By RUTH LUMIBAO
The Makabayan Coalition announced its official nominees for the 2022 elections on September 26, after holding a series of national conventions of partylists. The coalition vowed to strengthen its campaign to unite the people and to stop the Duterte regime from holding on to power at all costs.
The Makabayan Coalition will field two senatorial candidates and five partylists in the 2022 elections.
Atty. Neri Colmenares, former Bayan Muna Partylist representative and chairperson of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), will be running as a senatorial candidate for the third time.
Along with Colmenares, labor leader Elmer ‘Ka Bong’ Labog will also run for senator. Labog has served as the national chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). He also currently serves as Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) vice chairperson and president of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) in the Philippines. He served as a full-time organizer, union leader, and human rights advocate.
The lineup presents a healthy mix of veteran and novice lawmakers, but all the same, dedicated people’s rights advocates, organizers, and representatives. Here is the line-up of candidates from the Makabayan coalition’s partylists:
ACT TEACHERS PARTYLIST
1st Nominee: France Castro, current ACT Teachers Partylist representative; teacher for 25 years; first ever public teacher elected as a legislator
2nd Nominee: Antonio Tinio; former ACT Teachers Partylist representative; union leader among teachers and personnel
3rd Nominee: David Michael San Juan; professor, researcher, writer and student activist; defender of the Filipino language
1st Nominee: Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano, former Anakpawis Partylist representative, former Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform
2nd Nominee: Lana Linaban, women’s and workers’ rights advocate
3rd Nominee: Francisco Mariazeta, III, labor organizer in the National Capital Region (NCR), founder of BAYAN-Metro Manila
BAYAN MUNA PARTYLIST
1st Nominee: Teodoro ‘Teddy’ A. Casino, former Bayan Muna Partylist representative, current BAYAN secretary general and spokesperson
2nd Nominee: Ferdinand Gaite, current Bayan Muna Partylist representative, former national president of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE)
3rd Nominee: Amirah Lidasan, national secretary of the Moro Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA), national council member of the Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination (SANDUGO)
GABRIELA WOMENS PARTYLIST
1st Nominee: Arlene Brosas, current Gabriela Womens Partylist representative
2nd Nominee: Dr. Jean Lindo, environmentalist and health professional from Davao City
3rd Nominee: Lucy Francisco, women’s rights advocate from Panay
1st Nominee: Raoul Manuel, former UP Student Regent and NUSP president, convenor of Rise for Education (R4E) and Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT)
2nd Nominee: Angel Galimba, member of Aktibo sa Tignayan Dagiti Agtutubo ti Kordilyera para iti Demokrasya ken Rang-ay (TAKDER), advocate of the rights of indigenous people
3rd Nominee: Jandeil Roperos, current NUSP president, LGBT activist, biologist, convenor of the Student Aid Network
Anti-fascist, pro-people campaign
Members of the Makabayan bloc have been subjected to disqualification attempts by Duterte’s supporters. Their representatives in Congress have been very vocal against Duterte’s human rights abuses, corruption and failed pandemic response.
“Because our survival is at stake in the 2022 elections, it is important for the people to unite and end the tyranny and dynasty of Duterte,” Colmenares said during the Makabayan Convention.
Broadly describing his plan of action, Colmenares said that as senator, he will focus on addressing the pandemic and the resulting lack of jobs and contractualization of workers, the loss of income for farmers and urban poor, and inaccessible education for youth and students.
He also vowed to fight against corruption, to put an end to the culture of impunity and state violence, and to push for accountability for all victims of extrajudicial killings and political persecution under the Duterte regime.
“We will continue to serve the people, we will continue to fight for a just and prosperous society. It is time for the opposition to unite, unite with the people to end Duterte’s tyranny and dynasty,” Colmenares said.
On the other hand, Labog stressed the importance of having a workers’ representative in Congress.
“It has been so long since workers have been able to join in the drafting of laws and conduct of investigations. It has been a long time since workers have been deprived of the opportunity to be part of the Senate. They have no voice, and more than often, the Senate is even against the workers,” Labog said in his speech in Filipino accepting the nomination.
Mariano, now first nominee of Anakpawis Partylist, echoed Colmenares’s challenge to fight the dictatorship.
“We are entering the electoral period at a time of great political and economic turmoil. Among our urgent tasks is to thwart attempts of the Duterte camp to erect a dynasty. Despite the odds and challenges, the Makabayan bloc, including Anakpawis Partylist, will continue to thrive and gain victories for the Filipinos,” he said in a statement.
The filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) will be from October 1 to October 8, 2021. As of press time, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has yet to approve the extension of voter registration until the end of October. (RVO)