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Left open to coalition with 1Sambayan

/ 05:36 AM March 20, 2021

Leftist leaders declared on Friday that they were willing to work with the opposition 1Sambayan coalition and field a united slate in the 2022 elections to restore good governance, respect for human rights and end tyranny in the country.

“We welcome this initiative for a broadest gathering of democratic forces to restore good governance, respect for human rights and an end to tyranny in our country,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, a member of the leftist Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives.

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In a text message to the Inquirer, Zarate said the Makabayan bloc had many things in common with the alliance led by former Supreme Court magistrate Antonio Carpio.

Common issues

“Common ground: to prevent a Duterte candidate from winning the 2022 presidential election. Other common issues: human rights and accountability, national sovereignty, good governance,” Zarate said.

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1Sambayan was launched on Thursday by Carpio as lead convener along with retired Supreme Court Justice and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, former Education Secretary Armin Luistro, former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, former Commission on Audit chief Heidi Mendoza, and Catholic priest and activist Albert Alejo.

The Left’s declaration of support is considered significant because the coalition also includes the Magdalo party list, founded by former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, which has a strong following in the military.

But Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite downplayed possible ideological conflicts and said the alliance was “being led by people with integrity,” including Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares, also a former representative.

“It is proof that this is a broad coalition, which desires to break the rule of tyranny and a failed leadership,” he said during an online press briefing.

“For 2022, it is very important that all democratic political forces should unite, including the Makabayan bloc,” Gaite said.

Youth participation

“We will be active in this process, in forming a unity that involves especially the ordinary Filipinos and marginalized sectors that we represent, such as the farmers, workers and the poor.”

Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago urged the youth to actively participate in 1Sambayan as it fields its candidates against President Duterte’s anointed slate.

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“Our large number puts us in a very powerful position to shape the outcomes of the next election. We must unite to register new voters, and aim for a hundred-percent turnout to elect leaders who will stand for human rights, justice and national sovereignty,” she said.

Elago also said the need to “sustain the energy of our young electorate to keep pushing for our demands and our aspirations” as the youth “can be the deciding factor in the 2022 elections.”

She added that the COVID-19 pandemic “has made it clear that the decisions that our leaders make affect our lives and future in many ways.”

“We must get organized with a sense of urgency. It is imperative to work with and alongside the broader community of marginalized sectors from workers, farmers, urban poor to national minorities who are demanding genuine change toward a system where the interests of the people, the public and the nation prevail,” she said.

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TAGS: 1Sambayan, 2022 candidates, 2022 elections, leftist groups, opposition slate, united opposition
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