The bid of Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez to be the House Minority Leader suffered a big blow on Saturday after the seven-strong Makabayan bloc decided to back San Juan Rep. Romualdo Zamora for the Speakership race.
In a statement, the Makabayan bloc which groups representatives from Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Kabataan and Anakpawis, noted that 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.
“The Makabayan coalition will vote for San Juan District Rep. Ronnie Zamora as Minority leader. 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 in a statement.
“We are confident that we can again work with him as he recognizes and respects our independence and principled stand on peoples’ issues,” the Makabayan bloc added.
The Makabayan bloc argued that they can effectively unmask President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s anti-Filipino, anti-people and deceptive policies as part of the minority.
Makabayan claims that the President employs a policy which is rabid subservience to United States military and economic impositions including the return of American military bases.
The Makabayan bloc used to be a part of the Majority coalition in the House of Representatives during the 15th Congress.
“Our decision to bolt from the Majority coalition in the House of Representatives and join the minority was made to sharpen our opposition against the anti-Filipino and anti-people policies and program of the Aquino administration,” Makabayan pointed out.
“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 added.
Llanesca T. Panti