Is Senator Grace Poe changing her tune on political dynasties?
This was the question raised by Akbayan Youth following reports that the neophyte senator and the Villafuerte dynasty of Camarines Sur have forged an alliance.
“Just last Friday, Senator Poe expressed her opposition to the ‘perpetuation of political dynasties.’ But on Tuesday she was announcing a team up with one of the longest running political dynasties in the country. What gives?” Akbayan Youth Chairperson Rafaela David said.
“Did she change her mind in the three days between Friday and Tuesday? Or was her earlier stance on political dynasties pure posturing?” David added.
Akbayan party-list today cautioned Presidential contender Grace Poe against dismissing federalism saying she is missing the point behind why a lot of regions especially Mindanao support the shift in the form of government.
“Federalism is a call borne of the need to disperse political power away from Manila, and tame the Marcos-era legacy of concentrated Presidential powers,” said Akbayan President Machris Cabreros. “Her claim that federalism would perpetuate political clans and dynasties seems oblivious to the fact that the Presidential form of government already does that.”
For his part, Akbayan Mindanao leader Tom Villarin said “It is a false assumption to say that federalism breeds local dictators. The country's diversity and multi-ethnicity is precisely what makes us Filipinos, not the notion of a single nation carved out from a long colonial history of subjugating various people into one nation.”
Various youth groups today in a statement urged Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo to run for Vice-President and not to listen to other youth groups already affiliated with other VP candidates.
"We urge Rep. Leni to heed the call to run for the Vice-Presidency. She has both the competence and the moral compass needed as VP. Sadly, all the other potential and declared contenders either lack or are deficient in these two traits," according to Akbayan Youth Chairperson Rafaela David.
"Rep. Leni should not listen to self-serving youth groups who have been dissuading her from running, warning her that her reputation might be tarnished if she runs for VP. She should take such unsolicited advice with more than a grain of salt considering that these naysayers happen to be close affiliates of other declared candidates. They are obviously threatened by Robredo's possible candidacy. With her track record, they should be," she stressed.
The statement was released a day after another youth group, Anakbayan, urged Robredo not to run for VP stating that should she run for office, she will only tarnish her reputation. Anakbayan is a known supporter of the Grace-Chiz tandem in the 2016 elections.
Akbayan Partylist supports the investigation of the killing of lumads particularly in the CARAGA region and bringing the perpetrators to justice. There is no place for impunity in our shared pursuit of just and lasting peace in Mindanao.
We welcome and support the initiative of the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the incident. An impartial, objective assessment of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of at least three lumad leaders from Surigao del Sur should properly uncover accountabilities and from there let charges be filed with the DOJ against those culpable for the deaths.
The strategic imperative however is for the closer scrutiny of development initiatives as they relate and impinge on the rights of indigenous peoples to assert their right to self-determination.
Unbridled development devoid of thorough and inscrutable regulations put indigenous peoples’ communities at the crossroads of human rights violations, whether these be committed by state or non-state actors.
"The long-awaited overhaul of the Sangguniang Kabataan system is underway," Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez said after the House of Representatives has approved the SK Reform Bill on third reading Wednesday evening.
"The proposed measure contains crucial reform provisions that would render the SK more effective in representing the interests of the youths," he added.
Among the key provisions of the bill include the ban of political dynasties, higher age limit and mandatory training and skills development of both SK leaders.
"The provision of anti-political dynasty bill is a step forward in insulating the SK from traditional and partisan politics that characterized the old system," Gutierrez said.
"Along with the other proposed reform provisions, we make certain that the SK leaders are more capable and effective in representing youth interests in our democratic processes," he added.
In an effort to promote a higher level of accountability among the elected and appointed SK officials, the proposed reform measure sought to increase the age bracket for youths eligible to assume a post, from the 15-17 years old age bracket to 18-21 years old.
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