Ako Bicol Political Party
Founded2006
HeadquartersLegazpi, Albay
Youth wingAYOS Bicol Movement
IdeologyBicolano regionalism
ColorsYellow and red
SloganSinda... Kita... Ika...
Seats in the House of Representatives
2 / 61
(Party list seats only)
Website
akobicolpartylist.com

Ako Bicol Political Party (AKB) is a political party in the Philippines participating in the party-list elections in the Philippines. It represents the Bicol Region and the Bicolano people. In the 2016 elections, AKB was the top partylist with 1,664,975 votes, earning it 3 seats in Congress.[1]

Background

AKB is a movement composed of individuals who are either residents of the Bicol Region, born of Bicolano parents, have resided in Bicol or simply interested in the promotion of the welfare and interests of the region and its people, collectively known as “Bicolanos,” with the aim to unite Bicolanos to work in the development of the Bicol Region through programs and projects that will combat poverty, provide adequate social services, promote full employment, guarantee social justice and full respect for human rights, recognize the sanctity of human life, improve delivery of health services, democratize access to education and training, protect the environment, enhance disaster preparedness and advance the participation of youth, women, gays and lesbians and physically challenged individuals as well senior citizens in nation building.[2]

AKB also endeavors to instill confidence and foster patriotism among Bicolanos through the promotion of Bicol history, arts and culture, appreciation of the role of Bicolano heroes, national figures and other role models in the historical and cultural development of the region and strengthening the inherent resiliency of Bicolanos amidst adversities but at the same time, minimizing and if not totally eradicating, perceived attitudes and values which tend to hamper progress and development.[2]

History

Before 2010

AKB started as a non-government organization under the name "SOS Bicol," which provided rescue aid to residents in the Bicol region after Typhoon Reming (Durian) hit; it also sponsored livelihood programs for residents affected by the 2009 eruption of the Mayon Volcano.[3]

2010 elections

In a May 2010 Social Weather Stations opinion poll, AKB topped the survey, with 5.64% of the vote, the equivalent of two seats, beating seasoned party-list election contenders Buhay Hayaan Yumabong and Bayan Muna. However, AKB has been accused by the Kontra Daya (Against Cheating) group of being a creation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to expand her base of allies in the House of Representatives, a charge that AKB denied.[4][5]

AKB emerged as the surprising topnotcher in the 2010 election, one of only two parties (the other being 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy) above the threshold not to have previously sat in Congress.[3] However, in a Bicol Mail column by Luis Ruben General, AKB would duplicate the work of the district representatives, implying that the "Bicolanos are now marginalized and distinctly disadvantaged."[3] However, a disqualification case was filed against the party, claiming that the party had violated the party-list system law since the party was backed by the Co family, which owns construction companies, malls and resorts in Bicol, and therefore "cannot represent the marginalized and underrepresented sector," according to the disqualification petition.[6]

On May 31, 2010, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) declared several groups to have won seats under the party-list system, but the proclamations of AKB's seats (and those of several other parties) were deferred due to the pending disqualification cases against them.[7] On July 28, it was announced that the COMELEC had dismissed all petitions against AKB, saying that party-list system law allows for regional political parties that do not represent a particular sector of society.[8] The original petition was dismissed on June 29, but the original petitioners did not file a motion for reconsideration until July 26, after deadline for filing motions has lapsed. This allows the commission to proclaim Ako Bicol's three nominees as congressmen.[9]

2013 elections

On October 10, 2012, COMELEC announced that AKB (along with 12 other parties) was disqualified from running in the 2013 party-list election by a unanimous 6–0 vote of commission members.[5][10] The commission cited the party's failure to represent a specific sector of society, a requirement for parties fielding candidates under the sectoral representation (party list) system.[11] AKB Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr. expressed surprise at the decision.[5] On November 13, 2012, the Supreme Court granted a petition filed by AKB to forestall COMELEC acting on its decision.[12][13]

2016 elections

In the 2016 elections, Ako Bicol won 1,664,975 votes (5.14% of the national vote), the highest votes for any party in the election, while winning three seats in total, making it the party's most successful election.

Death of Congressman Rodel M. Batocabe

In 2018,[14]Rodel Batocabe announced that he would not seek re-election to the House of Representatives. Instead, Batocabe announced his candidacy for Mayor of Daraga in Albay province in the forthcoming May 2019 general elections. He would have challenged Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, who was also seeking re-election in 2019.

On December 22, 2018, Batocabe was attending a gift giving event for senior citizens in the small village of Burgos in Daraga, Albay. Two men approached Batocabe, who was 52 years-old, at the event and shot him eight times. His police escort, Officer Orlando Diaz, was also killed, while seven elderly attendees were also wounded in the attack. Batocabe and Diaz were taken to a hospital in Legazpi City, where both were pronounced dead. By coincidence, December 22 also marked Batocabe's wedding anniversary to his wife, Gertie.

On January 3, 2019, it was announced that Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo had ordered the killing of Rep. Batocabe. At the time of his murder, Batocabe was running for Mayor of Daraga, while Baldo was seeking re-election. According to the police, Baldo hired six men to kill Batocabe and set up $95,000 in funds to pay for the murder. The plot had allegedly been in the works since August 2018, when Baldo supplied $4,600 to one of the hitmen to purchase guns and motorcycles. Mayor Carlwyn Baldo denied the allegations in a statement read over the phone to local radio stations, calling himself " a convenient scapegoat."

Atty. Ronald S. Ang took his oath on January 15, 2019 to replace slain lawmaker Rodel Batocabe as the representative of the party.[15] Ang took his oath before Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and joined Christopher Co and Alfredo Garbin Jr. as representatives of the party-list in the 17th Congress.

Electoral performance

Election Votes % Seats
2010[16] 1,058,691 5.20% 3
2013 763,103 2.67% 2
2016 1,664,975 5.14% 3
2019 1,049,040 3.76% 2

Results in the Bicol Region

AKB was the party-list with the most votes in the Bicol Region; in most regions, the party with the second-highest number of votes won with less than 10% of the vote, except in Masbate, where the Alliance of Bicolnon Party won 14.80% of the vote.

Election Albay Camarines Norte Camarines Sur Catanduanes Masbate Sorsogon Total Bicol Total Philippines
2010 342,784 (69.85%) 361,397 (62.02%) 41,825 (40.38%) 65,495 (32.81%) 151,121 (56.56%) 962,622 (46.07%) 1,058,691 (5.20%)

Representatives to Congress

Period 1st Representative 2nd Representative 3rd Representative
15th Congress
2010–2013
Hon. Christopher S. Co Hon. Rodel M. Batocabe Hon. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr.
16th Congress
2013–2016
Hon. Christopher S. Co Hon. Rodel M. Batocabe N/A
17th Congress
2016–2019
Hon. Rodel M. Batocabe

Succeeded By: Hon. Ronald S. Ang

Hon. Christopher S. Co Hon. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr.
18th Congress
2019–2022
Hon. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. Hon. Elizaldy Co N/A

Philippine Laws Authored

AKB has authored and co-authored several Philippine laws since it was first elected in the 15th Congress up to the present-day 17th Congress.[17]

Republic Act (RA) 10692 Modernization Of The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical And Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)
RA 10687 Comprehensive And Unified Student Financial Assistance System For Tertiary (College) Education
RA 10691 Amending the “Public Employment Service Office Act"
RA 10679 Promoting Entrepreneurship And Financial Education Among Filipino Youth
RA 10668 Allowing Foreign Vessels To Transport And Co-Load Foreign Cargoes For Domestic Transshipment
RA 10667 Prohibiting Anti-Competitive Agreements, Abuse Of Dominant Position And Anti-Competitive Mergers And Acquisitions, as well as Establishing The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)
RA 10660 Strengthening Further The Functional And Structural Organization Of The SANDIGANBAYAN
RA 10654 To Prevent, Deter And Eliminate Illegal, Unreported And Unregulated Fishing
RA 10638 Extending The Corporate Life Of The Philippine National Railways For Another Fifty (50) Years
RA 10648 Providing Scholarship Grants To Top Graduates Of All Public High Schools In State Universities And Colleges
RA 10649 Increasing The Burial Assistance For Veterans From Ten Thousand Pesos (Php 10,000.00) To Twenty Thousand Pesos (Php 20,000.00)
RA 10650 Institutionalizing Open Distance Learning In Levels Of Tertiary (College) Education
RA 10643 Graphic Health Warnings On Tobacco
RA 10642 Consumer Protection In The Purchase Of Brand New Motor Vehicles
RA 10635 Establishing The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina)
RA 10575 Strengthening The Bureau Of Corrections (BUCOR)
RA 10532 Institutionalizing The Philippine National Health Research System
RA 10533 Increasing The Number Of Years For Basic (Elementary) Education
RA 10590 Amending the “Overseas Absentee Voting Act"
RA 10620 Toy And Game Safety Labeling
RA 10174 Establishing The People's Survival Fund
RA 10531 Strengthening The National Electrification Administration
RA 10361 Instituting Policies For The Protection And Welfare Of Domestic Workers
RA 1059 Amending the “Regulation Of The Cutting Of Coconut Trees and its Replenishment Act"
RA 10606 Amending the “National Health Insurance Act"
RA 10351 Restructuring The Excise Tax On Alcohol And Tobacco Products
RA 10627 Requiring All Elementary And Secondary (High School) Schools To Prevent And Address Bullying In Their Institutions
RA 10536 Amending the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines
RA 10623 Amending the “Stabilizing The Prices Of Basic And Prime Commodities During Emergency Situations Act”
RA 10354 Responsible Parenthood And Reproductive Health
RA 10229 Establishing The Catanduanes State University
RA 10150 Extending The Implementation Of The Lifeline Rate in the "Electric Power Industry Reform Act"
RA 10372 Amending the Intellectual Property Code Of The Philippines

References

  1. ^ "Ako Bicol is king of party-list groups in 2016". Politiko. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  2. ^ a b "Ako Bikol: who we are". Ako Bicol Partylist. 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  3. ^ a b c Villegas, Ron (2010-05-29). "Ako Bikol: from obscurity to party-list dominance". Philippine Online Chronicles. Archived from the original on 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  4. ^ Balane, Lilita (2010-05-07). "AkoBicol tops SWS party list survey". Newsbreak. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  5. ^ a b c Esmaquel, Paterno II (2012-10-10). "Comelec disqualifies top party-list group". Rappler. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  6. ^ Balane, Lilita (2010-05-27). "Disqualification filed vs party list frontrunner". Newsbreak. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  7. ^ Raymund F. Antonio; Leslie Ann G. Aquino (2010-05-31). "27 party-list groups proclaimed". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  8. ^ "Comelec dismisses petition vs AKO Bicol Party-list". Manila Bulletin. 2010-07-28. Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  9. ^ Crisostomo, Shiela (2010-07-29). "Comelec dismisses petition vs Ako Bicol". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
  10. ^ Cerda, Jovan (October 10, 2012). "Comelec disqualifies Ako Bicol, 12 other party-lists". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  11. ^ Reyes, Fat (2012-10-10). "Comelec disqualifies Ako Bikol Party-list, 12 others for 2013 polls". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
  12. ^ Romero, Purple (2012-11-13). "SC stops disqualification of Ako Bicol, 3 others". Rappler. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  13. ^ Torres, Tetch (November 14, 2012). "Ako Bicol, 3 others get SC relief". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2019-05-08.
  14. ^ "Philippine Lawmaker, a Duterte Ally, Is Killed in Pre-Election Violence". 2019-03-20. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  15. ^ "Ronald Ang takes oath to replace slain Ako Bicol solon Rodel Batocabe". Ronald Ang. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  16. ^ "NATIONAL CANVASS REPORT NO. 10: PARTYLIST - (Page 1) by Ranked". Commission on Elections (Philippines). 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
  17. ^ "Ako Bicol Laws Enacted". 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2016-08-08.