The Akbayan Citizens' Action Party, better known as Akbayan, is a democratic socialist[1] and progressive[3] political party in the Philippines. Akbayan is noted as a leading member of the democratic left in the Philippines,[4][2] which consists of moderate leftist groups who are not affiliated with the more radical Communist Party of the Philippines.[2]

PresidentMachris Cabreros
ChairmanRisa Hontiveros
Secretary-GeneralKit Melgar
FoundedJanuary 1998
Headquarters36-B Madasalin, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Youth wingAkbayan Youth
IdeologyParticipatory politics
Democratic socialism[1][2]
Social democracy[2]
Political positionCentre-left to left-wing[2]
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
Colors     Red      Green      Purple
SloganSa Akbayan, Panalo ang Mamamayan! ("With Akbayan, the People Win!")
Seats in the Senate
1 / 24
Seats in the House of Representatives
0 / 303


The party was founded by Joel Rocamora in the 1990s after he left the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) over ideological differences with its founder and leader, Jose Maria Sison. Sison maintained a commitment within the Communist Party of the Philippines to Marxist–Leninist-Maoist principles, which some members, including Rocamora, disagreed with.[5]

Akbayan has been critical of abuses committed by some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against fellow activists.[6] It has also been critical of the Communist Party of the Philippines, particularly their actions in the countryside against peasant groups and communities and what they see as the Maoist group's extortion activities. Due to its stance against right-wing extremism (from some elements of the AFP) and the Maoist far-left (CPP-NPA-NDF), Akbayan has been a target by both political groups.[7]

Akbayan members protesting granting of bail for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for plunder charges

During the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Akbayan was among the opposition groups repressed by the government. It was also during this time that Akbayan suffered its lowest number of votes, with just over 400,000 votes in 2007. In 2009, Akbayan supported the presidential candidacy of then Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Fueled by the popular discontent with the outgoing administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino won the presidency by a large margin. This was also the first time that Akbayan was able to breach the 1 million vote mark, its best performance to that date. Despite the vote increase, however, it failed to secure three seats in the House of Representatives owing to a Supreme Court decision which ensured only the leading party list (Ako Bicol at that time) in the election would secure three seats.

Akbayan mobilization in front of Chinese Consular Office protesting the Chinese's incursions into the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone

Akbayan has been noted to oppose the increased incursions of the People's Republic of China (PRC) naval and coast guard vessels into Philippine territorial waters and within the country's 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).[8][9] In 2016, they allied themselves with the Liberal Party and the Magdalo Group, supporting Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo's campaigns and criticizing other candidates. After the election, they joined the Magnificent 7, a group of Liberal Party and Magdalo members. They publicly criticized several policies, including Duterte's handling of the Philippine Drug War and the TRAIN Law.

Akbayan has affiliate groups that represent government employees, women workers, migrants, as well as members of the LGBT community. The party's official website states that Akbayan is an activist organisation "and proud of it", and that it "vehemently condemn(s) torture, assassination, and other violent acts that undermine human rights and freedoms regardless of whoever commits them".[10]

Legislative recordEdit

Akbayan members calling for the passage of the CARPER Law
Creative action for the passage of the Reproductive Health Law in 2012
  • Republic Act 9189 – The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003[11]
  • Republic Act 9481 – Right to Labor Self-Organization Law[12]
  • Republic Act 9502 – Cheaper and Quality Medicines Law[13]
  • Republic Act 9700 – Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law[14]
  • Republic Act 10354 – Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law[15]
  • Republic Act 10351 – Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco or The Sin Tax Law[16]
  • Republic Act 10368 – Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013[17]
  • Republic Act 10667 – Philippine Competition Act[18]
  • Republic Act 10028 – Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Law[19]
  • Republic Act 10742 – Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law
  • Republic Act 10643 – Graphic Health Warning Law[20]
  • Republic Act 10932 – Anti-Hospital Deposit Act[21]
  • Republic Act 11036 – Mental Health Act[22]
  • Republic Act 11166 – HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018[23]

Electoral performanceEdit

Akbayan is only one of two parties (the other is Butil) to win seats in all party list elections in the Philippines. Furthermore, Akbayan is the only party to surpass the 2% election threshold in all elections until the 2016 election where they fell short by 0.12%.

House of Representatives party-list electionsEdit

Election Votes % Seats
1998 232,376 2.54% 1
2001 377,852 2.50% 1
2004 852,473 6.70% 3
2007 466,112 2.92% 2
2010 1,058,691 3.50% 2
2013 827,405 3.02% 2
2016 608,449 1.88% 1
2019 171,713 0.62% 0

Representatives to CongressEdit

Period 1st Representative 2nd Representative 3rd Representative
11th Congress
Loretta Ann P. Rosales
12th Congress
Dr. Mario J. Aguja
13th Congress
Risa Hontiveros
14th Congress
Risa Hontiveros
Walden Bello
15th Congress
Walden Bello
Kaka Bag-ao
16th Congress
Walden Bello1
Angelina Ludovice-Katoh2
Barry Gutierrez
17th Congress
Tomasito Villarin
18th Congress
^1 Resigned on 16 March 2015.[24]
^2 Replaced resigned representative Walden Bello and sworn in on 13 May 2015.[25]

Candidates for 2013 electionsEdit

  • Risa Hontiveros – Senator
  • Arlene "Kaka" Bag-ao – District Representative, Dinagat Islands (under Liberal Party)
  • Walden F. Bello – 1st nominee, party-list
  • Ibarra M. Gutierrez III – 2nd nominee, party-list
  • Angelina Ludovice Katoh – 3rd nominee, party-list
  • Sylvia Estrada Claudio – 4th nominee, party-list
  • Francis Q. Isaac – 5th nominee, party-list
  • Edwin A. Bustillos – 6th nominee, party-list

Candidates for 2016 electionsEdit

  • Risa Hontiveros – Senator
  • Tomasito Villarin – 1st nominee, party-list
  • Barry Gutierrez III – 2nd nominee, party-list 1
  • Angelina Katoh – 3rd nominee, partyl-ist
  • Rafaela Mae David – 4th nominee, party-list
  • Doris Obena – 5th nominee, party-list
  • Mylene Hega – 6th nominee, party-list
  • Cenon Nolasco – 7th nominee, party-list
  • Pat Ibay – Councilor (District 1, Pasay City)
  • Ileana Ibay – Councilor (District 2, Pasay City)
  • Alvin Dizon – Councilor (District 1, Cebu City) 2
  • Sergio Bañes Jr. – Councilor (Estancia, Iloilo)
  • Egar Chu – Councilor (Estancia, Iloilo)
^1 Also the spokesperson of Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid.
^2 Ran under the Liberal Party.


  1. ^ a b Artemio, Guillermo (2012). Historical Dictionary of the Philippines. Scarecrow Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-8108-7246-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Southeast Asia In The New International Era". 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "About Akbayan - Akbayan Party List". akbayan.org.ph. Archived from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  4. ^ "Llamas hits Reds' tag on 'democratic left'". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Clash between Akbayan and Anakbayan". The Philippine Star. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  6. ^ "Akbayan feels Esperon praise a left-handed compliment". Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Akbayan chides Bayan Muna & affiliates for falling into the AFP's 'divide & rule' strategy : Indybay". Indybay. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  8. ^ "Philippine Party says China violated its seas : Indybay". Indybay. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  9. ^ Rodel Rodis. "Are Filipinos united against China's invasion of Ayungin?". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "RRT Research Response" (PDF). Refugee Review Tribunal. Research Response Number PHL 31913. June 2, 2007.
  11. ^ "R.A. 9189". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  12. ^ "R.A. 9481". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  13. ^ "R.A. 9502". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "R.A. 9700". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  15. ^ "Republic Act No. 10354". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  16. ^ http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2012/ra_10351_2012.html
  17. ^ "Republic Act No. 10368". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  18. ^ "No more 'business as usual' as Competition bill nears enactment – Akbayan Party List". Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  19. ^ http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2010/ra_10028_2010.html
  20. ^ gov.ph
  21. ^ https://www.rappler.com/nation/169911-senate-approves-stiffer-penalties-hospitals-demanding-deposits
  22. ^ https://www.rappler.com/nation/205425-duterte-signs-mental-health-law-services-philippines
  23. ^ https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/01/11/1884227/who-philippines-lauds-passage-new-law-hiv-aids
  24. ^ "Bello resigns as Akbayan representative, calls Aquino disgraceful". Inquirer News. March 11, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  25. ^ "Akbayan names Bello's replacement in Congress". Rappler. May 13, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.

External linksEdit