Vowing to work to dismantle political dynasties and negate traditional politics in the country, three senatorial candidates of the Kapatiran Party filed their candidacy papers at the Commission on Elections yesterday.
Calling themselves “Tatlo Kontra Trapo” (3 against Trapo), Kapatiran president JC de los Reyes, lawyer Marwil Llasos and sociologist-environmentalist Rizalito David offered themselves as the “better alternative” to the senatorial slates of the country’s two dominant party coalitions.
The three were accompanied by Kapatiran officials led by the party’s founding chairman, gun control campaigner Nandy Pacheco.
The Kapatiran candidates said the widespread negative reaction against political dynasts and celebrities aspiring for elective positions was a sign that Filipinos “have had enough”.
“This popularity contest is just madness. The duplicity is just unbelievable! Our dominant political parties have bastardized politics and have endorsed political opportunist as candidates—like fighting cocks in a derby,” De los Reyes said.
He likened President Benigno Aquino, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to boxing match promoters more concerned about their senatorial candidates’ “winnability” rather than the issues.
“[Amid the] immoral compromises, horsetrading, big-money and hypocritical politics, where is principled partisan politics? Many of us have been fighting [against these] for very long, but those in power are countering them,” he said.
De los Reyes admitted to be again seeking public office over his wife’s objections. A former Olongapo City councilor, he ran for president in the 2010 elections but lost.
“No God-fearing person and patriot would allow what’s happening [in our country],” he said, adding that the party would be counting on support from the youth, the poor and “netizens” dissatisfied with the trapo system.
De los Reyes said Kapatiran’s platforms are a “magnet for passionate people” aspiring for genuine change in the country’s political system.
Pacheco said Kapatiran will not actively seek support from church groups and church leaders in the coming elections.
“We will welcome endorsements. But we will no longer actively seek their support anymore. The Catholic Church, for instance, have guidelines on engagement in politics and through their pastoral encouragement they can tell the people whom to support,” he said.
In the 2010 elections, Kapatiran obtained the endorsement of several Catholic bishops and even leaders of lay groups and other churches.
De los Reyes said Kapatiran’s platform and issues—the prohibition of political dynasties, abolition of the pork barrel system, legislated gun control, passage of the freedom of information bill, opposition to the reproductive health bill—have not changed.
Rich in principle
He said that while Kapatiran may not have a big campaign kitty “we are rich in principles that guide us”.
“Like the North Star, principles guide and provide directions to look upon it. Change calls for new ways and methods—the only antidote to and to make obsolete the madness in our traditional practice of politics,” he said.
The party recently launched its new website (www.kapatiranparty.org) which, interestingly, also contains links to the sites of other politicial parties.