Ako Bicol Seeks Dismissal of Disqualification Case

Monday, June 7th, 2010

MANILA, June 2  - Ako Bicol Political Party (AKB) filed a petition for the immediate dismissal of the disqualification case lodged against the party before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Atty. George Irwin Garcia, legal counsel of AKB, said the petition for the cancellation of registration of AKB should be dismissed by the poll body immediately and push for the proclamation of Ako Bicol who topped the May 10 elections for party-lists.

"The petitioner against Ako Bicol should have objected to our petition for accreditation before. Estoppels had already set in," Garcia said in a statement.

He added, most often the disqualification cases are being utilized only to harass the respondents.

The Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees and Bayan-Bicol filed the petition for the disqualification of Ako Bicol.

Garcia urged the Comelec to immediately dismiss the petition against Ako Bicol and proclaim the AKB after topping the last party-list elections with more than 1.5 million votes.

In a separate statement, Ako Bicol also insisted that AKB was not merely created for the May 10 election but already existed and extending assistance to the Bikolanos since 2006.
Joshue Martinez Jr., spokesman and deputy secretary-general for media relations of AKB, said Ako Bicol was not a front of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as alleged by their critics and there is no basis for the disqualifications of their nominees.

He also said AKB started as a self-help organization which catered to the relief and rehabilitation needs of typhoon Reming victims until their members realized that through unity and mutual aid of Bikolanos, they could give hope to victims of disaster by giving livelihood. Later, AKB expanded in giving assistance to victims of disasters in Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Masbate and even in Metro Manila and Calabarzon areas.

Martinez also said AKB was headed by businessman Elizaldy Co as chairman and Atty. Rodol Batocabe as president. (PNA)

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