Makabayan Holds First Assembly in Baguio

Northern Dispatch

BAGUIO CITY — The Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (MAKABAYAN) held its first assembly in the city attended by about 300 members of different progressive partylists together with some local politicians on November 30.

Bayan Muna partylist representative Teddy Casino delivered the keynote address where he outlined the achievements of the progressive mass movement in electoral politics and the challenges facing it in the coming 2010 elections. He took the opportunity to introduce Makabayan’s senatorial candidates for next year’s elections, namely, Rep. Satur Ocampo, currently Bayan Muna representative, and Liza Maza of the Gabriela Women’s partylist.

The two senatorial bets have been earlier reported to have decided to run as independents after a falling-out with the Nacionalista Party as the NP coalesced with the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the political party set-up by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Running under the KBL party is the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., who is gunning for a seat in the Senate.

There are reports, though, that NP presidential bet Manny Villar may still adopt the two Makabayan bets as part of the NP’s senatorial slate.

It is not yet confirmed if Makabayan will reciprocate Villar’s gesture by adopting him as its presidential bet. And there is still the question of whether they will extend the same kind of support to the NP’s vice-presidential bet, Loren Legarda. But with its senatorial bets running as independents, Makabayan may also endorse senatorial bets from other parties.

Among the prominent local politicians who delivered messages of solidarity during the assembly were Leandro Yangot, Jr. and Jose M. Molintas running for the city’s lone congressional seat and the mayoralty seat, respectively, under the Liberal Party.

Elected as officers during the local Makabayan assembly were Manny Loste of Bayan Muna as chairman, Ignacio Pangket of Anakpawis as vice chairman for internal affairs; Joe Cawiding, as vice chairman for external affairs; Perry Mendoza as the secretary general; John Panem of Anakbayan as deputy secretary general and Mila Singson of Gabriela Women’s Party as the treasurer of the board.

The Makabayan coalition includes the progressive partylists Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, Courage, Migrante, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the newly born KATRIBU partylist. Some local personalities also joined in the coalition in their personal capacity.

Makabayan was established to advance the politics of change. Makabayan’s call “Filipinos for Change, change for Filipinos” was given a local flavor with the assembly’s call “Baguio for change, change for Baguio.”

Meanwhile, calls to continue the advocacy of the national hero, Andres Bonifacio, were raised in the march-rally held after the assembly in celebration of national heroes’ day. (Northern Dispatch / Posted by Bulatlat)

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