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HOWIE SEE IT: Coalition Building

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By Atty. Howie Calleja

Coalition building is an art. As such, it requires personalities, organizations and groups to be willing to rise above their differences and to actively cooperate with each other in the spirit of mutual understanding, fortitude, and litheness. When Coalition members share accountability, goals, decisions, and governance; and dynamically and enthusiastically work toward a common goal, the coalition has the potential for great success.

LENI – PING – TRILLANES – ISKO and PACQUIAO? We have to balance capability with winnability. Coming up with the best alternative and/or best candidate against the current administration’s bets must be our priority. However, we could not just think of the numbers but also the capabilities of the potential candidates to serve our people and our country. While 1SAMBAYAN is a broad coalition, it has as its core the unity and inclusivity of all opposition forces through which the Preeminent Choice for the Filipino Electorate could be determined.

The decision of VP Leni to exert all effort to unite and come up with a single candidate is very welcomed; and a selfless move that 1SAMBAYAN sees as a truly productive and positive step on the right direction. On the other hand, the formula suggested by Sen. Ping which is solely based on surveys appears to fall short of a principled approach. Nonetheless, the openness to discuss unity talks is well taken. I do hope that we can still continue and open other options.

Similarly, the clamor for Presidential Aspirants to decide early (so that coalition building is done promptly as well) as proposed by Sen. Trillanes is a positive sign. Although we all know that running for the presidency is a tough personal decision and should be left to the individual. 1SAMBAYAN continues to support the vision of Sen. Trillanes for a unified opposition ticket towards a graft-free society led by principled individuals.

Recent unity talks with Sen. Pacquiao is still in the air. Although this may seem revolting to some, I believe that this should be seen as a move to unify with a potential ally. In any unity talks, I think it is clear that Coalition Building is the first top of mind. The selection of candidates for any position is only secondary. The first step is really to unite and align with various groups towards a common goal. In that respect, I think we can move forward with Sen. Pacquiao and see if an alliance is possible before we proceed with talks of any position. As true leaders, we must put the country first and personal interests second.

Finally but not least, the talks of alliance with Mayor Isko is now stronger, especially now that even President Duterte has made him the flavor of the month and has even weaponized the DILG in issuing wrong letters of explanation.

Yet some people are singing in tune with the President’s tirade against Mayor Isko for having daring pictures during his younger years, but we have to remember that those pictures were done as a young actor and not as a public servant. It was done with the best intentions and was part of the learning process of a young individual which he used for the better and made himself now a better person and public servant. We see Mayor Isko riding above adversity as a young individual and using his experiences to help improve the City of Manila and his constituents.

To reiterate at the start of this article we welcome all efforts of uniting the democratic forces and that numbers should not be the only basis for unity. 1SAMBAYAN is open to discuss unity talks with all the above-mentioned individuals and to other similarly minded individuals and or groups in wanting a unified opposition and lift us up from this failed Duterte Presidency.

1SAMBAYAN seeks a broad coalition and continues its efforts in bringing candidates in the democratic forces in “one big umbrella” with the understanding that in unity we all win. I am confident that we can reach a unity of purpose and the goal of a single unified candidate for president. It is more achievable now more than it was a year ago, after all it is clear that in all our discussions with the above-mentioned presidential aspirants that all have a greater love for our country and our people over and above any ambition or desire for office.

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