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(Part 2) Who to Vote For? Get To Know the Political Parties in the Philippines

These are the remaining six national parties that are currently represented in the 17th Congress of the Philippines.
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In our first story on the different political parties in the Philippines, we only included the nine major political parties recognized by the Comelec for the 2016 national elections.

To provide more insight about the politicians we have today, as well as the new ones we’ll probably have after the midterm elections in May, we’re listing down in alphabetical order all the other national parties that are currently represented in the Congress that were not mentioned in the first story.

Akbayan

Akbayan was formally formed in 1998, but talks about the formation of the group started way back in 1994. The goal was simple: to build an “alternative, citizens' political party” to institutionalize the power of the masses, especially after what the country had gone through during the Martial Law years.

In a 2012 Philippine Star article written by columnist Domini M. Torrevillas, she discussed how Akbayan is a breakaway group from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). CPP, led by founder Jose Maria Sison, proposed the Second Great Rectification Movement in 1992. But not all CPP members agreed to the idea, which divided the group into the reaffirmists and the rejectionists. Akbayan founder Joel Rocamora was one of the rejectionists.

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Today, the party advances progressive politics and democratic socialism. It is still left-leaning, with focused programs on the marginalized sectors such as youth, women, gay and lesbians, urban poor, etc. It currently holds one Senate seat and two seats in the House of Representatives.

*2019 senatorial candidates: None.

Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC)

CIBAC was founded in 1997. Just as its name suggests, and according to its official Facebook page, the party’s goal is to help Filipinos from different sectors fight graft, corruption, and cronyism in the government.

The party currently holds one seat each in the upper and lower chambers of the Congress. Senator Joel Villanueva serves as its chairman, and party-list representative Sherwin Tugna is the party’s incumbent president.

*2019 senatorial candidates: None.

Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP)

LDP sprung from two other political parties, the PDP-Laban led by Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, Jr. and the now-defunct Lakas ng Bansa led by Ramon Mitra. It was formally formed in 1988.

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The party is generally seen as a conservative group, positioning itself at the center of the political spectrum. It is represented by a member each in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara serves as its chairman today.

*2019 senatorial candidate: Sonny Angara

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons - Robert Viñas (Presidential Communications Operations Office, Office of the President)
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Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan)

Unlike the other parties formerly mentioned, which only stemmed from one to two political parties, Makabayan is a coalition of 12 party lists.

Formed in 2009, Makabayan today is composed of Bayan Muna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Anakpawis, GABRIELA, Kabataan, Katribu, Migrante, Akap-bata, COURAGE, Piston, Kalikasan, and Aking Bikolnon.

These twelve parties all represent the marginalized sectors of society, such as women, youth, migrant workers, indigenous people, etc. The party practices left-wing politics and forwards progressivism.

Makabayan holds seven seats in the 17th Congress of the Philippines. Satur Ocampo currently serves as the bloc’s leader, while Neri Colmenares sits as its president.

*2019 senatorial candidate: Neri Colmenares

Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP)

PFP is a new party, perhaps the youngest to date, which was formed to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration and his push for the country’s shift to federalism. The Comelec accredited it as a national party just last October 2018, in time for the 2019 midterm elections.

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Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones serves as the president of the party.

*2019 senatorial candidates: Elmer Francisco, Dado Padilla

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons - Keith Bacongco

Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP)

Formerly known as Partido ng Masang Pilipino, PMP was formed by former President Joseph Estrada and was recognized as a political party in 1991.

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In a 2012 article, Rappler quoted Estrada as saying that he does not see PMP as a political party, rather as a “force” of the masses. He claimed that unlike other political parties, which only functions as such during the elections, PMP focuses on the needs of the people and continues to do so all throughout the year.

PMP engages heavily in populist politics, a probable reason why and how Estrada achieved landslide victories during the 1992 and 1998 elections. Estrada still serves as the party’s president today.

*2019 senatorial candidates: Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada

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About The Author
Pauline Macaraeg
Esquire Philippines
Pauline is Esquire Philippines’ data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg.
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