Walden Bello is Leody de Guzman’s new running mate for 2022 elections

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Walden Bello is Leody de Guzmanâs new running mate for 2022 elections
Philippine congressman and senatorial candidate Walden Bello holds a document seeking to stop the planned boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, at the Commission of Elections (COC) office in Manila on February 22, 2016. The Philippines' election commission said on February 22 it would consider a complaint accusing boxing champion and Philippine senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao of violating election regulations by promoting his upcoming fight in the thick of the campaign.
AFP / Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — Former lawmaker Walden Bello has joined the 2022 vice-presidential race and is running in tandem with labor leader and presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman.

Laban ng Masa, which Bello chairs, announced Wednesday that he is substituting for erstwhile Partido Lakas ng Masa vice-presidential candidate Raquel Castillo.

"I have no other choice but to enter this fight against the greatest peril the country faces today, the Marcos-Duterte axis of evil," Bello said in a statement.

LNM said Bello is teaming up with De Guzman "to forward a comprehensive agenda not just for regime change but also systemic change," echoing the presidential aspirant’s pitch.

LNM was originally pushing for Bello to run for president and even launched a signature campaign for this purpose.

Opposition figure

Even though Bello is a recognized figure in the opposition, he and LNM were supposedly not approached by self-professed opposition coalition 1Sambayan, which aims to unite all anti-administration forces so it can have a fighting chance against President Rodrigo Duterte's anointed bets.

Administration candidates have the advantage of the president's endorsement as well access to government events and activities as well as to state media.

Bello said that they sought meetings with de facto opposition leader Vice President Leni Robredo for three months but these attempts at talks never materialized.

Still, LNM said in a statement after Robredo announced her candidacy for president that it welcomed her joining the presidential race and hoped that she can work with their presidential candidate, De Guzman.

Bello, however, criticized Robredo when she announced her 11-person senatorial slate, pointing out issues hounding some her guest candidates, who are mostly moderates who have not exactly aligned themselves with the opposition.

Bello unsuccessfully ran for senator in 2016, where he placed 36th with just 1,091,194 votes.

He was a two-term representative of Akbayan who resigned from the House of Representatives in 2015 in protest of the administration of then President Noynoy Aquino, which was allied with his party-list.

He is currently the international adjunct professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton and co-chairperson of the Bangkok-based research and advocacy institute Focus on the Global South.

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