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Left coalition Makabayan endorses 5 senatorial bets

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE - 12:33 p.m.) Aside from fielding Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teddy Casino to run for the Senate in the May 2013 elections, the leftist Makabayan Coalition said it was endorsing five other candidates to make up its “Six Senate Champions.”

At a gathering of its supporters Thursday, Makabayan formally endorsed as its guest candidates Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who are seeking reelection, Las Pinas Representative Cynthia Villar and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares.

Casino said the five were chosen because of their “good working relations” with Makabayan in the past.

Iba ang may pinagsamahan (Having worked together makes a difference),” Casino said. “Together in the Senate, we can be a powerhouse team, pursuing a
progressive agenda.”

Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, Makabayan president, said they chose to adopt the five candidates "based on a history of cooperative relationship with each of them on people's issues and advocacies."

"We propose to field the team as Makabayan's ‘Six Senate Champions.’ This manifests our confidence in the leadership qualities of the six, their personal integrity, and their pro-people stand on significant issues,” he added.
Ocampo said they talked with other senatorial candidates and presented Makabayan’s platform but "they were not so enthusiastic."

He said the candidates they endorsed "shared, or agreed to support, in varying degrees" the following advocacies:

  • lowering prices of oil products, water, power, and other basic commodities and services by introducing reforms on taxation and pricing policies
  • pushing for genuine agrarian reform, pro-people mining policies and environmental protection, equitable minimum wage and salary adjustments in the public and private sectors, subsidy for farmers and fisherfolk, and incentives for micro and small-medium enterprises
  • increasing budgetary allocations for essential social services such as education, health and housing and reviewing the automatic appropriation for foreign-debt servicing to channel more public funds for social services and job-creation
  • asserting national sovereignty and the people's interest by thoroughly reviewing to rectify unequal bilateral treaties and agreements with IMF-WB-WTO triad and the VFA and upholding our territorial and EEZ claims in the West Philippine Sea
  • working for the passage of the Freedom of Information and Whistleblowers Act, and opposing special treatment in handling criminal cases against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other former officials
  • seeking an end to extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of activists and journalists, amnesty to all political prisoners similar with military rebels
  • repealing or amending the Cybercrime law and decriminalizing libel
  • urging the immediate release of detained NDFP consultants and other JASIG-protected persons and pushing for the resumption of peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP