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Youth and students interests
|Seats in the House of Representatives of the Philippines|
1 / 304
|House of Representatives party-list seats|
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Kabataan Party-list (KPL, lit. 'Youth Party-list'), formerly Ang Nagkakaisang Kabataan Para sa Sambayanan (ANAK ng BAYAN Youth Party, lit. 'United Youth for the People, United Sons of the Nation Youth Party') is a party list in the Philippines affiliated with the leftist political party Makabayan. It represents the interests of the youth sector in the Philippine Congress and is composed of different youth groups all over the country. It aims to "galvanize the Filipino youth’s unity for social change," believing that the youth should "devote its intellect, energy, and courage to building a new society devoid of corruption, inequality, and social injustice." It first vied for seats during the 2004 Philippine general election but failed to win any seats. Since 2007, however, Kabataan Party-list has managed to secure one seat in Congress. Its current representative is Sarah Elago, who is also the youngest Representative in Congress.
The impetus for greater youth representation began during the wake of the Second EDSA Revolution, which saw the ouster of President Joseph Estrada. One of the most active youth groups involved in the ouster was the Estrada Resign Youth Movement (ERYM) which mobilized youth organizations in calling for the President's ouster.
During the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration, ERYM became the Youth Movement for Justice and Meaningful Change (YMJC) to secure "urgent youth demands" from the new government. These demands, however, were met frustration and aggravated disillusionment from the youth. On May 20, 2001, members of YMJC met with leaders from Anakbayan (AB), the League of Filipino Students (LFS), the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), and the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) in the Anakbayan office in Padre Noval, Sampaloc, Manila, to discuss methods to advance youth interests in the country.
The convening members resolved to create a youth party meant to represent the interests of their sector, away from traditional politics which have left them "a marginalized force in society," forming the Ang Nagkakaisang Kabataan Para sa Sambayanan (United Youth for the People, ANAK ng BAYAN) Youth Party. One month later, on June 19, 2001, 25 representatives from AB, LFS, CEGP, NUSP, SCMP, and Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA) convened in Vinzon's Hall, UP Diliman to formally inaugurate the ANAK ng BAYAN Youth Party, ratifying its constitution, by-laws, and electing its national officers. The date was chosen to coincide with national hero Jose Rizal's 140th birth anniversary.
By 2002, ANAK ng BAYAN had reached membership in nine regions of the country, establishing national constituency. The group decided to run for representation in the House of Representatives in the 2004 Philippine general election after an expanded National Council meeting on June 8–12, 2003, and fielded its first nominees: Apolinario Alvarez, Eric Jude Casilao, and Ronalyn Olea. The ANAK ng BAYAN Youth Party was, however, unsuccessful in gaining any seats, following allegations of electoral fraud, harassment, and red-tagging as "front organizations of the New People's Army."
In 2005, ANAK ng BAYAN Youth Party changed its name to Kabataan Party-list, in order to avoid confusion with Anakbayan and Akbayan, another political party. KPL decided to run again in the 2007 Philippine general election managing to secure 228,000 votes. Under the party-list laws set by the COMELEC at the time, however, this was below the 2% threshold and thus made KPL ineligible for winning a seat. Changes in the party-list law allowed KPL to secure a seat, allowing Raymond Palatino to sit as KPL's first representative in Congress.
On April 16, 2009, KPL, alongside Bayan Muna, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Gabriela Women's Party, Anakpawis, Katribu, COURAGE, and Migrante, became a convening member of the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan, a bloc of left-leaning groups in Congress. KPL ran in the 2010 Philippine general election, fielding Raymond Palatino, Mark Louie Aquino, and Katrina Castillo as its first nominees. In the lead-up to the 2010 elections, KPL successfully sued COMELEC on prematurely ending voter registration, extending the period from October 31, 2009, to January 9, 2010. KPL also sued police superintendent Ariel Paculto for assaulting their fourth nominee, Reniel Oliva. The 2010 elections resulted in KPL retaining its one-seat, with Palatino serving another three years as representative.
In the 2013 Philippine general election, KPL fielded three nominees, Terry Ridon, Asher Alunar, and Bai Ali Idayla, and managed to retain their seat. Under the party-list law, Palatino was no longer qualified to be able to represent the youth sector due to his age, and he decided to run as a party-list representative for Kalikasan, but was disqualified for not "representing a marginalized sector." COMELEC threatened to disqualify KPL during the campaign period due to allegations of violating campaign rules; a move which the group countered was being orchestrated by the Benigno Aquino III administration in an attempt to "push out progressive party-lists."
KPL fielded five nominees in the 2016 Philippine general election, Sarah Elago, Romina Astudillo, Vennel Francis Chenfoo, Deo Montesclaros, and Charmane Chin. The group managed to retain its seat, replacing Terry Ridon with Sarah Elago. Elago has since managed to secure another term of office in the House of Representatives during the 2019 Philippine general election.
Under the Rodrigo Duterte administration, KPL and the Makabayan Bloc in general have received increased harassment from state forces and members of the police and military. In 2019, Elago and others were implicated in a supposed kidnapping case filed by Relissa Lucena, mother of Alicia Jasper Lucena. These cases were junked by the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court for having "no sufficient ground".
A Senate probe on red-tagging explored KPL's supposed links to the CPP-NPA-NDFP, which Elago and other incumbent and former Makabayan congressmen denied. The accusations came from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, spokespeople from the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict, the police and the military. President Duterte himself has since denied claims of red-tagging, insisting that the government is only "identifying [them] as communists."
|Election||Votes||%||Seats||Representatives to the Congress|
|2004||212,000||1.68%||0||No seats won|
|2007||228,700||1.43%||1||Raymond Palatino (14th Congress of the Philippines)|
|2010||418,776||1.43%||1||Raymond Palatino (15th Congress of the Philippines)|
|2013||341,292||1.24%||1||Terry Ridon (16th Congress of the Philippines)|
|2016||300,420||0.93%||1||Sarah Jane Elago (17th Congress of the Philippines)|
|2019||195,837||0.70%||1||Sarah Jane Elago (18th Congress of the Philippines)|
|2022||527,782||1.47%||1||Raoul Danniel Manuel (19th Congress of the Philippines)|