The bid of Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez to be the House Minority Leader suffered a big setback on Saturday after the seven-strong Makabayan bloc decided to back San Juan Rep. Romualdo Zamora instead.
In a statement, the bloc which groups representatives from Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan and Anakpawis, said they found common grounds with Zamora in opposing the conditional cash transfer, privatization of public hospitals, violent demolitions of informal settlers and in pressing for national industrialization, modernization of agriculture, the release of all political prisoners and the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front.
“We have experienced working with Rep. Zamora as minority leader in the 14th Congress and we have been together in the many battles to oust and hold accountable the illegitimate regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” the Makabayan said.
“We are confident that we can again work with him as he recognizes and respects our independence and principled stand on peoples’ issues,” it said.
Makabayan believed it can fight President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s “anti-Filipino, anti-people and deceptive policies” as part of the minority.
The bloc was part of the majority coalition in the House of Representatives during the 15th Congress.
“We reject the move of Aquino allies to amend the Constitution to institutionalize globalization and extend term limits of elected officials. We will oppose the legislative agenda and policies of the administration which favor foreign banks and corporations, big business, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats,” Makabayan said.
LLANESCA T. PANTI