MANILA - Several progressive party-list groups on Thursday formed a new coalition so that they can field candidates in the senatorial election in 2010.
Party-list representatives Satur Ocampo, Liza Masa and Teddy Casiño and their supporters trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros to file the formal registration of their newly-formed political party Makabayan, which stands for Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan.
The coalition is composed of the following partylist groups: Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, ACT Teachers Partylist, COURAGE Partylist and Migrante.
The three opposition lawmakers told reporters that they are bringing their cause to a higher level, bearing in mind that they can serve a larger constituency at the Senate. They said the coalition shall champion the causes and concerns of the workers, farmers, women, youth, indigenous peoples and other marginalized sectors.
The group said they are currently in talks with presidential aspirants from the opposition bloc for a possible coalition in the upcoming elections. If they cannot formally coalesce their group with any major political party, it may be possible for them to run as guest candidates of other political parties who share their vision and platform of governance.
The Makabayan group said that while traditional politicians have larger and more well-oiled political machineries, it is high time for the electorate to realize that it should be one's platform and track record that should serve as the basis for winning the public's votes.
Having served at the lower House for at least eight years, the three lawmakers said they have the experience in running a nationwide campaign and are not cowed at the thought of running alongside more powerful political parties.
Ocampo, Maza and Casiño also commented on the controversial $20,000 and $15,000 dinners of President Arroyo and her entourage in their latest US trip. They said that once they are elected to the Senate, they would file a bill seeking to put a cap on expenses of official trips abroad of govt officials as well as limit the number of participants in an official entourage.