House Makabayan bloc willing to coalesce to fight dictatorship
While the House Makabayan opposition bloc is “willing and able” to take on the leadership of the House minority, ACT-Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on Wednesday said they are also ready to unite with a minority group that is ready to oppose the administration’s anti-people policies.
“Ang Makabayan, lalo pa sa panahon ngayon, ay bukas makipagkaisa sa sino mang grupo, indibidwal at partido dito sa Kongreso na handang lumaban lalo pa na ang agenda ngayon ng Duterte administration ay diktadurya sa pamamagitan ng Charter change,” Tinio said in a press conference.
(The Makabayan, especially as of this present time, is open to unite with whatever group, individual and party here in Congress that is ready to fight especially now that the agenda of the Duterte administration is dictatorship through Charter change.)
“Basta malinaw na ang basis of unity ay laban sa mga hakbang tungo sa diktadurya ng Duterte administration,” he added.
(As long as the basis of unity is clear and that is to fight the moves that lead to the dictatorship of the Duterte administration.)
The progressive lawmaker said that while they are “very willing and able to take on the leadership of the minority,” they are also being realistic that the fight for the minority leader would be a numbers’ game.
“Numbers’ game yan eh… Realistic tayo, kailangan mo ng numero kaya bukas kami makipagkaisa para bumuo ng isang tunay na lumalaban na minority,” he added, noting that they only seven in their bloc.
(That is numbers’ game… We are just being realistic; you need the number, that is why we are open to any unification in order to form a real minority that fights.)
Aside from the Makabayan, some Liberal Party (LP) lawmakers who abstained during the voting for speakership are also asserting that they are the “duly-constituted” minority group. The 12 LP lawmakers are led by Marikina City 2nd District Romero Quimbo.
The Magnificent 7 bloc already united with this group.
Meanwhile, incumbent House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said he would write to Macapagal-Arroyo to retain his minority leadership as well as the current minority members. This is despite the fact that he voted for Macapagal-Arroyo.
Under the House rules: “Members who vote for the winning candidate for Speaker shall constitute the Majority in the House and they shall elect from among themselves the Majority Leader.”
Alvarez’s camp, which includes incumbent Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, is also seeking the minority post.
Tinio said they are currently in talks with Fariñas and the LP.
But Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said they would never compromise their stance against anti-people policies, particularly the proposed Charter change. /jpv
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