PHILIPPINES: Young progressives take the helm of Akbayan party leadership
Akbayan proves that progressive politics cuts across generations. With great pride, Akbayan members elected a significant number of young progressive activists to the Party Leadership at the recently concluded 6th Regular National Congress.
Adopting the theme “Transform Lessons and Victories, Forge the Future with Renewed Strength”, Akbayan has taken up the challenge of reviewing the party’s 17 years of progressive politics, its collective struggles, sacrifices and victories, whilst surfacing important lessons and experiences that would be essential in continuing the party’s journey towards transformative politics.
Akbayan matures through such fundamental processes that speak true of its party democracy. It has navigated the difficult terrain of coalition politics and governing the country’s democratic institutions. This has given rise to intense debates and discourse, deepening party democracy and strengthening the party’s ideological foundations in the process. It has precisely been these series of debates and challenges that encouraged young promising leaders to take the helm. It is in the same manner that the party renews its commitment to find inspiration and idealism from the fresh batch of leaders, as well as to champion the youth’s role as active agents of change.
It is in this spirit that Akbayan re-elected Party Chairperson Risa Hontiveros and other veteran party stalwarts alongside young party leaders. These young leaders, whose ages range from 23 to 36, have proven their commitment to the struggle for democracy and social justice; they have shown their capacity and skill in leading the youth and student movement and the party at large in the various challenges and battles Akbayan has faced in the past years.
These newly-elected young party leaders include founding Akbayan Youth Chairperson, Marie Chris Cabreros as Party President, Gari Lazaro, former Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) Secretary General and now Party Vice President, and Gio Tingson, current National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson and now the new Party Vice Chairperson as well. Rafaela “Paeng” David, who is currently the Chairperson of Akbayan Youth was also elected 4th partylist nominee and will serve as the new face and voice of the party. A significant number of young party members were also elected in the Akbayan National Council, the second highest decision-making body of the party.
With young activists taking the helm of the party leadership, Akbayan is ready to fight its future battles with a deeper well of hope, optimism and inspiration ready to traverse uncharted waters with vigor and audacity and prepared to take charge of the country’s collective history-making.
The future may be uncertain, but with renewed strength and unities that puts faith in the younger generation, Akbayan is indeed ready to forge the future, with a stronger spirit to confront new challenges and a greater thirst for radical change.
Here is a full list of Akbayan’s new leaders, elected by the delegates to the party’s 6th National Congress:
Marie Chris Cabreros