Here’s a development that surprised few but disappointed many: The Makabayan Coalition, an alliance of progressive party-list organizations promising a new brand of politics, has admitted guest candidates to its slate.
None of them is a new name and Bayan Muna Representative Teddy CasiÃ±o’s justification for the team-up is as old as Cebu Representative Pablo Garcia, who, at 86, is the oldest lawmaker in Congress.
Citing the principle of “politics is addition,” CasiÃ±o said he and the guest candidates would “mutually” benefit from the alliance.
Makabayan Coalition has thrown its support behind Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Aquilino Pimentel III, former Las PiÃ±as representative Cynthia Villar and former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Grace Poe Llamanzares, calling them, along with CasiÃ±o, the “Senate Champions.”
Escudero and Legarda are already old hands at the Senate while Pimentel is seeking his second term. Villar is the wife of Senator Manuel Villar Jr. and mother of Las PiÃ±as Representative Mark Villar. Escudero, Pimentel, and Villar are from political families.
Escudero, Legarda, and Llamanzares are common candidates of the two big coalitions fielding candidates in the 2013 elections, the administration’s and the also-administration-but-not-as-much United Nationalist Alliance.
Villar is an official candidate of the administration coalition while Escudero and Pimentel are friendly to MalacaÃ±ang. CasiÃ±o is not and has been critical of the Aquino administration, but that apparently doesn’t matter as long as everybody’s happy.
CasiÃ±o, before he officially filed his candidacy, promised an alternative to “basically the same names, faces and vested interests that have dominated Philippine politics for decades.” His challenge then: “Wala na bang iba?” Is there nobody else?
That question has apparently been answered.