Quantcast
Latest Stories

Militants in House mull over cutting ties with the majority

By

The Makabayan bloc, a league of militant party-list groups in Congress, is considering cutting its ties with the Liberal Party-led majority in the House of Representatives and adding its voice to the dwindling minority.

Former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, president of the Makabayan bloc, said: “If we go minority, we’ll feel freer and more effective in speaking out and taking action, unrestrained by alliance considerations.”

But Ocampo added: “We are still deliberating the matter, clearing out questions being raised and hearing out propositions put forward.”

The Comelec has declared seven seats in the 16th Congress open to the Makabayan bloc, which includes Bayan Muna (Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate), Gabriela (Luz Ilagan and Emmie de Jesus), Kabataan (Terry Ridon), Anakpawis (Fernando Hicap) and ACT Teachers (Antonio Tinio).

Makabayan’s ranks could swell to eight as one of its affiliates, the transport group Piston (George San Mateo) is still in the running for five of the 58 seats that have yet to be filled by the Comelec. The Constitution provides that sectoral representatives should account for 20 percent of the House membership.

“Despite our good relations with Speaker (Feliciano) Belmonte since 2001, our plan to join the minority in the House hews to what our progressive bloc intrinsically is. We have espoused alternatives to policies and programs that have been carried on by successive administrations, such that even when we were with the  majority we stood out as opposition on many issues. Vis-a-vis the P-Noy government, we have been critical on several vital issues,” said Ocampo in a text message.

Playing second fiddle

Belmonte was able to coax the Makabayan bloc to join the Liberal Party-led majority in the House in the 15th Congress. Makabayan, however, has played second fiddle in the coalition to its archrival, Akbayan, which has been widely viewed as the favored activist party-list group in the Aquino administration.

Akbayan’s key members have been given government posts—Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas, Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, National Anti-Poverty Commission Chairman Joel Rocamora and Undersecretary for Political Affairs Tomasito Villarin.

Losing candidate

President Aquino endorsed Akbayan in the recent midterm elections, although its candidate, Risa Hontiveros, was one of Team Pnoy’s three losing bets.

But Makabayan members in the House are still reluctant to discuss the crossover to the minority. “We have not yet reached a decision. We might decide next weekend. Anyway, the Sona (State of the Nation Address) is still a way off (July 22),” said Colmenares in a text message.

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio replied: “Abangan (Watch for it).”

A party-list lawmaker, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak for the group, said: “They have been criticizing certain policies of the P-Noy administration. Moreover, their political record shows that they are wont to serve more as fiscalizers rather than constructive partners of any administration.”

Belmonte also declined to comment on the plan of the Makabayan bloc to break away from the majority coalition. In a text message, Belmonte said it was difficult to say if the majority coalition would be bigger in the 16th Congress even though the minority lost five seats belonging to party-list groups allied with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo—Una ang Pamilya, Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD), Akong-Ako Kasosyo, Association of Laborers and Employees (ALE), and Ang Galing Pinoy.

“As for the party-list groups, we’re still working  at it considering each has his or her own interests and even ambitions to advance,” said Belmonte.

At least 40 party-list representatives who won in the last election have agreed to form a voting bloc, the third-biggest in the House, to endorse Belmonte as Speaker and seek proportional representation in key positions in the House. The move is expected to further broaden the majority bloc’s control of the House.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Congress. Philippines , Makabayan , militants , Party-List Groups , Politics




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  2. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  6. Massive infra spending set
  7. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  8. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  9. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  • Gunmen kill 20 at Sudan UN base–US envoy
  • S. Korea ferry rescue stalls as anger spreads
  • Sub dives deeper in hunt for missing MH370
  • US urges Myanmar to ease tensions
  • Sports

  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Business

  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge
  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement