Kontra Daya defends Makabayan parties from disqualification bid

Poll watchdog group Kontra Daya believes there is no basis to disqualify party-list groups from the Makabayan bloc in the May 2022 national and local polls.

Kontra Daya convenor Danilo Arao said their list of questionable party-list groups in the past election cycles does not include the members of the Makabayan bloc. 

"Based on our past studies, there were bogus party-list groups that were used by the rich and powerful to advance their own interests. Members of the Makabayan bloc have not been flagged as belonging to political clans or businesses. This is why there is no basis to disqualify," he said in an interview Monday.

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) earlier bared its plans to seek the disqualification of the Makabayan bloc's party-list groups before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the government is convinced that Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Gabriela, and Kabataan are “fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, and National Democratic Front.

But Arao believes there is no basis for disqualification in the NTF-ELCAC's complaint.

"If there is evidence of links with the CPP-NPA-NDFP, it should have been presented in court a long time ago," he said.

“To rely on video message in the late 1980s and witnesses with questionable motives would not even pass academic scrutiny like peer review, much less authentic judicial review,” added Arao.

Kontra Daya urged Comelec to just focus on its preparations for the upcoming polls. 

"Focus on preparations for the 2022 elections and address more pressing issues like removing foreign intervention in our election system. Between Makabayan bloc and Smartmatic, it should be clear which one should be blacklisted," said Arao.