MANILA — Despite supporting Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan this May elections, the senatorial aspirants of the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan will continue to have his backing, Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman said Saturday.
“Rinerespeto ko ang dinamismo at desisyon ng partidong Makabayan,” De Guzman told reporters.
(I respect the dynamism and decision of the Makabayan party.)
“Anuman ang kahihinatnan at praktikal na konsiderasyon ng kanilang pag-endorso sa ibang kandidato, nanatili pa rin ang aking suporta para sa kandidatura ni Neri Colmenares at Bong Labog sa pagka-senador,” he added.
(Regardless of the outcome and practical considerations of their endorsement of another candidate, my support for the candidacy of Neri Colmenares and Bong Labog for the Senate remains.)
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares announced the Makabayan's support for the Leni-Kiko tandem in an online event organized by opposition coalition 1Sambayan last Friday night.
Colmenares has received backing from 1Sambayan, naming him as the 8th candidate in its senatorial ticket.
Makabayan, in the statement, said it has similar approaches as the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, contractualization of employees, the franchise issue of ABS-CBN, and the Philippines’ sovereignty issue, among others.
The group, composed of socio-civic party-lists including Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, ACT Teachers, and Kabataan, have fielded Colmenares and Labog for a chance to get a seat in the Senate.
In 2019, both Colmenares and De Guzman failed to snatch a Senate seat under the Labor Win alliance.
But while De Gumzan had no problem with the Makabayan's move to support Robredo and Pangilinan, progressive group Laban Ng Masa, led by the labor leader’s running mate Walden Bello, called it "erroneous", saying that the "lesser-evil strategy" may pave the way for the return of a Marcos and a Duterte to power.
“We have repeatedly tried in the past this kind of politics of tailing to bourgeois/elitist parties and candidates. This lesser-evil strategy, based on the illusion that it will give some space for the left, has got us to this mess that we face today — the possible return of Marcos-Duterte rule and the continuation of neoliberal policies that has led to dire economic and social consequences for our people,” the group said.
“We have been told that the situation is not yet ripe to challenge elite politics. On the contrary, after the lived experience of the last few decades where our people have witnessed the rigodon of changing political leaders from different elite political parties presiding over a status quo of continued poverty and inequality, the message that nothing will change for as long as these elites are in power resonate with our people now more than ever,” it added.
The group challenged aspirants from progressive groups to unite and challenge the current dominating politics, instead of supporting the “lesser evil”.
“We invite all progressive forces to seize this political momentum, join hands and collectively articulate our bold message to defeat elite rule and vote for genuine reforms. When will the situation be ripe and more importantly, how do we get to that stage, if we don’t start to challenge elite rule now?” it said.
“We have enough forces to do this. We possibly even have enough traction to win today or in the near future. The tactic of supporting the lesser evil closes this option and drags us further into the marsh.”