Labor leaders raring to debate with fellow Senate candidates
MANILA, Philippines — “Magsama na lang sila.”
This was the challenge of Labor Win alliance senatorial candidate Leody de Guzman to rivals from the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) and Otso Diretso camps, claiming that their platforms are no different from each other.
“Gusto rin namin sumali sa debate. Hindi para makipagbatuhan ng putik kun’di para ipakita sa lahat na hindi naman talaga sila magkakaribal dahil pare-pareho lang naman ang kanilang plataporma,” de Guzman, who is running under the Partido Lakas ng Masa, asserted in a statement on Sunday.
(We want to join the debates. Not to criticize but to show that they are not actually rivals since they have the same platforms.)
“Kaya ang hamon namin, magsama na lang sila, dahil kaming mula sa progresibong sektor ang may naiibang plataporma’t prinsipyong dinadala,” he dared. “Kesyo Hugpong pa yan o PDP-Laban, Liberal o Nacionalista at kahit isama mo pa ang KBL, iisa ang kanilang bisyon para sa bansa.”
(Hence, our challenge is that they join forces, because we from the progressive sector have unique platforms and principles. They may be from different parties, they just have one vision for the country.
Fellow Labor Win candidates and labor leaders Ernie Arellano and Sonny Matula added that their platform differs from the two groups because it was forged from years experiencing actual societal struggles.
“Progressives are willing to face anyone and everyone to prove the bankruptcy of the present economic and political policies that has made the lives of the poor sink to unspeakable misery and take concrete steps in addressing their predicaments,” Arellano explained.
“We can be as scholarly with the best of them. But more importantly, our experience in promoting human and trade union rights advocacies gives us confidence that hopefully the voters would realize,” Matula added.
Otso Diretso stalwarts previously challenged HNP bets to a debate on Monday noon at Plaza Miranda.
Organizers of the opposition slate said that certain candidates would still be attending, even if HNP’s attendance is unlikely due to previously scheduled sorties in Bulacan.
On possible debate topics, labor lawyer Allan Montano said any topic will do.
“Kahit ano gusto nilang pag-usapan, mula sa issue ng South China Sea, Metro Manila traffic, rice tariffication, coco levy, hanggang sa Bangsamoro Basic Law hanggang sa environmental and ecological issues, handa kami,” Montano said./gsg
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