NAGA CITY (BicolToday.com/8-Nov-2012) – Aking Bikolnon Partylist, denied links with delisted Ako Bicol Partylist, and claims that it has organizational structures at the village level, contrary to the Comelec-disqualified party list group which did not represent any marginalized sector and had propped itself up by tarpaulin sign advertisements and media publicity.
Lawyer Edgar Carmona, president of Aking Bikolnon, lashed back at the alleged “misleading and preposterous allegations of Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bicol, found on page A5 of the October 28, 2012 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer [“Ako Bicol warns COMELEC vs Left”].”
Carmona informed Bicoltoday.com over the week that in the said news article, Rep. Batocabe (Ako Bicol) said that he “…also disowned the newly organized left-leaning “Aking Bikolnon” party list, which has been claiming to be an adjunct of Ako Bicol.” Rep. Batocabe also said that AKING BIKOLNON “…is clearly riding on the popularity of Ako Bicol in a bid to mislead Bicolanos in supporting their bid in next year’s party-list election”.
“At the outset, let me state that when the COMELEC “de-listed” or disqualified Ako Bicol, we at AKING BIKOLNON kept our silence and refrained from commenting there on, and the reasons there for, despite the prodding of from media who attempted to interview us,” said the Aking Bikolnon president.
“We did nothing to discredit Ako Bicol amidst the exploding issue of its disqualification. What Aking Bikolnon is serious about is to represent the marginalized and underrepresented Bicolanos and address the issues of Bicolandia as a whole. However, by this recent tirade from Atty. Batocabe against AKING BIKOLNON, which is clearly insensitive and malicious, we need to defend ourselves.” Carmona stressed
The lawyer cited that their group did not and does not claim to be an adjunct of Ako Bikol.
“That is a serious accusation and we sincerely hope that Rep. Batocabe, being a lawyer, has concrete evidence to back this ridiculous declaration because the officers and members of AKING BIKOLNON will NEVER do such a thing. Contrary to what he is claiming, we, at AKING BIKOLNON, are actually distancing ourselves from Ako Bicol. We have repeatedly, in the past as well as in the present, declare openly that we are entirely different from Ako Bicol, because we do not even want to be tagged as related in any way to Ako Bicol,” he said.
He also clarifed that Ako Bicol need not disown Aking Bikolnon. We completely refuse to be acknowledged as an adjunct of Ako Bicol and resists to be even classified as related to Ako Bicol. Again, Aking Bikolnon is independent from Ako Bicol. While Aking Bicolnon represents the marginalized sector, Ako Bicol represents the rich Bicolanos. In fact, Ako Bicol does not really represent the marginalized and underrepresented sectors of Bicol which might have caused its disqualification.
Carmona scored on Rep. Batocabe branding Aking Bikolnon as “left-leaning”.
“To this we say: If serving the poor, advocating the causes of the really marginalized sectors of society and fighting for their rights in all levels within the bounds of law, is “left-leaning” then, we would gladly accept this kind of label. I can only surmise what would Rep. Batocabe call or label their party list group,” the partylist officer said.
He also corrected the wrong impression that “Aking Bikolnon is riding on the alleged popularity of Ako Bicol.”
“Ako Bicol is the one misleading the reading public. Aking Bikolnon does not need to ride with the ‘alleged popularity of Ako Bicol’. We do not see Ako Bicol as popular to the Bicolanos. What is popular, if any, is their disqualification from the partylist system for not truly representing the marginalized and underrepresented sectors. Granting without admitting that Ako Bicol is popular, Aking Bikolnon will not use that popularity as the latter depends on its organized groups from the grassroots level to popularize its objectives and causes and will have no need to rely on shallow popularity of Ako Bicol brought about by tarpaulins and trimedia advertisement,” claimed Carmona.
The lawyer believes that Ako Bicol’s accusations, name-tagging, and act of fingerpointing at Aking Bikolnon prove to be a palpably pathetic act of trying to save its face from the dishonour and disgrace due to its disqualification.
“The pronouncements of Ako Bicol are not fair. Before this, Aking Bikolnon does nothing except pursue its honest intention to advocate for the causes for the marginalized, advance the rights of the underrepresented, and seek to represent them. Now, Aking Bikolnon will never keep its mouth zipped because the marginalized and underrepresented need to comment and defend themselves against malicious statements,” said the Aking Bikolnon president. [BicolToday.com]