BAGUIO CITY — The Baguio City chapter of 1Sambayan was officially launched on June 10, Thursday at Ili-Likha.
Started only two weeks ago by a handful of Baguio residents, the chapter has since spread with about 700 members among the spectrum of sectors of the city from the youth, religious groups, OFW, indigenous peoples, academe, LGBTQI, civic society, artists and the media.
The Baguio chapter’s interim council said that they will support whoever the national convenors pick as the presidential bet on June 12.
“The 1Sambayan is a united front for the 2022 elections by pushing for common candidates for president, vice president and senate candidates who will push for democratic values and better governance in the country,” said former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr, who was instrumental in starting the 1Sambayan Baguio chapter.
Baguilat, as Northern Luzon coordinator, also said that 1Sambayan plans to come out with a common agenda which the united slate would then adopt as their election platform.
One of the national convenors, former Education Sec. Bro. Armin Luistro, in his welcoming address to the Baguio chapter, compared the group’s vision to that of the Panagbenga or the blossoming of the flowers.
“Well, flowers bloom when you give them care, nurturance, sunlight and democratic space. I truly hope that as when you begin your chapter of 1Sambayan, you begin to widen your democratic spaces, begin to discuss issues freely and without fear, learn how to propose changes in our governance system and create new ways of doing things,” he said.
Luistro, together with former Justice Antonio Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Caprio-Morales, former DFA Sec. Alberto del Rosario, Fr. Albert Alejo and lawyer Howie Calleja are the national convenors who will announce the united opposition slate on June 12.
“Hindi lamang isa ang paraan ng pagpapalakad ng ating bayan. Kailangang baguhin ang kalakaran sa ating bayan. Marami tayong magagawa kung tayo’y magkaka-isa,” Luistro added.
On June 12, we begin our journey in choosing an opposition presidential candidate we will all support ‘in unity’ in the next elections.
Unity is the operative word in this exercise, because we intend to consolidate our voices behind one contender,” said retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, one of the convenors of 1Sambayan.
The event on Saturday is titled, “Isang Boto, 1Sambayan: Piliin ang Ating Pambato,” and will be streamed live via Zoom and on the 1Sambayan official FB page from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
“We have agreed to start with the presidential position first, because it is one of the most important decisions we will ever make if we want to change the status quo. Choose your champion first, then rally everyone behind that single advocate,” Antonio Carpio said of the process to be followed on Saturday.
Carpio said that the mechanics for the selection of the vice president and the senators will be discussed soon after the president is chosen.
“Narito kami bilang patunay na may mga mamamayan sa Creative City of Baguio na umaasang hindi tayo maiiwan sa pag-usad ng kasaysayan ng bayan,” said Luchi Maranan, one of 1Sambayan Baguio’s founders.
“Kaya’t nararapat lang na tayong mga taga-Baguio, at buong Kordilyera ay naghahanda na para sa susunod na pambansang halalan. Mahalaga ang gagampanan ng ating mga mamamayan ng Baguio sa halalang ito,” she added.
Youth leader Louise Montenegro said that students have been adversely affected not only by the COVID situation but by the mishandling of the pandemic by the Duterte administration.
She said that the modules used by the students are faulty and the students are hardly learning anything from the system of online education.
Montenegro also said that instead of helping the students, many of the schools have even raised their tuition fees.
Artist Karlo Montenegro said that art and ranting are not enough for artists in this political crisis. He said that they should also become active in the electoral process.