MANILA, Philippines — Members of the progressive Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives yesterday expressed willingness to form a coalition with Vice President Leni Robredo, who declared that she would now be the voice of the political opposition.
“The Makabayan bloc is open to unite and cooperate with all those who are ready to fight the anti-people and anti-poor policies of this administration represented by President Duterte,” Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers party-list said in Filipino.
At a news conference at the House media center, Tinio described as a “positive development” Robredo’s decision to be the unifying force against all the excesses of the Duterte administration.
“It’s about time na tumindig siya bilang oposisyon (that she stands up as an opposition),” Tinio said, noting that as time passes, it is becoming clearer that Robredo will eventually be removed from her post, just like what the government did to then chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was ousted through a quo warranto case filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).
Repeated insinuations that Duterte – who never lost a single case in the judiciary – had something to do with Sereno’s ouster have irritated the Chief Executive.
Robredo is facing an electoral protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal filed by her rival in the 2016 elections, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and supported by the OSG, a government agency headed by Jose Calida, who admitted to being a Marcos loyalist.
Now more than ever, Tinio said it is important and critical for forces against Duterte to unite, considering that all the telltale signs of an “imminent dictatorship” are manifest, mainly through Charter change and the shift to federalism.
Rep. Emmi de Jesus of women’s group Gabriela could not agree more. “Perhaps the logic behind Makabayan’s bloc to unite is really its serious concern over issues involving the people. We will not compromise the issues concerning the people,” she said in Filipino.
“Because we know that in the first two years of President Duterte, those in the marginalized sector became really poorer.”/ Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) – July 13, 2018 – 12:00am