'Pamilya kami ng manggagawa': Leody De Guzman denies living a 'comfortable life'

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2022 11:33 AM | Updated as of Jan 23 2022 04:23 PM

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MANILA — Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman addressed Saturday rumors that he is living a comfortable life, seemingly inconsistent with his image as someone representing the downtrodden. 

In a Facebook live stream, the labor leader said that his family are all from the labor force, and they all worked hard for what they have right now. 

“Ang pamilya ko, lahat ‘yan manggagawa. ‘Yung misis ko, nagtatrabaho sa bangko, opisyal siya ng bangko. ‘Yung aking mga anak, ‘yung panganay, nasa call center siya. ‘Yung bunso ko, nasa barko. Siya’y nasa cruise ship. At ‘yung isa naman, trabaho rin sa isang parang call center din,” De Guzman said.

(The members of my family are all workers. My wife works in a bank, she is a bank officer. My eldest child is in a call center. My youngest works on a cruise ship. And the other one also works in a call center.)

“Kasabay nun, ‘yung misis ko may kaunting negosyo na tinutulungan ko. Kung ‘yung tinutukoy mo ‘yung picture namin nung Pasko, talagang tradisyon namin ‘yun eh na kapag Pasko, talaga pinaghahandaan namin sa abot ng aming makakaya. ‘Yung best na pwede naming ihanda, ginagawa namin,” he added.

(At the same time, my wife has a small business and I help her with that. If you are referring to our picture last Christmas, it is really our tradition to prepare as much as as we can.)

De Guzman drew flak for the photo showing him with his family and a purebred dog in an apparently comfortable house.

He clarified that his pet corgi is just a gift, and denied allegations that he is selling the fight of workers.

Partido Lakas ng Masa vice-presidential aspirant Walden Bello had defended his running mate, saying workers deserve to have a decent life. 

"A Christmas photo in a comfortable setting subjects Leody De Guzman's family to online abuse by those who think they should be living in a hovel. What an ugly display of middle-class prejudice. Working people deserve respect," he had said in a series of tweets.

Sociologist Herbert Docena, a vocal supporter of De Guzman, explained that people should realize that an activist's life is hard, and support from their families is vital so they can pursue their advocacies.