DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The progressive Makabayan bloc will field their own member, Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate for the Speakership of the 18th Congress.
The coalition said in a press conference Wednesday that instead of supporting any allies of the Duterte administration to the post of House Speaker, they are supporting Zarate for the interest of the nation.
“We need to have a [House] Speaker that would fight for the sovereign rights of the Philippines against the intrusion of US, and occupation of China in our territories and exploitation to its natural resources,” AC Teachers Partylist Antonio Tinio said.
The race for the House Speaker post is tight as the ruling party PDP-Laban endorsed Marinduque Rep. Lord Allen Velasco, over other Duterte allies, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Zarate said that Filipinos are left blank on these candidates would plan on resolving China’s plunder in the territory of the Philippines, worsening poverty, contractualization, and landlessness of farmers.
As an independent minority in the House, Rep. Zarate said that they want to place their bid in the speakership race to assert on bringing the voice of the Filipino people “that for long have never prevailed in Congress.”
They observed that other lawmakers gunning to become the next House Speaker were only in dispute for the endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We know that the President’s blessing is not for the interest of the Filipinos, but only for few individuals in Congress,” Zarate said.
Members of Makabayan bloc in the incoming 18th Congress include Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers, Gabriela, and Kabataan, having a total of six representatives. (davaotoday.com)