members nominated and approved by the National Council.
2. The National Advisory Council shall be presided by the Chair Emeritus.
Section 5. Mindanao Commission. The Mindanao Commission shall address the peculiar issues and concerns of Mindanao such as the issues on Peace and Security, Governance and Development , among others, and mainstream these in the national level. It shall be headed by a Chairperson elected by the Mindanao Assembly composed of all division chairpersons, seven (7) island representatives (to the National Council), one Mindanao LGU representative to the National Council, any PL Nominee from Mindanao, and the National Secretary-General.
a. The Mindanao Commission Chairperson shall be a regular Member of the National Council.
b. It shall organize a Secretariat to pursue programs and policies peculiar to the mandate of the Commission.
Section 6. Other formations.
The National Council may create formations with elected officials, political institutes, and other similar bodies which shall address specific sectoral and national issues and concerns.
ARTICLE VII: PARTY RELATIONS WITH MASS MOVEMENTS OR SECTORAL ASSEMBLIES OR CAUCUSES
Section 1. To strengthen relations with the mass movements or other formations there shall be an assembly or caucus for each mass movement or sector that shall work with the party in addressing specific sectoral and national issues and concerns.
Section 2. The sectoral or mass movement representatives to the national council shall serve as convenors or co-convenors of each assembly or caucus.
Article VIII: NATIONAL EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
Section 1. The National Chair. The National Chair shall be the head of the Party. He shall act as the Presiding Officer of the National Council and Co-Presiding officer of the National Congress. The National Chair shall likewise be the chief spokesperson of the Party, and together with the National President shall be the official representative of the Party to pertinent local and international assemblies, conferences and similar fora.
Section 2. The National President. The National President, together with the National Chair shall be the official representative of the Party in pertinent local and international assemblies, conferences and similar fora. He/she shall likewise take oversight responsibility of the Party’s operations. He shall be the Presiding Officer of the National Executive Committee and Co-Presiding Officer of the National Congress
Section 3. The National Secretary-General. The National Secretary-General shall be the chief operations officer of the Party and, as such, shall:
a. Manage and oversee all of the Party’s operations, including resource generation and allocation, research, recruitment, liaison, documentation, communications, and publications.
b. Prepare the agenda, minutes and program for all meetings of the National Congress, the National Council and the National Executive Committee.
c. Establish and maintain the National Secretariat and preside over all meetings of the same.
Section 4. The National Vice-Chair. The National Vice-Chair shall assume the responsibilities of the National Chair in case of the latter’s incapacity, resignation, impeachment, or death. He/She shall preside over or head a regular or a standing committee and shall perform such other functions as may be assigned him/her by the National Executive Committee.
Section 5. The National Vice-President. The National Vice-President shall perform the functions of the National President in case of the latter’s incapacity, resignation, impeachment or death. He/She shall preside over or head a regular or a standing committee and shall perform such other functions as may be assigned him/her by the National Chair or the National Executive Committee.
Section 6. The National Treasurer. The National Treasurer shall safe-keep and administer the Party’s funds and other resources, ensure the prompt and proper collection of all dues and other receivables accruing to the Party or to the National Executive Committee, prepare and submit a Financial Report whenever so required by the National Chair, the National Secretary-General or the National Executive Committee, and perform such other functions as may be assigned him/her by the National Chair or the National Executive Committee.
Section 7. The National Arbiter. The National Arbiter shall be the chief mediations officer of internal disputes in the Party particularly between individuals and/or party units affecting the internal democracy of the organization and the political works of party units.. The National Arbiter may recommend the formation of special body or task force to the National Executive Committee. The findings and recommendations of the National Arbiter shall be submitted to the National Executive Committee for decision or action.
Section 8. The National Ombudsperson. The National Ombudsperson shall initiate investigations and processes for prosecution and disciplinary proceedings on cases / issues on performance and responsibilities pertaining to functions of Party officials and Party Members in government. The National Ombudsman may recommend the formation of special body or task force to the National Executive Committee. His findings and recommendation shall be submitted to the National Executive Committee for decision or action.
Section 9. Creation of Other Committees. Other national committees, whether standing or ad hoc, may be created by the National Executive Committee and the National Council.
Article IX: THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT
Section 1. Functions. The National Secretariat shall be the chief administrative and operations arm of the Party.
Section 2. Local Secretariats and HQs. Local secretariats and headquarters may be established and maintained by the National Secretariat or by the Party Units concerned, as resources and requirements may warrant.
Article X: MEETINGS
Section 1. A simple majority of all its Members shall constitute a quorum for a meeting of any Party Unit, Organ or Formation.
Section 2. Decisions. No decision of any Party Unit, Organ, or Formation shall be valid and binding if arrived at in the absence of a quorum.
Section 3. Motions.Unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution, a simple majority vote of the Members present shall suffice to approve any motion during a meeting.
Section 4. Meetings.Special Meetings may be held only upon a written notice to all Members concerned of a minimum of seven (7) days’, in the case of Party Units, Committees and Formations, and fourteen (14) days’, in the case of National Organs.
Article XI: ELECTION AND SELECTION
Section 1. Election of Party Officers. All Party Officers shall be elected by plurality of votes of the Party Unit concerned, unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution.
Section 2. Terms of Office. All elected Party Officers shall hold office for three years, unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution.
Members of the national council shall hold office until a newly elected national council is sworn into office.
Section 3. Limitation on Elective Posts. No Member may hold more than one (1) elective post within the Party, provided, that this rule shall not apply to party-list nominees and nominees for other national elective public positions. And provided further, that elected officers of lower party units may also be elected to the national council. However, the national ombudsperson may not at any time hold a public elective post or any other elected office within the party. Thus, as soon as an Officer of a lower Unit is elected as an Officer of a higher Unit, the lower Unit shall elect a replacement for the Officer concerned.
Section 4. Selection of Candidates for Local and National Elections. All Party Candidates for local and national elective positions shall be selected through nomination proceedings. The standards, criteria, and guidelines for nominations of candidates shall be prescribed by the National Council.
Article XII: ARBITRATION AND DISCIPLINE
Section 1. Code of Discipline. The National Ombudsman shall formulate a Code of Discipline prescribing all procedures and guidelines pertinent to arbitration and discipline and implement the same upon approval by the National Council observing the rules of due process.
Section 2. Grounds for Disciplinary Action. Disciplinary proceedings may be initiated by any Party Officer or Member against any Party Officer or Member on any of the following grounds:
a. Gross violation of the Party’s Constitution and By-laws, Platforms, policies, regulations, or decisions.
b. Malversation of Party funds.
c. Misrepresentation of the Party.
d. Failure in the performance of official duties.
e. Non-payment of dues, fees or assessments.
f. All forms of violence against women (VAW) and children as articulated in national laws even against a non-member.
g. Gross misconduct.
h. Any act inimical to the interests of the Party.
i. Abuse of authority.
Section 3. Sanctions and Penalties. The following sanctions and penalties shall be meted on any Party officer or Member proven violating Article XI, Section 2 of this Constitution:
d. Removal from office.
Section 4. Additional and / or Other Sanctions. The following additional and/or other sanctions may also be meted on the errant Party officer or Members:
Section 5. Decision. Unless overturned by the National Council, the decision of the National Executive Committee shall be final.
Section 6. Rules of Arbitration. The National Arbiter shall formulate Rules of Arbitration prescribing all principles, procedures, and guidelines pertinent to the arbitration of internal disputes in the Party referred to in Article VII, Section 7 observing the rules of due process.
Article XIII: AMENDMENTS, BY-LAWS, AND IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS
Section 1. Amendments and Revisions.
a. Proposal. Amendments and revisions to this Constitution may be proposed in writing to the National Council by any Member in good standing.
b. Approval. If approved by the National Council, after due deliberations, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all its Members, such amendment and revision proposal shall be submitted to the National Congress for ratification.
c. Amendments and revisions. Proposed amendments and revisions shall be ratified by the National Congress by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all its Members.
Section 2. By-laws and Implementing Rules and Regulations. Upon the adoption of amendments or revision of this constitution, the National Council shall convene to formulate the by-laws and IRR.