The progressive Makabayan bloc of the House of Representatives on Thursday expressed its openness to unite with Vice President Leni Robredo after she agreed to lead the opposition against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press conference, ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio called Robredo's announcement a "positive development," saying it is about time that she stands up as an opposition.
"Positive development yun. Finally, titindig na bilang opposition si Vice President Robredo," he told reporters.
"Ang Makabayan ay bukas na makipagkaisa at makipagtulungan sa lahat ng handang lumaban sa mga kontra-mamamayan at kontra-mahirap na patakaran ng administrasyong ito na kinakatawan ni Pangulong Duterte," he added.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Robredo said she has agreed to the request of some groups to lead the opposition only if all issues that should be agreed upon will be threshed out first.
"Matagal na namang tinake-on ko 'yung role na 'yun, pero this time... merong initiatives na 'yung iba't-ibang grupong gumagalaw, magyu-unite, at hiningi ng mga grupong 'yun if I can lead," she said.
"Sabi ko, oo, pero kailangan pag-usapan 'yung terms. As I've said earlier, hindi pa tapos 'yung usapan, pero 'yung pinaka-unang concern, ano 'yung issues na paga-agreehan," she added.
Tinio pointed out that opposition forces should be strengthened now more than ever, given what he called a looming dictatorship of Duterte under the proposed Charter change.
"Lalong mahalaga ngayon na magkaroon ng higit na pagkakaisa sa hanay ng mga tumututol at lumalaban sa Duterte administrasyon," he said.
Gabriela Women's Party Representative Emmi De Jesus noted, however, that their union with opposition forces is anchored to their partiality toward the plight of the masses.
"Hindi namin iko-kompromiso yung issue ng mamamayan. Alam naman natin na yung dalawang taon ni Presidente Duterte ay talagang halos naging busabos yung majority ng marginalized sector," she said.
"Kung hindi namin iko-kompromiso yung matitibay na batayan dito sa economic, political and cultural issues na dadalhin dapat ng oposisyon laban sa Duterte regime," she added.
Malacañang, for its part, said Robredo's decision to lead opposition forces was "hardly surprising."
Makabayan bloc open to unite with Leni Robredo
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent