OPPOSITION coalition 1Sambayan on Wednesday endorsed seven of the 12 senatorial candidates of presidential aspirant Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo, excluding in the list personalities who have been considered as enablers of the current administration.
Howard M. Calleja, one of the group’s convenors, said in a virtual forum that the pro-democracy coalition would endorse lawyer and author Alex L. Lacson, labor leader Jose Sonny G. Matula, human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” I. Diokno, Senators Leila M. de Lima and Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, ex-senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, and former House representative Teodoro “Teddy” B. Baguilat, Jr.
Mr. Calleja, a lawyer, said the group would announce its full senatorial slate at a political event on Jan. 28. “The lineup is still open to accommodate more candidates.”
1Sambayan, formed by former government officials and members of groups from across the Philippine political spectrum, has yet to endorse the senatorial candidacy of lawyer and activist Neri J. Colmenares, who was among the group’s convenors before he filed his candidacy papers in October.
Mr. Colmenares, who has been calling for a united opposition to defeat administration bets in the May elections, was not included in Ms. Robredo’s Senate list.
The other senatorial bets under Ms. Robredo’s Senate slate are former vice president Jejomar C. Binay, Sr., Sorsogon Governor Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero, and Senators Richard J. Gordon, Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, and Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri.
Mr. Colmenares is a former Bayan Muna Party-list lawmaker. Bayan Muna is part of the progressive House bloc Makabayan, which has been endorsing presidential candidates based on platforms and common advocacies.
Some members of the opposition movement earlier alleged that Makabayan had refused to publicly support the presidential candidacy of Ms. Robredo.
The left-wing political bloc, however, said it has yet to endorse any presidential candidate because it was still in the process of consulting candidates on platforms and programs “while pushing for the broadest possible unity to defeat Duterte and Marcos.”
Meanwhile, Ms. Robredo said in a press release on Tuesday night that she has asked the Commission on Elections to allow her office “to continue with its COVID-19 pandemic response even during the official campaign period,” which begins on Feb. 8. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza