MANILA, Philippines – The progressive Makabayan bloc said on Saturday, January 29, that they decided to endorse the tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Francis “Kiko” Pagilinan because they shared a common stand on issues and had the “best chance” of defeating dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
“Sa panahong nananalasa ang mga puwersa ng tiraniya, at nais manumbalik ang mga tagapagmana ng diktador, sina Leni at Kiko ang tumindig bilang tunay na pwersang oposisyon. Kinakatawan nila ngayon ang pinakamahusay na tsansa natin para biguin ang tambalang Marcos-Duterte,” the bloc said in their declaration of support for the tandem on Saturday, January 29.
(At a time when the forces of tyranny are on the attack, and the heirs of the dictator want to return to power, both Leni and Kiko stood up as the true opposition. They are now our best chance to defeat the Marcos-Duterte tandem.)
The bloc also said they considered Robredo’s and Pangilinan’s track records in choosing to support them. “Ang mga komon na tindig sa isyu, ang naging track record ng mga kandidato, at ang napakahalagang laban para biguin ang tambalang Marcos-Duterte ang naging batayan ng Makabayan para pormal na suportahan sina Leni Robredo at Kiko Pangilinan.”
(Our common stand on issues, the candidates’ track records, and the all-important fight against the Marcos-Duterte tandem were Makabayan’s basis for formally supporting Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan.)
The progressive bloc also listed at least 10 platforms and stances on issues that are common to them and Robredo. They are the following:
- Promote scientific, pro-people, and not militaristic approach to the pandemic
- Pushing of the Security of Tenure Law and support employment
- Act on land conversion and help farmers
- Review existing mining laws
- Continue peace talks
- Uphold human rights and ammend the Anti-Terror Law
- Prioritize reviewing cases of older and sick prisoners and bring back the ABS-CBN franchise
- Hold accountable the officials involved in corruption and human rights abuses
- Political and electoral reform
- Fight for the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights; uphold them 2016 Hague ruling
Makabayan’s senatorial bet Neri Colmenares announced on Friday that they will support the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem. The announcement was made after opposition coalition 1Sambayan announced that Colmenares was the eighth senatorial aspirant under their ticket.
In a statement, Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said that Robredo and Pangilinan are ready to cooperate with Makabayan in relation to their common stand on issues and platforms.
“Handa silang makipagtulungan hinggil sa sampung puntong inilatag bilang nakikitang kumon na tindig sa mga isyu at plataporma sa kanilang deklarasyon. Binubuksan nito ang landas sa mas malalim na pagkakaisa para sa ikabubuti ng sambayanang Pilipino,” Gutierrez said.
(They are ready to cooperate on the 10 points that they presented as common stances on issues and platforms in their declaration. This paves the way for a deeper unity for the good of the Filipino people.)
De Guzman still supporting Colmenares, Labog
Another opposition aspirant, Partido Lakas ng Masa bet and labor leader Leody de Guzman, said he respects the coalition’s decision to support Robredo’s bid.
“Nirerespeto ko ang dinamismo at desisyon ng partidong Makabayan (I respect the dynamics and decision of the Makabayan party),” de Guzman said in a statement.
The labor leader added that he still supports the candidacy of Makabayan senatorial bets Neri Colmenares and Elmer Labog. The two senatorial aspirants were included in De Guzman’s senatorial slate.
“Anoman ang kahihinatnan at praktikal na konsiderasyon ng kanilang pag-endorso sa ibang kandidato, nanatili pa rin ang aking suporta para sa kandidatura ni Neri Colmenares at Bong Labog sa pagka-senador,” De Guzman said.
(Whatever happens and whatever the practical considerations they made in endorsing other candidates, my support for the candidacy of Neri Colmenares and Elmer Labog for senator remains.)
Makabayan and the liberals
The Makabayan bloc did not support candidates affiliated with the Liberal Party in the past two presidential elections, opting to back Manny Villar against LP’s Benigno Aquino III, who won, in 2010. In 2016, the bloc endorsed Senator Grace Poe for president but later shifted their support to President Rodrigo Duterte. The Duterte-Makabayan relationship did not last long because of Duterte’s controversial drug war, among other issues.
Robredo is running as an independent, but she chairs LP while Pangilinan is the party’s president.
Makabayan president Satur Ocampo said that they don’t consider the party of the candidate that they are supporting.
“Hindi importante ngayon anong partido ang kinatatayuan ng kumakandidato, kundi ‘yung personal commitment, ‘yung mga kandidato mismong kinausap natin (The party of a candidate is no longer important, but the personal commitment of te candidates we have talked with),” said Ocampo, a former Bayan Muna representative.
The bloc said they have around 3 to 3.5 million solid votes that they can contribute to Robredo and Pangilinan in the May 2022 elections. – Rappler.com