The House of Representatives' vote on a bill allowing full foreign ownership over the public services sector is proof that we are being sold out to China and other countries. 

The government should tighten security in our public services after learning that a Chinese state company owning 40% of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) can remotely shut down our power if they want. But it seems the House now wants to surrender to China our water, our communications, and our transportation too!

Here's the cruel irony: while the government is trying to shut down media outlets it accuses of foreign ownership, this bill wants countries like China to take over our public services!

While illegal Chinese offshore gaming sites abuse women and children and refuse to pay taxes, the approval of House Bill 78 adds insult to injury. This unconstitutional bill sends the message that rich foreigners are favored over the welfare of Filipinos.  

As President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address, Akbayan Party calls on the country to reject, resist and rise up from the treasonous actions of a Commander in Chief that has routinely betrayed the interests of the Filipino people. 

“The President will crow about his popularity, and his overwhelming success in the midterm elections. But these successes remain hollow to the ears of Junel Insigne, whose interests Duterte sacrificed for his alliance with China; of the parents of Myka Upina, whose life Duterte sacrificed in his bloody War on Drugs; of the people of Marawi, still waiting for their homeland to rise from the ashes,” said Party President Machris Cabreros. 

Akbayan Partylist representative Tom Villarin, a principal author of the law institutionalizing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) now signed as RA 11310, lauded its passage together with the Magna Carta for the Poor, making it the country's primary anti-poverty program which started in 2007 and expanded in 2012. The law was signed April 17, 2019 but only announced recently.

"We can make poverty history with the passage of the 4Ps law. It’s an investment for our poor Filipino families. We will expect their lives to be better now that the program is strengthened and safeguards in place. It addresses the inter-generational nature of poverty,” Villarin said.

Akbayan Partylist slammed the decision of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) en banc to dismiss the petition to initiate a special random manual audit (RMA) for partylist votes.

“It was a missed opportunity for Comelec to assure the public on the credibility of the elections. Our petition was to safeguard the votes of the electorate after numerous allegations of disenfranchisement of partylist votes,” Akbayan Chairperson Emeritus Etta Rosales said in a statement.

The audit process is a verification mechanism done to check the results for the senatorial and district representative races by comparing manual results to the automated. The petition filed by Akbayan, Rosales and people's organizations also asked for partylist representatives to be invited as observers.

Akbayan Partylist sought for the Comelec en banc during today's session to include partylist votes in the random manual audit (RMA) and allow partylist groups to observe the process. 

Partylist votes are currently not included in the RMA currently conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Commission on Elections (Comelec), and watchdog group Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) for 715 clustered precincts nationwide.  

"Comelec should have a special random manual audit for partylist votes. This is crucial especially after multiple reports of discrepancy of votes in the ballot and voters' receipts," Akbayan spokesperson Gio Tingson said.

"Proclaimed partylist nominees are part of the House of Representatives. The results for partylists would therefore need the verification process too," Tingson said.

"Partylist election results will remain questionable if it's not included in the auditing process. Counting the partylist votes manually in selected precincts and comparing it with the automated count will help ensure that not a single vote was compromised," Tingson said.