Labor rights leader Elmer Labog files candidacy for senator; Anakpawis party-list seeks return to Congress

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2021 03:12 PM | Updated as of Oct 06 2021 07:09 PM

Former Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao joins Kilusang Mayo Uno chair Elmer
Former Anakpawis representative Ariel Casilao joins Kilusang Mayo Uno chair Elmer "Bong" Labog in filing for candidacy as senator at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City last October 6, 2021. Screenshot

MANILA — Labor rights leader Elmer “Bong” Labog filed Wednesday his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator in the May 9, 2022 elections.

He was accompanied by a representative of Anakpawis party-list, which is also seeking a seat at the House of Representatives, at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City, where the Commission on Elections had set up a tent for COC filing as part of anti-COVID measures. 

“Sa pagkakataong ito po, hindi na lamang resource person ang aming paninindigan kundi salamat sa pag-eendorso ng Anakpawis at ng Makabayan upang maging bahagi kami ng ating Kongreso upang isulong ang batayang interes ng masang Pilipino, partikular ang maraming bilang ng magsasaka at malaking bilang ng manggagawa, sa pribado man o sa gobyerno,” Labog said.

(This time, our position is no longer just being a resource person but thanks to the endorsement of Anakpawis and Makabayan, we can be part of Congress to advance the basic interests of the Filipino masses, particularly a large number of farmers and workers, whether in the private sector or in government.)

"Bilang ka-manggagawa, ang sahod na umiiral ay hindi sapat. P537 lang po dito sa Metro Manila. Binabagabag tayo ng maraming mga problema tulad ng tuloy-tuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis na kada-Martes, hindi makaagapay ang ating sahod," he added.

(As a fellow worker, the existing wage is not enough. It is only P537 here in Metro Manila. We are plagued by many problems such as the continuous rise in oil prices, every Tuesday, that our wages cannot keep up.)

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Labog will attempt to have a seat in the upper chamber under the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) bloc, composed of socio-civic party-lists including Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, ACT Teachers and Kabataan.

He was endorsed by Anakpawis party-list to run for senator along with former Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares during the unveiling of Makabayan's party-list nominees for the 2022 elections.

Labog first joined the mass movement during the martial law rule of the late president Ferdinand Marcos.

He obtained a degree in forestry from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. 

He started campaigning for workers' rights while he was still in school and juggling work at a hotel in Manila. Later on, he became a union leader and led various campaigns for labor rights. 

Labog is currently the chairperson of labor rights group Kilusang Mayo Uno and vice chair of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. He also serves as the president of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle in the Philippines.

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Meanwhile, Anakpawis party-list is seeking its comeback in Congress with former Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano as its 1st nominee.

Mariano promised to push for genuine agrarian reform, repeal of the rice tariffication law, and aid for those affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“Kailangan po nating itaguyod, palakasin ang lokal na produksyon natin ng produktong agrikultural sa ating bansa, partikular ang pagkaing butil para po makamit natin ‘yung ating kasapatan at matatag at sustenableng seguridad sa pagkain para sa bawat mamamayang Pilipino.”

(We need to promote and strengthen our local production of agricultural products in our country, particularly food grains so that we can achieve sufficiency, stability, and sustainable food security for every Filipino citizen.)

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