Makabayan presents ‘6 Senate champions’

MAKABAYANG Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) officially enters the electoral arena — after clinching the Commission on Elections’ accreditation January this year — by participating in the May 14, 2013 elections.

Satur C. Ocampo, president of Makabayan,  announced at the press conference held at the Quezon City Sports Club, Quezon City, that Makabayan official candidate for the Senate is Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Casino.

“But, as we announced at our 2nd National Convention last September 7, our sole official candidate will be reinforced by other senatorial candidates that Makabayan will endorse or adopt based on a history of cooperative relationship with each of them on people’s issues and advocacies,” he said.

Ocampo said Makabayan will adopt five guest senatorial candidates: Senators Loren Legarda, Joseph Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former Rep. Cynthia A. Villar, and Ms. Grace Poe-Llamanzares.

“We propose to field the team as Makabayan’s “6 Senate champions.”  This manifests our confidence in the leadership qualities of the six, their personal integrity, and their pro-people stand on significant public issues,” Ocampo said.

Each of our chosen guest candidates has shared, or agreed to support, in varying degrees, certain Makabayan advocacies.

Generally, these issues involve actions towards:

·  Lowering the prices of oil products, water, power and other basic commodities and services by introducing reforms on taxation and pricing policies;

·  Pushing for genuine agrarian reform; pro-people mining policies and environmental protection; equitable minimum wage and salary adjustments in the public and private sectors, subsidy for farmers and fisherfolk, and incentives for micro and small-medium enterprises;

·  Increasing budgetary allocations for essential social services such as education, health and  housing  and reviewing the automatic appropriation for foreign-debt servicing to channel more public funds for social services and job-creation;

·  Asserting national sovereignty and the people’s interest by thoroughly reviewing to rectify unequal bilateral treaties and agreements with the IMF-WB-WTO triad and the VFA and upholding our territorial and EEZ claims in the West Philippine Sea;

·  Working for the passage of the Freedom of Information and Whistleblowers Act, and opposing special treatment in handling criminal cases against Gloria Arroyo and other former officials;

·   Seeking  an end to extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of activists and journalists; amnesty to all political prisoners similar with military rebels;

·   Repealing or amending the Cybercrime law and decriminalizing libel; and

·  Urging the immediate release of detained NDFP consultants and other JASIG-protected persons and pushing for the resumption of peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP.

“We will take these issues to the people during the campaign – and, after victory, into the Senate — where the “6 champions” will endeavor to translate most of them into legislation,” he said.

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