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2019 ELECTIONS

Ex-solons: Possible LP-Makabayan coalition not ‘Yellows’ and ‘Reds’ affair

/ 12:53 AM September 26, 2018
Teddy Casiño

Former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño (INQUIRER.net file photo)

Former members of the House of Representatives belonging to the Liberal Party and the Makabayan bloc said a possible coalition of the two groups for the 2019 elections should not be misinterpreted as a connivance between the “Yellows” and “Reds.”

“If it’s elections for 2019, that’s a purely constitutional process,” former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño told Inquirer.net after former Rep. Neri Colmenares announced his intention to run for Senate as part of the Makabayan bloc.

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Casiño’s statements were also a response to another issue — whether the presence of former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, a Liberal Party member, at the Makabayan event was a reflection of a brewing team-up of the two political factions.

Tañada, who also announced his intention to run for Senate earlier, clarified that he was just invited by Colmenares.

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“I’m just here on my personal capacity as a friend,” Tañada said.

“Matagal nang kaibigan ng Makabayan bloc ang mga Tañada. Nakasama ko na rin naman sila sa Kongreso. Kaya inimibita ako dito. At gusto ko ring magbigay ng pagkakaisa sa mga kandidato na tatakbo sa darating na halalan,” he added.

[Members of the Makabayan bloc have long been friends with the Tañada family. I was also with them in Congress. That’s why they invited me here. And I also want to express my unity with the candidates who will run in the coming elections.]

On whether this would fuel accusations of a destabilization plot involving both political wings, Casiño said that was not a part of their advocacies.

“It’s another matter,” he said. “Yung sinasabing ouster, there’s no such thing. Figment of the imagination ng military ‘yan. And ang pangamba nga namin they might be using that as a pretext for something that [President Rodrigo] Duterte wants to do.”

[The ouster that they’re talking about — there’s no such thing. That only a figment of the imagination of the military. And actually, our fear is that they might be using that as a pretext for something that Duterte wants to do.]

The President have mentioned in several instances that the “Yellows” — referring to the Liberal Party – and the “Reds” — referring to communist — and the Magdalo group were plotting to unseat him by October.

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Conspiracy theories spread after members of Tindig Pilipinas, which include several LP members, and the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT), which includes Casiño, were spotted in same the rallies staged against the Duterte administration.

In response, Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), asked the President to create a task force against insurgency, claiming that communist rebels had infiltrated certain branches of government.

Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, AFP ceputy chief for operations, singled out MAT, which he said behind moves to sabotage the economy and destabilize the government.

READ: AFP to Duterte: Create task force to end insurgency

Casiño downplayed the accusations, saying that they were just borne out of fears that a united opposition could challenge Duterte’s policies.

According to Casiño, the Movement Against Tyranny, which is made up of “all kinds of personalities,” has one basis for uniting: “It’s really to fight the tyrannical acts of this administration.

But he said the ouster of the President was not part of its aim.

“Tingin ko sinisraan lang talaga nila kasi ang takot nila magkaisa ‘yong mga grupo’t mamamayan,” he said.

[In my opinion, the group is being discredited because they fear that all kinds of citizens’ group would become unitee.]

For both Tañada and Casiño, any coalition though will have to be discussed with respective members and leaders, even if it is possible.

“Well, I am not here to speak for the Liberal Party,” Tañada said. “It’s up to the leadership to decide kung ano ‘yong nakikitang mas mabuti para sa buong opposition.”

[It’s up to the leadership to decide what they think would be better for the entire opposition.]

Collaborations would have to go through a process, Casiño said.

“Ang malinaw lang, nagkakaisa sa maraming issue,” he said.

[What’s clear is that they are united in many issues.]

“Whether that could result in an electoral coalition remains to be seen,” Casiño added. /atm

Click here for more elections stories.

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TAGS: 2019 elections, Erin Tañada, Liberal Party, Makabayan bloc, Neri Colmenares, Teddy Casiño
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