Bam Aquino: Sereno, Morales should join opposition slate for 2019 polls
Opposition Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino on Monday said ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and retiring Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales should join the “Resistance Coalition,”an alliance of Liberal Party (LP), Akbayan and Magdalo party-list groups, and Tindig Pilipinas.
Ahead of the 2019 senatorial election, Aquino said the opposition slate needs strong and independent candidates, who will speak out against the policies that are detrimental to the country.
Aquino made these remarks after he was asked if the coalition was considering Sereno, who was ousted as chief justice after the Supreme Court granted the quo warranto petition filed against her by the government’s principal lawyer – Solicitor General Jose Calida.
“Actually sa totoo lang, if she (Sereno) wants to run, she should join in our slate but I haven’t really talked to her about it,” Aquino told ANC in an interview.
After her ouster, Sereno was seen as a rising opposition leader, who boldly demanded the resignation of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Sereno and Duterte have locked horns since 2016 when the President included some judges in his controversial “narcolist.”
Meanwhile, Aquino said Carpio-Morales, who is set to retire in July 2018, may also join the opposition slate.
“Why not? Alam mo kung mayroon kang mga tao na handang tumutol, handang magsalita, handang maging independent, palagay ko all of them will be good members of the opposition slate, kailangan namin iyon,” Aquino said when asked about Carpio-Morales.
Caripo-Morales has engaged in a word war with Mr. Duterte over the Office of the Ombudsman’s investigation on the President’s alleged bank accounts.
Carpio-Morales, a former SC associate justice, did not back down and even maintained that she would not abandon her Constitutional duty to investigate any wrongdoing.
Both Sereno and Carpio-Morales were previously dared by Duterte to resign with him.
Aquino, while saying he is not involved in the drafting of the opposition senatorial slate for 2019, emphasized there is a need for people who can stand up for the people in the upcoming midterm elections.
Previously, LP president and Senator Francis Pangilinan said the coalition is eyeing to include in their lineup singer-actress Agot Isidro, a critic of the Duterte administration who has fended off numerous criticisms and bullying from the President’s supporters.
“Senator Pangilinan is the one talking to her,” Aquino said when asked if Isidro has agreed to run in 2019.
“I’ll go back to this, at a time when most everyone wants to remain quiet, karamihan gusto na lang tumahimik, karamihan natatakot magsalita, kailangan mo ng mga tao na handang tumindig, tumutol, at magsalita para sa taumbayan,” he said.
“Hopefully, these will be the individuals that we will find in the opposition slate,” he added. /kga
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