Left’s lone bet for senator sees 9M votes from backers

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SENATORIAL candidate Teddy Casiño answers questions in a visit to the Inquirer editorial office with his wife, Ruth. EDWIN BACASMAS

LUCENA CITY—The only candidate of the Left in the Senate race sees at least nine million votes going to him from a coalition of leftist groups that is now supporting his candidacy.

Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño, senatorial candidate of the leftist coalition Makabayan, estimated that the total votes that nine leftist party-list groups under Makabayan can generate would reach nine million.

“If all of that vote will be for me, that’s an easy nine million votes. I only need a few more votes to make it to the top 12,” said Casiño.

He said the lessons learned by the Left from the 1987 and 2010 senatorial elections are helping him now.

“There were lessons learned,” Casiño said at the start of his campaign sortie in Quezon province. “We will win this time,” he said.

He did not elaborate on the supposed “lessons of the past.”

In 1987, the Left fielded six senatorial candidates under the Partido ng Bayan. They all lost.

In 2010, former National Democratic Front negotiator and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela party-list stalwart Liza Maza also lost their bid for Senate seats.

Casiño said nationalist politicians, like Wigberto and Lorenzo Tañada, Claro M. Recto and Jose Diokno, serve as inspirations to candidates like him.

“Having progressive politicians in the Senate is nothing new,” Casiño said.

Political leaders in Quezon have declared support for Casiño.

House Minority leader Danilo Suarez, the head of the political opposition in the province, said Casiño’s name is in the opposition’s sample ballots.

“He (Casiño) deserves to be elected in the Senate,” said Suarez, a known ally of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Casiño said if elected he would push for the return of the multibillion coconut levy fund to farmers and oppose its use by government agencies.

In Catanauan town, Casiño was welcomed by Suarez’ wife, former Rep. Aleta Suarez (NUP), who is running as representative of the Bondoc Peninsula to replace her husband who is now on his last term.

Several Liberal Party local candidates also met with Casiño and declared their support for his senatorial candidacy.

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