Claim: Abante Sambayanan says that Makabayan bloc party-list groups were formed to protect the communists
In the April 4 program of Laban Kasama ang Bayan (SMNI), Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, first nominee of Abante Sambayanan party-list group, claimed that the party-list groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc (i.e., Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan, Anakpawis and ACT Teachers) were agents of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and were formed to protect the latter. In addition, Celiz claimed that these organizations were part of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines or the NDFP (Laban Kasama ang Bayan, 2022).
According to Sec. 6 of the Party-list System Act of 1995, party-list groups that “advocate violence or unlawful means to seek their goal” (CRALAW, n.d.) would have their party-list registration removed or canceled. In 2020, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) junked due to “insufficient evidence” (CNN Philippines Staff, 2020, para. 1) a disqualification case against the Makabayan bloc which was at the time accused of having ties with communists.
The party-list groups belonging to the Makabayan bloc are also not part of the NDFP. According to its website, the NDFP was formed in 1973 and is composed of the CPP, NPA, and 15 revolutionary underground allied organizations (National Democratic Front of the Philippines, n.d.). The Makabayan bloc is a coalition of party-list groups formed in 2009 whose common advocacy is to advance the “politics of change” (Bulatlat Contributors, 2009, para. 2).
The party-list groups of the Makabayan bloc are duly recognized by the COMELEC. In the case of Bayan Muna, it has participated in the party-list race since 2001 (Bayan Muna Party-list, n.d.).
Celiz’s recent claims are nothing new as the Makabayan bloc party-list groups have been repeatedly red-tagged even by the President himself (Lalu, 2022).
- Bayan Muna Party-list. (n.d.). https://bayanmuna.com.ph/your-representatives/
- Bulatlat Contributors. (2009, April 20). Left forms new coalition for 2010 elections. Bulatlat. https://www.bulatlat.com/2009/04/20/left-forms-new-coalition-for-2010-elections/
- CNN Philippines Staff. (2020, February 25). Comelec division junks disqualification bid vs. Makabayan bloc, Colmenares. CNN Philippines. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/2/25/comelec-junks-disqualification-vs-makabayan-colmenares.html
- CRALAW. (n.d.). Party-list System Act – Chan Robles virtual law library. https://www.chanrobles.com/republicactno7941.htm
- Laban Kasama ang Bayan. (2022, April 4). Grupong Kontra-daya sa eleksyon, KABAG partylist ang bumubuo [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQru_yvpd3o
- Lalu, G. P. (2022, March 30). Duterte backs Badoy, links Makabayan bloc to communists. Inquirer.net. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1575492/duterte-echoes-ntf-elcac-links-makabayan-bloc-anew-to-communists
- National Democratic Front of the Philippines. (n.d.) Revolutionary united front organization of the Filipino people. https://ndfp.org/about/
Note: Kontra Daya is a member of fact-checking groups Tsek.PH and #FactsFirstPH. Our independent fact-checks are part of our voter’s education program.