Makabayan bloc bolts House super majority
The militant Makabayan bloc announced on Thursday its defection from the super majority in the House of Representatives, as it assailed President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration for purportedly turning into “a fascist, pro-imperialist and anti-people” government.
“Today, we, seven party list representatives of the Makabayan Bloc, declare our separation from the Majority Coalition in the House of Representatives to intensify our opposition to the Duterte administration that has now fully unraveled as a fascist, pro-imperialist and anti-people regime,” the group said in a statement.
The seven-member coalition includes progressive party-list lawmakers from Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Kabataan, Gabriela and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers).
The Makabayan bloc became a member of the super majority in Congress after it supported the bid of key Duterte ally Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to become the Speaker of the House.
According to the Makabayan bloc, their support to Duterte was based on his “reformist and populist actions and pronouncements” on the peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) and release of political prisoners, as well as his resolve to end the roots of the Moro secession, anti-US stance, independent foreign policy, anti-mining standpoint, and anti-labor contractualization view, among others.
But the Makabayan bloc noted that things started to turn off when Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, stalled the peace talks with the NDF, and opted for a foreign policy dependent on US and China in exchange for sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.
“Worst of all, his ‘war on drugs’ has turned into a campaign of mass murder of the poor, for which he shows no signs of turning back,” the group said.
Moreover, the Makabayan bloc has called out the Duterte administration’s “pro-business and pro-war budget”, alleged rehabilitation of the dictator Marcos’ image, planned re-imposition of the death penalty, alleged extrajudicial killings against the poor, suspected criminals and rebels, alleged hand on the P1,000 budget for the Commission on Human Rights, and “anti-poor” tax reform package.
“As representatives of the poor and marginalized sectors in Congress and as nationalist and progressive legislators, it would be a violation of our duties and principles to remain with a Majority that enables and defends the fascist, pro-imperialist and anti-people policies of the Duterte regime,” they said.
The militant lawmakers then vowed to block what they call a “new dictatorship.”
“Now that President Duterte and his allies are embarking on efforts to undermine the very institutions that serve as a check on his Executive powers, now that he is pushing for an insidious revision of the Constitution, now that he has revived his threat to declare martial law nationwide and impose a revolutionary government, we resolve to intensify efforts to defeat the emergence of a new dictatorship,” the Makabayan bloc said. /kga