FINALLY, the seven militant solons of the Makabayan bloc have decided to leave the supermajority of the House of Representatives.
Despite their alliance with the administration solons led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, they have been condemning and criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte, especially over the extrajudicial killings and anti-illegal drug campaign.
“We, seven 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,” they declared.
Before the announcement made to media, ACT Teacher Rep. Antonio Tinio informed Majority Rodolfo Fariñas of the their decision.
“I just wanted to let you know before we announce to the media that Makabayan bloc has decided to leave the Majority to stand as an independent bloc. Despite this, we hope to maintain cordial relations with you and work with you on certain issues,” Tinio said in his text message to Fariñas.
Fariñas replied: “I respect and accept your decision with a heavy heart of course. But as you know too well, I have good relations even with the independent 7 who sued the Speaker, Danny Suarez and I before the Supreme Court.”
According to the group, at the opening of the 17th Congress last year, they joined the Majority consistent with their stand to support the promise of change of President Duterte.
Under the Duterte administration the Makabayan expects the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), release of political prisoners, an end to neocolonial ties with the US and pursuit of an independent foreign policy as well as actions addressing the roots of the Moro rebellion.
They joined the administration alliance because they believed the President can end labor contractualization, increase government support to farmers, put a stop to destructive mining practices, reduce income taxes of rank and file employees, and increase social pensions and prioritize basic social services over infrastructure.