Opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano to run for senator

Mara Cepeda

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Opposition lawmaker Gary Alejano to run for senator
The former mutineer turned lawmaker says the Senate is in need of 'more independent-minded members'

MANILA, Philippines – Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano is set to run for senator in the May 2019 polls.

The opposition lawmaker said on Tuesday, June 5, that he has accepted his party’s nomination for him to seek a Senate seat next year.

“I have accepted the nomination of the Magdalo Group to run as senator [in the] 2019 elections,” said Alejano.

“I am grateful for the trust and confidence of my colleagues in Magdalo, especially Senator [Antonio] Trillanes [IV] for the nomination. I humbly submit to the direction and wisdom of the group as we have always decided collectively on important issues affecting our country,” he added.

Trillanes, Alejano’s party mate and another staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, is on his second term as senator and can no longer seek reelection in 2019.

Alejano is part of the 7-member independent minority bloc at the House that opposes the President and what they call his administration’s “abusive” policies.

A former mutineer, Alejano filed the first impeachment complaint against the President, which did not fly at the Duterte-controlled House.

Alejano said he is running as the country needs “more independent-minded members” of the Senate.

“I believe that the country needs more independent-minded members of the Senate to speak for the people, stand up for democracy, defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity, and craft policies to these ends,” said Alejano.

“This is imperative now, seeing that most seem to be silent and indifferent to the abuses of the Duterte administration and its apparent subservience to China,” he added.

Alejano recently denounced China’s harassment of a Philippine Navy rubber boat in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Gary Alejano on holding the Duterte administration accountable)

The opposition lawmaker is among the possible candidates the Liberal Party is eyeing for its “resistance” Senate slate in 2019.

“As a former soldier, the heart for service and love for country have long been instilled in me. These are the values I will carry as I continue my duty as a public servant,” Alejano said. – Rappler.com


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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.