The leftist Makabayan coalition on Sunday backed at least nine opposition and independent senatorial candidates running for senator.
Satur Ocampo, Makabayan president, said they will endorse, support and vote for former representative Neri Colmenares, Bayan Muna chairperson; Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Grace Poe and Nancy Binay; ex-senator Serge Osmeña; human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno; ex-Quezon representative Erin Tañada III; ex-solictor general Florin Hilbay, and Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc.
Aquino, Diokno, Tañada, Hilbay and Gutoc are from the Otso Diretso opposition coalition.
On the other hand, Poe, Binay and Osmeña are independent candidates, while Colmenares is the only Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan senatorial bet.
“At times like this where there is widespread poverty, oppression and objection to alarming threat of dictatorship, when times that justice is very elusive, and that the system of how we monitor and balance the executive, judicial and legislative is at stake, we need a free Senate that can stand on its own,” Ocampo said.
He called on the nine candidates to join them in their fight to suspend the excise taxes on fuel brought about by the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law, promote human rights and due process and protect the country’s sovereignty and rights in the West Philippines Sea.
Moreover, Ocampo said they expect those they are supporting to block any move to change the Constitution, and support the resumption of peace talks between the Duterte administration and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
The nine opposition and independent senatorial candidates welcomed the Makabayan coalition’s support.
Farmers belonging to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas led by its chairperson Danilo Ramos said they welcomed the endorsement of the nine candidates.
“We are setting the bar higher for those candidates. Even with the broad unity set, all the more should they prove that they are deserving of the Filipino farmers’ support and votes,” he said.