Labor leader stresses need for ‘three-way debate’ between HnP, Otso Diretso and LABOR WIN


Leody de Guzman, senatorial bet of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) and chair of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino clarified today his position calling for a “three-way fight between the dominant opposition slates and the LABOR WIN alliance”.

“Kailangan ng public debate upang tulungan ang mga botante sa kanilang pagpili ng kinatawan sa loob ng senado. Subalit hindi magaganap ang totoong malusog na tagisan ng mga ideya kung ang mga magdedebate lamang ay ang kampo ng Hugpong at Otso Diretso. Dahil para sa LABOR WIN, walang substansyal na pagkakaiba ang balangkas at pundasyon ng kanilang mga plataporma. Ito’y sa kabila ng aming pagkakaisa sa ilang usapin na isinusulong nila Chel (Diokno), Erin (Tanada), at Samira (Gutoc-Tomawis) gaya ng kaparatang pantao at kalayaang sibil,” de Guzman explained.

LABOR WIN, an electoral alliance for the candidacies of Ernesto Arellano, Neri Colmenares, Leody de Guzman, Sonny Matula, and Allan Montano. It unites the various groups of the broad trade union movement in a single platform that is founded on a “labor first” development framework.

De Guzman furthered, “Both HnP and LP have the same development paradigm. Sa kanila, paunlarin ang negosyo at huwag makialam ang gobyerno sa pag-andar ng merkado hanggang sa pumatak sa mamamayan ang ganansya. It is the same ‘trickle-down economics’ and neoliberal economic doctrine that aggravated the poverty and misery of the workers and the poor. On the other hand, LABOR WIN is pursuing a different development model that requires the redistribution of social wealth for the common good, particularly to those who labored to create it,” he said.

“We want genuine development and social change not just economic growth. It is measured not by statistics of wealth generation such as gross domestic product or gross national product but by data on the living standards of the Filipino people,” the lone senatorial candidate of PLM expounded.

Among the human development indicators he mentioned included but was not limited to, household income, employment and hours of work, adult and infant mortality, nutrition and malnutrition, calorie intake and hunger, the ratio of doctors and hospitals as to population, number of homeless families and units for mass housing, number of college graduates and school dropouts, etc.

“Labor first” and “people before profit”

He elaborates that the “labor first” and “people before profit” paradigm is the basis for the LABOR WIN platform of regular jobs, safe working conditions, living wages, trade union and human rights, industrialization and modernization of agriculture, protection to migrant workers, unemployment insurance, and opposition to the neoliberal and pro-trapo Charter Change.

“By placing primacy to labor and the people, we do not mean that private businesses should not flourish. Let private capital accumulate and compete in the market, with the government protecting and promoting the local economy, but not at our expense by keeping wages low and the workers meek though anti-labor schemes such as contractualization. For many years, we have succumbed to the cheap labor policy in order to entice foreign investors,” he clarified.

The labor leader likened the “labor first”, “people before profit” policies to the Filipino First policy of former president Carlos P. Garcia.

De Guzman says, “LABOR WIN candidates maybe not as polished as the leading contenders of the dominant parties but their track record of service to the toiling masses gives them the will and the skill to become the genuine representatives of the majority of Filipinos in the senate”.

Angara – Tanada tiff

Meanwhile, in response to a Twitter conversation between senatorial bets Erin Tanada and Sonny Angara, where the latter arrogantly replied “not at my expense” to the former’s challenge, De Guzman said, “Sonny Angara is hiding the fact that he was the principal defender of the TRAIN Law at the Senate.

“Tila naduduwag dahil may itinatago. He does not want the people to know that he is the culprit behind runaway inflation, which hit the poor in the second quarter of 2018 and will continue to aggravate their woes in the coming years with the yearly round of increase in oil excise taxes. Angara fears a remake of what happened to Senator Ralph Recto after the passage of the regressive and unpopular value added taxes.

“Malamang na hindi magaganap ang debateng ninanais ni Chel sa Plaza Miranda dahil umiiwas sa mga kontrobersya ang kandidato ng HnP na may humaharap sa mga kaso at alegasyon ng pandarambong gaya nila Enrile, Jinggoy, Revilla at Imee Marcos”.