Leni-Kiko tandem endorsement from Makabayan ‘a step towards unity’, says Robredo camp

Published January 29, 2022, 12:09 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan welcomed on Saturday, Jan. 29, the endorsement of progressive coalition Makabayan, saying that this opens doors for unity and cooperation that will benefit Filipinos.

Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan (OVP photo)

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, the vice president’s spokesman, in a statement said that Robredo and Pangilinan are grateful for Makabayan’s support.

He added that the tandem, which represents the opposition, will help the coalition in achieving their 10-point agenda called “Nakikitang Kumon na Tindig sa mga Isyu at Plataporma (unified positions on issues and platforms).”

“Binubuksan nito ang landas sa mas malalim na pagkakaisa para sa ikabubuti ng sambayanang Pilipino (This opens the way for a deeper cooperation for the benefit of the Filipinos),” Gutierrez stressed.

Robredo’s spokesman also said that the formal endorsement, which ended speculations that the bloc will support Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s presidential bid, is a signal to work together to fulfill the dreams for a better Philippines.

“Ang wakasan ang bulok na uri ng pulitika na ugat ng gutom, kahirapan, at pagkamatay ng marami sa ating kababayan; at ang pagtatalaga, kapalit nito, ng isang pamunuang matino, mahusay, makatarungan, at magtutuon ng buo nitong lakas sa pag-aangat ng buhay ng Pilipino, lalo na ng mga nasa laylayan (To end the rotten style of politics that is the root of hunger, poverty, and death of many of our fellowmen; the appointment, in exchange of this, of a leadership that is decent, competent, just, and will focus its strength on uplifting the lives of Filipinos, especially those in the margins),” his statement read.

Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares, a human rights lawyer, said that Makabayan’s endorsement of Robredo and Pangilinan stemmed from their common stand on a number of issues.

Among these issues are: pandemic response, uplifting the lives of workers, farmers, marginalized and natives, environmental issues, human rights, and sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.

This endorsement came as opposition coalition 1Sambayan, which is endorsing Robredo-Pangilinan for president and vice president, respectively, announced the inclusion of Colmenares in its slate of senatorial candidates.

READ: 1Sambayan coalition backs 8 senatorial bets

That makes the Bayan muna chair the only senatorial aspirant in 1Sambayan’s list of nominees who is not a part of Robredo’s official ticket, which were earlier filled up by guest candidates she shares with other presidential aspirants.

This development, however, will hopefully put to rest reports of bitter infighting in the opposition that aims to put to an end the hopes of another Marcos presidency.

Makabayan, which historically can carry as much as three million votes, earlier had a disagreement with former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of Robredo’s staunchest defenders.

Senatorial aspirant and Federation of Free Workers (FFW) President Sonny Matula welcomed the inclusion of former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares as part of the 1Sambayan senatorial slate.

“This is a welcome historic development. The Philippines is a pluralistic society and the inclusion of Cong. Colmenares, representing the legal left, is a historic move to ensure the success of the united opposition in the May 9, 2022 national elections,” said Matula, a lawyer.

Matula is running as independent candidate but chosen by Robredo as part of her senatorial ticket and belongs to the initial batch of candidates endorsed by 1Sambayan.

“The common good can only be achieved if we recognize that society is composed of different interests and aspirations. I subscribe to a social democratic ideological orientation but I welcome Neri’s national democratic representation in the 1Sambayan senatorial slate,” he said.