Ordinary folk use Comelec podium to bare grievances vs 'system'

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2021 06:51 PM

Nelson Ancajas, who filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator, turned emotional when he narrated how the slow rollout of government aid led to the death of his infant child in 2008. Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News
Nelson Ancajas, who filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator, turned emotional when he narrated how the slow rollout of government aid led to the death of his infant child in 2008. Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— A labor leader, a street food seller, and a "pollution control officer" were just some of the "ordinary" individuals who filed for their candidacies Wednesday to join the Halalan 2022 race, all of them using the Commission on Elections' (Comelec) podium to bare grievances against the "system" that governs the country.

Nelson Ancajas, who filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator, turned emotional when he narrated how the slow rollout of government aid led to the death of his infant child in 2008.

"Tayong mga Pilipino hindi tayo tamad, masipag tayo! 'Yung sistema lang ang may problema... Kaya ako nandito para pakinggan 'yung boses ng ordinaryong Pilipino," said Ancajas, who listed "street food vendor" as his occupation. 

(Filipinos are not lazy, we're hard working. It's the system that is the problem. I am here because I want to voice of the ordinary people be heard.)

"Mamamatay na 'yung tao bago makarating 'yung tulong sa'kin," he added.

(The child died even before the aid arrived because of government bureaucracy.)

In the middle of his speech, he brought out a tarpaulin with images of his supposed child. He used his 8-minute speech to appeal for help.

Pollution control officer Melissa Fortes, 59, meanwhile, candidly admitted she was running for the Senate because she could no longer survive with her low wage. 

"Kaya ako tumakbo dahil hirap na hirap na ako. Kahit anong kayod ko, ang tataas pa rin ng presyo mga bilihin," she said. 

(I am running because I can no longer take the hardship. No matter how hard I work, it's still difficult to make ends meet.)

Meanwhile, former National Council on Disability Affairs executive director Carmen Zubiaga also filed her COC for senator. She said she would craft "inclusive" laws to address the needs of persons with disability.

"Ang mga batas kailangan natin gawing inclusive at tumutugon sa mga pamilya at taong may kapansanan... Ang mga may kapansanan ay isang sektor na hindi naiintindihan ng publiko," said Zubiaga, who is running as an independent because "poverty and disability are not issues of a single party."

(We need to make the laws inclusive and responsive to the needs of PWDs and their families.)

Prominent labor leader Leody de Guzman also filed his candidacy for president. 

According to De Guzman, the continuing exploitation of the Filipino laborers and the entire working class propelled him to seek the highest office in the land. 

"Manggagawa ang lumilikha ng kaunlaran, kami ang mayorya ng lipunan at tapat na nagbabayad ng buwis. Pero sa halip na dakilain ay binubusabos," De Guzman said. 

(It is our labor that leads to progress. We are the majority who pay taxes properly. But instead of honoring us, they are degrading us." 

The labor leader said despite his 2019 loss in the Senate race, he is counting on the "silent majority" of people also "fed up" by the system ran by elites. 

 Leody De Guzman files his Certificate of Candidacy for president at the Harbour Tent at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 06, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Leody De Guzman files his Certificate of Candidacy for president at the Harbour Tent at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 06, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

"Maraming tao ang nauumay na sa pagboto sa mga sikat at bilyonaryong kandidato pero wala namang nagagawa matapos ang eleksyon," De Guzman said. 

(Many people are fed up with candidates who are billionaires and popular but have nothing to show for it after the elections.)

The COC filing, held by at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City, will end on Oct. 8, Friday. More aspiring candidates are expected to flock the filing venue on its final 2 days.