MANILA, Philippines – The Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan or Makabayan Party on Thursday formally announced their so-called “six Senate champions” for the 2013 elections, with Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño as their standard-bearer.
Makabayan adopted five guest senatorial candidates for the 2013 elections, who are also candidates of the administration slate and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
They include incumbent Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Koko Pimentel; former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar; and former MTRCB Chairman Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
Casiño is Makabayan’s official senatorial candidate next year.
Makabayan is an accredited coalition composed of several party-lists groups, considered by many as leftist groups. Among these are Bayan Muna, AnakPawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, ACT Teachers, and Katribu.
Makabayan President Satur Ocampo said their “six Senate champions” manifest their confidence in leadership qualities, integrity and the pro-people stand on significant public issues.
Ocampo explained that each of their guest candidates shared or agreed to support certain Makabayan advocacies such as lowering the prices of oil products, water, power, other basic commodities and services, pushing for genuine agrarian reform, pro-people mining policies and environmental protection, the passage of controversial measures such as the freedom of information and whistleblowers act, and the amendment of the cyber crime law and the decriminalization of libel.
The five senatorial guest candidates expressed their gratitude to Makabayan for supporting their candidacy.
According to Casiño, they were chosen not merely for political convenience but for their common stand on certain issues.
Casiño also clarified that the coalition is not about him or intended to bolster his candidacy by being side-by-side with big political names in the country, but about the commonality in the platforms of governance they share with each other.
Casiño believes that among the three electoral coalitions, they are the only one with a clear platform of governance.
Makabayan says they will take these issues to the people during the campaign and after the hopeful victory, the six champions will endeavor to translate most of them into legislation.
Makabayan and the guest candidates admit they have yet to talk about how funding during the campaign will be shared among the so-called six Senate champions but they are sure that they will help each other for the 2013 elections.