Critics urge rejection of Duterte Senate candidates
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — An independent Senate is needed to counter attempts at Charter change (Cha-cha) and a declaration of martial law and a revolutionary government, some groups critical of the Duterte administration underscored Wednesday, six days before the May 13 midterm polls.
“We need an independent Senate that can oppose the declaration of martial law, a revolutionary government and the passing of a federal Constitution that is anti-Filipino, anti-democracy, anti-poor,” lawyer Alex Lacson, convener of the People’s Choice Movement, said at a press conference here.
Lacson also said the incoming 18th Congress needs senators who could “scrutinize all international agreements to prevent China from gaining greater access to our government and natural resources.”
The leaders also raised alarm on the House draft federal charter principally authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“All provisions for the interest of the people such as full employment and worker’s rights, agrarian reform and rights of fishers, women, urban land reform and housing, and people’s rights were removed,” Jean Enriquez of Kalipunan said.
Voters should also reject “pro-administration” senatorial candidates from Hugpong ng Pagbabago and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan who would allow these policies to prosper, according to Enriquez.
“Sa taumbayan, i-reject po natin ang lahat ng kandido ni Presidente Duterte pareho sa Hugpong at sa PDP-Laban dahil lahat sila ay gugustuhin na baguhin ang ating Konstitusyon. Kailangan nating depensahan ang ating Saligang Batas laban sa diktadurya, laban sa pag-aagaw ng mga elitista at sa mga dayuhang mamumuhunan,” she added.
Teddy Casiño of the Makabayan coalition said their groups are supporting opposition candidates from Makabayan (Neri Colmenares), the Otso Diretso banner, the Labor Wing, and some independent contenders. He said opposition candidates could pull off an unexpected win through the votes of youth and workers.
Leaders of coalitions, social movements, religious, human rights and other civil society organizations also forged unity here and announced the “Panalangin at Miting de Avance ng Taumbayan” to be held at the People Power Monument (PPM) on Friday, 4:30 p.m.
Enriquez said groups from Marawi and the North have been marching since April to join the Friday gathering. /cbb
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