Makabayan bloc announces candidacy of Zarate for House Speaker

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 26, 2019   •   945

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate

The Makabayan bloc has formally announced the candidacy of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Zarate is the 6th congressman to express interest in becoming the next House Speaker in the 18th Congress.

According to outgoing ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, Congress needs a leader that will prioritize the interest of the people and not the interest of other countries.

“Kailangan ng speaker na ipaglalaban ang karapatan ng magasasaka, kababaihan, manggagawa, kabataan, lumad at iba pa. Tunay na lalabanan ang kurapsyon at titindig sa human rights, (We need a speaker who will fight for the rights of farmers, women, workers, youth, Lumad and others. He will truly fight against corruption and will stand for human rights),” he said.

READ: PDP-Laban endorses Velasco as House Speaker bet

Other lawmakers who are also vying for the position are Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, incoming Taguig 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzalez, and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Makabayan bloc wants probe on death of 14 in Negros Oriental

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 4, 2019

Members of the Makabayan bloc files House Resolution 2533 on April 3, 2019 that calls on CHR to probe the killing of 14 farmers during a police operation in Negros Oriental on March 30, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Makabayan Bloc wants the House of Representatives to probe the killing of 14 farmers during a police operation in Negros Oriental on Saturday (March 30).

READ: PNP Chief relieves Negros Oriental top cops over farmers’ killing

The bloc has filed House Resolution 2533 on Wednesday (April 3) which calls on the House Committee on Human Rights to investigate on the killings.

“The killings in Negros Oriental are crimes against humanity, targeted assassinations of leaders and members of local peasant organizations perpetrated by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the guise of anti-criminality operations,” according to their statement.

Anakpawis party-list Representative Ariel Casilao said that he doesn’t believe that the slain individuals fought back.

“Our initial collation of data and testimonies from the survivors and the family of the victims point that there was a summary execution—a summary execution style,” Casilao said.

Based on the report, the chairperson of Hukom or Hugpong Kusog Mag-uuma sa Canlaon and two barangay chairman in Manjuyod were among the individuals killed.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Grace Casin)

Makabayan bloc to file TRO in SC vs Chico River Irrigation project

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2019

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc will challenge the legality of the loan agreement between the Philippine government and China for the P4.3 billion Chico River Irrigation project.

The group will file a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) at the Supreme Court (SC) to temporarily stop the implementation of the said project.

“Ang immediate na relief na hihingin ay ang TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) tapos idi-declare na unconstitutional (The immediate relief we will request is the TRO then the declaration of unconstitutionality)” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said

They will also question the patrimonial assets of the Philippines which was reportedly going to be collateral in case the country is unable to pay its debts with China.

“Hindi pa dini-disclose ng gobyerno, ano pa ang mga assets niya na parang nilagay niya sa kaniyang collateral(The government still hasn’t disclosed the assets they are going to use as collateral),” Arilao said.

The Makabayan bloc also said the Philippines is at a disadvantage when it comes to the workforce of the project because a huge percentage of them will be Chinese.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said it is open to any move to question its actions.

“The Palace always welcomes any move to question its action, if they feel it’s not within the law,” presidential spokesperson and chief presidential legal counsel, Sec. Salvador Panelo said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

Makabayan bloc to question martial extension before SC

admin   •   December 14, 2018

Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc plan to elevate to the Supreme Court the third extension of martial law in Mindanao which Congress approved on Wednesday.

The group said the government and concerned agencies failed to prove there is on-going rebellion in the region that would warrant a yearlong extension of martial law.

“We will definitely still maximize an arena where we can present our case,” said Anakpawis partylist representative, Ariel Casilao. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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