Voters reelect Makabayan to rock the House

Published May 14, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Tonyo Cruz


Tonyo Cruz

In an ideal world, the partylist system would attract outstanding leaders from mass movements, civil society, non-government organizations, cause-oriented groups and parties of the poor and the marginalized.

But we don’t live in an ideal world. The traditional politicians, political dynasties and several administrations have since discovered the partylist system as another means to capture power. They have thus infested the partylist system, to the detriment of the genuine ones. 

For instance, the Comelec allowed partylists for small-town lottery operators and for sabungero owners who apparently suffer immensely in our country.

Meanwhile, the Comelec disqualified partylists such as the Medical Cannabis, Nurses United, and LGBTQ Plus. 

The entry of the questionable partylists brought to new heights the total number of partylist votes. This is a problem because it means that parties need to have more votes than ever before to capture a single seat. A partylist wins based on its share of total partylist votes, and in relation to the top vote-getters.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Makabayan bloc of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, ACT Teachers and Kabataan have been outstanding as partylist representatives. The anti-communists have tried to smear them through trumped-up charges and disqualification cases, but they have beaten them all. 

The NTF-ELCAC did not mince words in its desire to get rid of them. 

Two years prior, Anakpawis chair and peacemaker Randall Echanis died a horrible death in a midnight attack in his home that happened amid a total lockdown.

After the campaign started, Anakpawis nominee Isabelo Adviento was arrested.

Several partylist groups and senatorial candidates identified with the administration targeted Makabayan from the get-go, linking them to the CPP-NPA-NDF, the oft-repeated charge that has always been dismissed in court.

Lorraine Badoy and Antonio Parlade inserted themselves into the race, by trying to force the presidential candidates to denounce or steer away from Makabayan. 

In one of his shining moments in this campaign, Isko Moreno condemned the NTF-ELCAC for putting up tarpaulins across in the city denouncing the Makabayan bloc and the CPP-NPA-NDF. Moreno said everybody should be welcome in Manila and to participate in the nation’s elections.

Manny Pacquiao knows Makabayan more than the NTF-ELCAC. In his first term as congressman, Pacquiao proudly stood alongside the venerable Crispin Beltran to support the Makabayan bill for a ₱125 legislated wage hike for workers nationwide. 

In the case of Vice President Leni Robredo, it was a little bit different. She had Antonio Trillanes and John Nery to perform red-tagging and to needlessly divide what had always been a broad opposition. 

In the end, Nery’s diatribe against Makabayan proved false. Makabayan endorsed Robredo. The Kilusang Mayo Uno broke tradition by endorsing Robredo and Pangilinan, a first in its history. 1Sambayan also included  both Neri Colmenares and Elmer Labog in its senatorial slate alongside Robredo. But perhaps no thanks to Nery, Trillanes and other anti-communists and military minds in the campaign who wittingly or unwittingly enabled the NTF-ELCAC, the reverse happened: Robredo did not support Makabayan.

Abroad, the NTF-ELCAC took advantage of the embassies, consulates, and the social-climbers in some OFW organizations to promote the state-backed partylists.  

On May 8, the day before the elections, fake news about the alleged disqualification of Colmenares, and all the Makabayan partylists was circulated.

And so on Election Day, the stage was set for the total defeat of Makabayan and other genuine partylists. The partylist seats would instead go to the questionable parties who, according to Kontra Daya’s investigation, are mostly linked to the administration, traditional politicians, political dynasties, big businesses and big landlords.

While we monitor the canvassing and demand an investigation into Election Day anomalies, the results per se show voters giving a total of over nine million votes to Makabayan candidates Colmenares and Labog, and Makabayan partylists. That’s the biggest number of votes they have received since 2001, bigger than the total votes of many presidential candidates. That’s a strong mandate to be an opposition force against tyranny, corruption, and incompetence.

As of now, the results show voters messing up NTF-ELCAC’s wet dreams. Voters defied a lot to reelect Gabriela Women’s Partylist with Rep. Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers Party with Rep. France Castro, and Kabataan Partylist with presumptive Rep. Raoul Manuel.

Sorry, red-taggers. Makabayan will be there to rock the House.