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LP-Magdalo-Makabayan? Bam hints at ‘shocking’ multi-party opposition 2019 slate

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by: Xave Gregorio

The public would be in for a surprise in the days leading to the 2019 mid-term polls as Senator Bam Aquino teased a broad coalition of several parties, new faces and even former foes would form the opposition slate which would run against administration candidates.

“Pero magugulat ka kasi hindi ito ‘yung mga traditional na pangalan. May mga pangalan po mula sa iba’t ibang sektor, mula po sa mga NGO, mga simbahan, iba-iba po,” Aquino said in a chance interview Thursday (April 12) at Holy Spirit, Quezon City.

“Kahit sabihin na nating in the past hindi po magkakaibigan o hindi po magkakapartido, ngayon na po siguro ‘yung panahon na kailangan na ho na kailanagn po talaga tayong magtulungan at magsama-sama,” he said.

However, Aquino refused to name who the “new” and “shocking” faces would be in the opposition slate, which he had earlier dubbed as “The Resistance.”

But he confirmed that talks are ongoing with several groups and parties, including former political foes.

“Kung ano pa man ‘yung ating naging past, iiwan na natin ‘yung past ano. Ang importante po, nagsasama po tayo na magkaisa na magkaroon ng genuine opposition po dito sa ating bansa,” he said.

Opposition lawmaker Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, who is being pushed to run for senator in next year’s elections, earlier said his party is building a coalition with Tindig Pilipinas and the Liberal Party.

Asked for confirmation, Aquino only said that the opposition slate would be composed of more than two parties.

From the political field, three opposition players are in the forefront: the former ruling Liberal Party, Magdalo and the Makabayan bloc.

While the three, with other organizations, have been jointly organizing massive actions against Duterte and his policies, they would still be unlikely allies should they form the opposition coalition.

Makabayan was consistently critical of former President Noynoy Aquino, a Liberal Party stalwart and part of the clan who owns Hacienda Luisita, which the militant coalition wants redistributed.

Meanwhile, Magdalo, a party of soldiers, is vocally opposed to Communist rebel forces, and Makabayan has always advocated for peace talks with them.

Makabayan bloc member Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said talks of forming a coalition are “too early.”

“Kung meron mang pakikipagtulungan, malinaw naman ang aming tindig at tayo,” Zarate said at a media briefing.

Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao, another Makabayan bloc member, said they are willing to form coalitions with other parties—like they have done in 2010 and 2016—as long as they do not have any “grave sin” against the people.

“Malinaw po ‘yan, hindi ka pwedeng makipag-coalesce sa isang tao o grupo na may mataas na kasalanan sa sambayanan. Hindi acceptable sa amin ‘yan,” Casilao said. “‘Yung principle ng the enemy of our enemy is our friend, would not be applicable.”