Coalition backing Perlas' presidential bid launched

Coalition backing Perlas’ presidential bid launched
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – A coalition pushing for new politics, with environmental advocates and those against traditional politicians or “trapos” as its members, was formally launched yesterday, backing the presidential bid of Nicanor Perlas.

Perlas, who has been lagging behind in surveys, said the new coalition will “boost my campaign possibilities,” citing partnerships now formed with grassroots organizations.

According to Perlas, the formation of the coalition will prompt “dozens and dozens of groups” to join the new alliance.

Perlas said they have “several thousands of volunteers” on the ground whose number could become larger and more substantial.

Perlas even cited that a group of lumads has vowed to donate to his campaign 50 percent of their sales of mango produce, which he said amounts to millions of pesos.

Called “Coalition for New Politics,” the alliance is composed of Perlas’ Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan (Pangmasa), Partido Kalikasan, and Anti-Trapo Movement, among others.

The coalition has eight key principles: living vision and platform; society-centered governance; qualified and dynamic leadership; volunteer force; authentic, participatory, public-interest party organization; principled access to resources to end patronage politics; new concept of winnability; and real authentic choice.

According to Perlas, these principles will “differentiate us from the trapos who are starting to use the term new politics but don’t really understand it.”

Perlas said there would not be real solutions to problems with traditional politics.

Roy Cabonegro, Partido Kalikasan secretary-general, said they have chosen to support Perlas’ presidential bid because his agenda is the one that fits theirs. Perlas himself is an environmentalist.

“The environment issue is a political issue,” Cabonegro said.

Jules Penales, Partido Kalikasan spokesperson, added: “No economic model (will work) without a sustainable environmental agenda.”

According to Perlas, their coalition will be devoid of “shallow and inherited popularity” that he said plagues most political parties, whose members are mostly from political dynasties.

He added that since they are pushing for a strong party system anchored on principles, they would be able to avoid “turncoatism.” He said they are also against relying on paid operators so the problem of political patronage is avoided.    — Reinir Padua

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.