Binay SONAVice-President Jejomar Binay’s attempt at delivering a “True” State of the Nation Address (SONA) suffers from a very basic flaw: a lack of credibility in the one delivering it.  His antics reek of desperation against the mounting cases of corruption against him. Binay, in the course of losing his grip on the Presidency is trying to grasp at straws to deflect issues.

While he took the time to list down his gripes and perceived issues to level against the current administration, one glaring omission undermines all his claims, and that is his continued silence on the allegations of corruption leveled against not only him, but members of his family.

Vice President Jojo Binay fails to make the connection between corruption as a basic malaise that erodes all other efforts for government to better respond to the needs of the poor and marginalized: from universal health care, to improved transportation, to increases in education budgets, to jobs creation.

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sona 2015For the last five years, Akbayan has fought beside President Benigno Aquino III in passing the flagship legislations he has mentioned in his last State of the Nation Address. These include the Sin Tax Reform Law, the Reproductive Health Law and the Philippine Competition Law.

Now in the last stretch of his administration, we continue to join him in sprinting towards the finish line to maximize the possibilities for more reforms.

Akbayan will push for the passage of an Anti-dynasty law, a legislation that will smash the walls that have been protecting the political families who treat public office as their family business. We also continue to fight for the passage of an inclusive Bangsamoro Basic Law in pursuit of lasting peace in Mindanao. Akbayan has long been pushing for the passage of these reforms and it is high time President Aquino put his full weight to ensure their passage.

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sona 2015Akbayan Statement on President Aquino's Sixth State of the Nation Address

With the 2016 national elections looming around the corner, the forces of reform are already busy looking for the presidential candidate who will continue the reforms started by President Benigno Aquino III.

However, President Aquino and the larger reform community must not be distracted. Much still needs to be done to cement the gains achieved in the past. Akbayan as Aquino's coalition partner for more than five years expect no less than a good fight for reforms in the last stretch of the Aquino administration. 

Collective victories and game changers

Indeed, we went through and won crucial battles together with President Aquino. Akbayan has been at the front lines of Aquino's anti-corruption campaign which led to the prosecution of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her cronies, from Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona to Ombudsman Merciditas Gutierrez.

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china get outAkbayan reiterates its call on the government of the People’s Republic of China to halt its occupation of the West Philippine Sea. China’s expansionist ambition in the West Philippine Sea is the main stumbling block to any peaceful resolution of the territorial dispute in the region. Contrary to its ludicrous nine-dash claim over the entire West Philippine Sea, China has no legal ground to justify its occupation and reclamation of key islets and atolls in the region.

Its daunting presence in the region serves to worsen the environmental plunder in the area. Aside from providing refuge for marine poachers, the Chinese government has itself undertaken massive reclamation works which have destroyed coral reefs. Moreover, it has even blocked our own legitimate fishermen from using traditional fishing grounds in our territory.

Its refusal to recognize the international law such as the UN Convention of the Law of Sea, to which it is a signatory to, by using its status as a superpower to throw its weight around shows that it has no qualms of disregarding rule of law. In fact, its continued aggressive actions in the area are a direct violation of the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Simply put, the Chinese government has shown that it can act like a rogue state if it serves the interests of its leaders.

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barry gutierrez"This landmark law is a game-changer."

Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez on Tuesday has lauded the enactment of a landmark Philippine fair competition law, calling it "a rare trifecta, a victory for the ordinary consumers, the small and medium enterprise owners and the national economy."

The statement was made after President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquio III on Tuesday morning sealed his stamp on a new law that has been languishing in Congress for 24 years to eliminate monopolies and uncompetitive behaviors in the market.

The Philippine Competition Act which was ratified by Congress last month will dismantle monopolies, promote a free and fair competition in trade, industry and all commercial economic activities and to penalize all forms of anti-competitive agreements.

Among these anti-competitive behaviors include the abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions by large business players to gain the upper hand in business transactions.

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