By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
MANILA – Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s commitment to campaign for opposition bets in the 2019 polls will solidify the Liberal Party’s mandate to lead the political opposition.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said by campaigning for the opposition’s senatorial slate, Aquino “becomes an iconic and powerful counter” to President Rodrigo Duterte and his political allies.
“On the strength of his record as a president alone, the constituency will get a clear choice of what the opposition slate stands for,” said Baguilat.
During the 35th death anniversary Aquino’s father, former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. on Tuesday (August 21), the former chief executive having opposition faces in the Senate will strengthen the system of checks and balances in government.
Aquino has vowed to support all the potential opposition bets in the 2019 polls.
The opposition coalition is expected to field a number of candidates in next year’s elections and mong its prospective bets are re-electionist Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino, former Quezon Representative Erin Tañada, Magdalo partylist Representative Gary Alejano, and former Akbayan partyist Representative Barry Gutierrez.
For his part, Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin said Aquino’s pronouncement is a welcome development but it is incumbent upon all Filipinos “to take up the fight against the tyrannical rule of the Duterte administration.”
“While former President Aquino’s support matters, tilting the balance against Duterte demands more voices from ordinary people who are suffering and will continue to suffer because of inflation and extrajudicial killings,” said Villarin.