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Lakas! Sereno a ‘strong addition’ to opposition Senate slate – Pangilinan

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by Xave Gregorio

Senator Kiko Pangilinan said the opposition coalition is open to including ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in their senatorial lineup for the 2019 polls, who would be a “strong addition” to their current six-man lineup.

“Kung siya ay interesado, she would be a good candidate sa aking palagay. We need strong women sa ating ticket at sa kagustuhan nating mag-karga ng matibay-tibay at malakas na oposisyon,” Pangilinan said Wednesday (June 20) in a chance interview at a restaurant in Pasay City.

“Bukas tayo sa madagdagan. Dahil anim pa lamang ang ating nabanggit na mga pangalan para sa ating ticket. So, bukas tayo na madagdagan ‘yan and if she decides to run, we would welcome that,” he said.

Pangilinan added that the opposition coalition, composed of the formerly ruling Liberal Party, Magdalo, Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party, and Tindig Pilipinas, is open to being led by Sereno, should she run for senator.

“We welcome all efforts at uniting the opposition so that we have a strong pushback in defending and upholding our democratic rights,” he said.

Hours after the Supreme Court upheld in an 8-6 vote their May 11 ruling ousting Sereno, she delivered a combative speech where she accused President Rodrigo Duterte of weakening the rule of law.

However, when asked on CNN Philippines if she would be running for senator, Sereno said she still needs to think about it.

She previously told reporters in an ambush interview that there are no talks between her and the opposition coalition, dubbed as “The Resistance,” a fact backed up by Pangilinan.

“Whether formal or informal I haven’t spoken to the Chief Justice. In fact the last time that I spoke to her was when I took my oath before her, nung tayo po ay muling bumalik sa Senado,” Pangilinan said.

The Liberal Party president said anyone who is against extrajudicial killings, the “policy of appeasement” towards China, corruption, misogyny and other abuses is welcome to join the opposition coalition, including re-electionist senators who are part of the majority bloc.

Currently, The Resistance is composed of Senator Bam Aquino, Magdalo part-list Rep. Gary Alejano, former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, Free Legal Assistance Group chair Chel Diokno, former Akbayan party-list Rep. Barry Gutierrez and actress Agot Isidro.