Makabayan bloc to be more vigilant next year.
By Ellson Quismorio
Expect the Makabayan Bloc to get more serious with its role as watchdog come 2018.
That was Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Carlos Zarate's New Year's guarantee for the Makabayan, which in the last few months of the year has re-positioned itself as a hardcore critic of the Duterte administration.
"With the intensifying assault against the economic, socio-political, civil and democratic rights of our people, both in and out of the halls of Congress, the Makabayan Bloc will be more vigilant and will forge closer ties with our poor people and other democratic groups," Zarate said.
"We will be as principled, brave and relentless as our people fighting for rights and justice--in the streets, in the communities, amid the growing climate of political repression, threats and attacks by state forces," added the Davao-based solon.
Makabayan is composed of seven leftist party-list solons, namely Zarate, Ariel Casilao (Anakpawis), Sarah Elago (Kabataan), Antonio Tinio, France Castro (both ACT-Teachers), Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas (both Gabriela).
They began the 17th Congress last July 2016 as part of the vast pro-administration super-majority coalition after forming what they described an informal alliance with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
For months, Makabayan tried to stick it out with the controversial President despite their blatant differences on social and political issues.
But, on September 14, the militant solons announced their separation from the super-majority.