MANILA, Philippines – The Makabayan bloc, composed of seven party-list congressmen, has announced on Thursday, September 14, that they are finally severing ties with the majority at the Lower House, even as the group vowed to fight the emerging “new dictatorship” in the present government.
The Makabayan bloc members are ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio, ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, Gabriela Representative Emmi de Jesus, Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas, Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao and Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago, who have earlier aligned themselves with the administration party, PDP-Laban as part of the super majority.
“Today, we, 7 party-list representatives of the Makabayan bloc, declare our separation from the majority coalition in the House of Representatives to intensify our opposition to the Duterte administration that has now fully unraveled as a fascist, pro-imperialist, and anti-people regime,” the group said in a statement.
The bloc has accused the Duterte administration of turning the ‘war on drugs’ into a campaign of ‘mass murder of the poor’, for which the President purportedly showed no signs of turning back.
The group also assailed the present government for its “pro-business and pro-war budget”, cutting the budget for the Commission in Human Rights (CHR), helping ‘repair’ the image of Marcos family and alleged extra-judicial killings.
“As representatives of the poor and marginalized sectors in Congress and as nationalist and progressive legislators, it would be a violation of our duties and principles to remain with a Majority that enables and defends the fascist, pro-imperialist and anti-people policies of the Duterte regime,” said the Makabayan bloc.
Their decision to bolt out of the majority had been accepted by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas with a ‘heavy heart’.