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The Akbayan Citizens' Action Party, popularly known as Akbayan, is a democratic socialist political party in the Philippines,[1][2] having been founded by political organizations that identify themselves as social democrats, democratic socialists, Marxists, and independent socialists.

There are approximately 100 thousand members of Akbayan. It has a pool of voter interest ranging anywhere between 150 thousand to 1 million people (at most 2.5% of Philippine active voters).


Consultations on founding an organized political group began in 1994 by different civil society and leftist organizations from the country's social democratic, democratic socialists, and Marxist traditions. Aspirations of various sectors—labor, peasants, youth, women, gay and lesbians, professionals, overseas Filipino workers, urban poor—were discussed and consolidated into a program of governance, while ad hoc structures were formed in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Four years later, in January 1998, Akbayan was formally established. In May of the same year, the new party tested its strength by participating in the local and party-list elections and won seats in the House of Representatives, and several local government units.

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 has been critical of abuses committed by some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against fellow activists.[3] 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.[4]

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).[5][6] 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 organization "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".[7]


The party includes both democratic socialists and social democrats as members. While Akbayan's political-economic platform rests on the democratic-socialist foundation which the ruling PDP–Laban ostensibly shares,[8] the former differs greatly with the latter with regard to civil rights and law enforcement.

Legislative record

  • Republic Act 9189 – The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003[9]
  • Republic Act 9481 – Right to Labor Self-Organization Law[10]
  • Republic Act 9502 – Cheaper and Quality Medicines Law[11]
  • Republic Act 9700 – Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law[12]
  • Republic Act 10354 – Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law[13]
  • Republic Act 10351 – Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco or The Sin Tax Law[14]
  • Republic Act 10368 – Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013[15]
  • Republic Act 10667 – Philippine Competition Act[16]
  • Republic Act 10028 – Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Law[17]
  • Republic Act 10742 – Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Law
  • Republic Act 10643 – Graphic Health Warning Law[18]
  • Republic Act 10932 – Anti-Hospital Deposit Act[19]
  • Republic Act 11036 – Mental Health Act[20]
  • Republic Act 11166 – HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018[21]

Candidates for 2013 elections

  • 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 elections

  • Risa Hontiveros – Senator
  • Tomasito Villarin – 1st nominee, party-list
  • Barry Gutierrez III – 2nd nominee, party-list Template:Ref
  • 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)
  • Ileana Ibay – Councilor (District 2, Pasay)
  • Alvin Dizon – Councilor (District 1, Cebu City) Template:Ref
  • Sergio Bañes Jr. – Councilor (Estancia, Iloilo)
  • Egar Chu – Councilor (Estancia, Iloilo)
Template:Note Also the spokesperson of Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid.
Template:Note Ran under the Liberal Party.

Candidates for 2019 elections

  • Tomasito Villarin – 1st nominee, party-list
  • Gio Tingson – 2nd nominee, party-list
  • Doris Dinorog-Obena – 3rd nominee, party-list
  • Angelina Katoh – 4th nominee, party-list
  • Napoleon Merida – 5th nominee, party-list
  • Cristina Oganiza – 6th nominee, party-list



Original content from WikiPilipinas. under GNU Free Documentation License. See full disclaimer.


  1. "Llamas hits Reds' tag on 'democratic left'", The Philippine Star. 
  2. (2016) Southeast Asia In The New International Era. ISBN 9780813350110. 
  3. Akbayan feels Esperon praise a left-handed compliment.
  4. Akbayan chides Bayan Muna & affiliates for falling into the AFP's 'divide & rule' strategy : Indybay. Indybay.
  5. Philippine Party says China violated its seas : Indybay. Indybay.
  6. Rodel Rodis. "Are Filipinos united against China's invasion of Ayungin?", Philippine Daily Inquirer. 
  7. "RRT Research Response" (PDF). Refugee Review Tribunal. Research Response Number PHL 31913. 2 June 2007.
  8. Bello y Flores, Walden (2021-05-21). Walden Bello on Rodrigo Duterte and Fascism.
  9. R.A. 9189.
  10. R.A. 9481.
  11. R.A. 9502.
  12. R.A. 9700.
  13. Republic Act No. 10354.
  14. Republic Act No. 10351.
  15. Republic Act No. 10368.
  16. No more 'business as usual' as Competition bill nears enactment – Akbayan Party List.
  17. R.A. No. 10028.
  18. gov.ph
  19. Senate approves stiffer penalties vs hospitals demanding deposits.
  20. Duterte signs Philippine Mental Health law.
  21. WHO Philippines lauds passage of new law on HIV, AIDS.