PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — WHAT started out as a cry of defiance against the Arroyo administration has snowballed into a nationwide campaign for genuine reform, members of Magdalo said as they disclosed that a number of jailed officers will run in next year’s elections.
Former Air Force Lt. Francisco Ashley Acedillo, national spokesman for Magdalo, said the support that Samahang Magdalo has gathered nationwide is proof of its increasing membership. The group’s ranks has swelled to about 19,000 nationwide.
“When we defied the present administration we found out that we were not alone. This marks yet another exceptional occasion for our group and the advocacies we pursue. We are now going mainstream,” Acedillo said.
Acedillo said they will field two national candidates and four congressional contenders next year in hopes that they will follow the success of Sen. Antonio Trillanes III who was elected to a national position despite his incarceration.
He said the group is supporting the senatorial bids of Magdalo leader Brig.Gen. Danilo “Danny” Lim and Col. Ariel Querubin.
Acedillo himself is running for a congressional seat in Cebu City, while Lt. Senior Grade James Layug, and Captains Dante Langkit and Gary Alejano will also run in their respective areas.
Layug will be running for the lone congressional district of Taguig City. Langkit will contest the lone congressional seat of Kalinga while Alejano will be running for mayor in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.
Except for Acedillo, all of those who will run are currently in detention.
“Our decision to join mainstream politics is fueled by Magdalo’s principled pursuit of effecting genuine reforms in government. We assure the Filipino people that we will continue to stand for their rights and welfare, and fight for what they truly deserve,” Acedillo said.
He said they are building on the success of Trillanes, whose unfaltering commitment to uphold the principles of the group had earned him the support of the Filipino people.
“Even in detention, Sen. Trillanes continues to serve the people as a senator. In fact, even with his marginalization by the Arroyo administration, he remains to be one of the most active members of the Senate when it comes to legislative activity,” he said.