Makabayan bloc to field Zarate for House Speaker
MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc will nominate returning Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate in the race for Speakership at the House of Representatives.
Outgoing ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said on Wednesday that the whole Makabayan coalition has decided to field Zarate, to transfer the power of the Speaker to a lawmaker who has genuine concern for the masses.
“Panahon na meron tayong Speaker na titindig para sa karapatan at kagalingan ng mga manggagawang Pilipino, ng mga magsasaka, ng Lumad, kababaihan, kabataan, at iba pa,” Tinio said in a press conference.
“Panahon na po para itanghal natin ang susunod na Speaker, ang Speaker ng Makabayan, ang babalik na third-termer Rep. Caloy Zarate,” he added.
Zarate acknowledged the odds facing him, especially since their bloc is only composed of six members, while most of the incoming and returning lawmakers have allied themselves with the administration.
However, he and other members of the Makabayan have insisted on making a stand, rather than simply allowing the majority to control the things inside the House.
“Alam namin na anim lang ang Makabayan bloc […] so this is an assertion not only of our independence as a bloc, not only as an effective fiscalizer dito sa House, but an assertion of the voice of our people na sa mahabang panahon ay hindi namamayani dito sa House of Representatives,” Zarate noted.
“Maybe symbolic, but we will continue the fight, not only here in Congress but even outside it,” he added.
Zarate is one of the several lawmakers seeking the Speaker post, including incoming Taguig 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez, and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzalez.
Both Velasco and Gonzales are members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s party PDP-Laban, while Cayetano and Romualdez are known allies of the President. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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