In March 2021, a broad array of political opposition figures in the Philippines banded to form a coalition called 1Sambayan.
Alternatively referred to as the Coalition of Democratic Forces Advocating Good Governance in the Philippines, the group seeks to field a united slate of national candidates in the May 2022 election in the country.
On June 18, a Canada chapter of 1Sambayan will launch nationwide.
Philippine Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo will deliver a message online during the event.
Also speaking online at the June 18 launch are retired Philippine Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, U.S.-based oppositionist Loida Nicolas-Lewis, former Philippine partylist congressman and human rights lawyer Neri Colmenares, Migrante International chairperson Joanna Concepcion, and Roland Simbulan, a professor at the University of the Philippines.
A news release for the event states: “1Sambayan is a broad coalition of democratic forces representing the broad spectrum of political persuasions of Filipinos at home and abroad with the main goal of coming together in a strong unified opposition to usher in a competent, trustworthy administration in the May 2022 national elections.”
The release continues: “1Sambayan believes that it can do this by fielding a unified slate of national candidates for President, Vice-President and 12 Senators.”
Vancouver-based Erie Maestro is the coordinator of the Canada chapter of 1Sambayan.
“As an overseas chapter of 1Sambayan, the objectives and the goal remain the same,” Maestro explained to Canadian Filipino Net.
Maestro also said that 1Sambayan aims to “bring back good governance, respect for human rights, integrity and honesty in government”.
“The chapter aims to rally the community of Filipino nationals, dual citizens, international students, migrant workers, caregivers behind 1Sambayan’s unified slate,” she added.
“Our ties to the Philippines are strong despite the thousands of miles that separate us from our homeland,” Maestro said about why Canadian Filipinos have a stake in the 2022 national election.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends next year, but he has been urged by his party mates to run for vice-president.
Duterte’s party also wants the controversial Philippine leader to select the administration’s candidate for president.
“Our families and communities are suffering the brunt of the Duterte government that puts profits before the welfare of the people, that sells the national sovereignty and national patrimony of the Philippines to a foreign power, that has failed miserably to respond to the health crisis of the pandemic, because the killings of human rights defenders, critics of the government under the Anti-Terror Law,” Maestro said.
Maestro also said that the Canada chapter will be present in major cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Toronto.
What: Online Launch of 1Sambayan Chapter in Canada
When: Friday, June 18, 2021
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. in Toronto (EDT)
4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Vancouver (PDT)
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Alberta (MDT)
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Manitoba (CDT)
In the Philippines, it will be Saturday, June 19, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. (PHST)
Where: By Zoom – details to follow; event to be live-streamed on Malaya Canada Facebook page and 1Sambayan Facebook Group