Friday, November 9, 2012
MANILA, November 9, 2012-Senatorial candidate Cynthia Villar believes inclusion in the “Magic 6” of Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan), which extols almost 4 million membership nationwide, will boost chances of winning in the 2013 midterm elections.
Aside from Villar, Makabayan also endorsed the candidacy of re-electionists Senators Loren Legarda, Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and former MTRCB chairman Grace Poe Llamanzares.
“Yes, they will reinforce our candidacy rather than us reinforcing their candidacy,” said Villar.
She noted that Makabayan has several organizations and partylist groups campaigning all over the nation.
“Of course, we hope to get the support of members and supporters of the organizations under Makabayan,” said Villar.
Makabayan is a political coalition of 11 party list organizations namely: Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women’s Party, Migrante, Courage, Akap Bata, Kabataan, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Piston, Katribu, and Kalikasan.
It is fielding just one official candidate, former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino who is running as an Independent candidate for senator in next year’s polls.
Villar also stressed that the so-called “6 Senate Champions” of the Makabayan share the same advocacies.
“They laid down their advocacies. We read them. We agreed to support in varying degrees certain advocacies of Makabayan. We saw no problem since they are good,” she said.
Sharing Makabayan’s advocacies was the reason cited by the group’s president, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, in taking in the five as guest candidates.
Ocampo said they adopted the candidacy of the five based on a history of cooperative relationship with each of them on people’s issues and advocacies.
Among the Makabayan advocacies shared by Villar are lowering the prices of oil products, water, power and other basic commodities and services; pushing for genuine agrarian reform, pro-people mining policies and environmental protection; equitable minimum wage and salary adjustments in the public and private sectors and subsidy for farmers and fisherfolk.
Villar also vouches for increasing budgetary allocations for essential social services; asserting national sovereignty and pepole’s interest; working for the passage of the Freedom of Information and Whistleblowers Act; seeking an end to extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearances of activists and journalists and amnesty to political prisoners and repealing or amending the Cybercrime Law and decriminalizing libel and pushing for resumption of peace talks.
Villar sees nothing wrong in the Makabayan endorsement since all of them are running under the ticket of the ruling Liberal Party and its coalition partners.
Except for Villar and Pimentel, Legarda, Escudero and Poe are also guest candidates of both LP and the United Nationalist Alliance, a coalition of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former President Joseph Estrada and PDP-Laban of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The former congresswoman has likewise maintained that having several endorsements would not prejudice chances of winning of a candidate due to alleged ‘overexposure.”
“The more, the better,” added Villar, as she reminded the electorate to focus on issues and not on personalities.”
MANILA, November 9, 2012-Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, today said that the alleged waste dumping incident in Subic by a US Navy contractor requires immediate attention and action, stressing that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) cannot be used as a defense in such an incident.
“The VFA is a framework for promoting the common security interests of the Philippines and the United States of America by strengthening our bilateral defense partnership. It is not a treaty we have entered into with the United States so that their contractors can wantonly violate the country’s environmental laws,” said Legarda, Co-Chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA (LOVFA).
The Senator noted that the contractor, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, Philippines, is neither a part of the US personnel, nor is it a part of the civilian personnel contemplated in the VFA. Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines is a contractor whose status in the Philippines is clearly within the bounds of our laws.
“It is shameless for their contractor to hide beneath the VFA and raise jurisdictional issues. There is no jurisdictional issue as far as this case is concerned,” she said.
“If it is indeed established that they violated our environmental laws, they should be made to answer, and penalties need to be imposed to the fullest extent of the law,” she added.
Legarda said that the VFA Commission is mandated to coordinate with the Legislative Oversight Committee in ensuring that the implementation of the VFA continues to serve national interest.
“Clearly, the incident did not serve national interest at all. We shall require a report on this incident and demand immediate action against all those involved in violating our laws. It is time we revisit the VFA not because of this incident, but because it is a long-overdue exercise that is vital to forging deeper and stronger relations with our treaty partner,” Legarda concluded.
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