By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Makabayan Coalition endorsed on Sunday nine independent and opposition senatorial candidates who “can assert the Senate’s independence” and push for pro-people laws.
In a statement delivered by coalition president Satur Ocampo, they are supporting nine-person senatorial slate for an “independent” Senate.
Proclaimed as the coalition’s senatorial bets are Makabayan candidate and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, Senators Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay and Grace Poe, former Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III, former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, and Florin Hilbay.
“In these times of massive poverty, escalating efforts to stifle dissent and a rising threat of dictatorship, where impunity reigns and the system of checks and balances among the Executive, Judiciary and Legislative branches of government is in peril, we need an independent Senate,” Ocampo said as Makabayan Coalition proclaimed its nine-person senatorial slate at the Quezon City Sports Club yesterday.
“The upcoming elections gives us the opportunity to elect to the Senate men and women of proven competence and integrity who can assert the Senate’s independence and push for laws that favor our people. Candidates who have a proven track record of public service and a fighting chance to win,” he said.
Ocampo said Makabayan and the nine candidates will push for the suspension or repeal of the excise tax provision of the TRAIN Law; and oppose the Charter Change and similar self-serving, draconian and anti-Filipino amendments to the Constitution.
He said the coalition and the nine senatorial bets would also work on the following concerns: respect for women and upholding human rights and due process for all Filipinos; upholding our sovereignry and rights in the West PH Sea; and resumption of the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
“We hope that through this endorsement, Makabayan can contribute to the formation of a coalition of independent and opposition candidates that can provide our people the best hope for an independent and pro-people Senate,” Ocampo said.
The Makabayan Coalition groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party,Anakpawis, Kabataan, ACT Teachers, People Surge, Aksyon Health Workers, and Ang Manggagawa.