Leody de Guzman, Walden Bello bare #Halalan2022 platform: ‘Manggagawa naman’


Posted at Oct 23 2021 04:32 PM | Updated as of Oct 26 2021 06:44 PM



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MANILA—The Laban ng Masa party fielding the tandem of labor advocate Leody de Guzman, and activist and scholar Walden Bello on Saturday laid down their platform for the 2022 elections anchored on real reforms in the areas of economic, political and social development.

“Leody and I offer a tough program of real reform that cannot succeed unless most of our people rally behind it to defy the rich and the powerful that will lose because of it,” Bello said.

Ending contratualization, imposing a wealth tax on the country’s rich families, setting a P750 national minimum wage, increasing the wages of healthcare and frontline workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, and providing free healthcare for all are among the party’s electoral platform.

“Ka Leody has offered very well thought of proposals to address the multi-dimensional health crisis, economic crisis, political crisis that our country is undergoing,” Bello said.

Under their economic platform, they plan to pursue the recovery and return to the public domain of the remaining stolen wealth of the Marcoses amounting to P126 billion. 

“Ang platapormang bitbit namin ni Walden ay ang tanging plataporma ngayong eleksyon na handang komprontahin ang yaman, interes, at kapangyarihan ng mga bilyonaryo, na nagawa pang lumago sa panahon ng pandemya’t resesyon habang milyun-milyong Pilipino ay lugmok sa kahirapan,” De Guzman said.

(Our platform is the only platform this election that is ready to confront the wealth, the interest and the power of the billionaires whose wealth eve flourished during the pandemic and recession while millions of Filipino are buried in poverty.)

They also propose to punish mass murderers and plunderers, and hold accountable past and present public officials for their crimes against public good, which includes prosecuting President Rodrigo Duterte through the local judicial system and the International Criminal Court for summary killings during his term; exhuming Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s body from the Libingan ng mga Bayani; repeal the 2020 Anti Terrorism Act; and unconditionally resume peace talks with CPP-NDF-NPA.

Their platform also express support for other proposals long advanced by the urban poor, women, LGBTQ groups and other groups such as providing decent housing for slum-dwellers, enacting a divorce law, and promoting “marriage equality” or same-sex marriage.

Bello on Wednesday announced his plan to run as De Guzman’s vice president, substituting for Raquel Castillo, who filed her certificate of candidacy for vice president under PLM.

“For the last few days so many people have texted us, called us, Facebooked us, tweeted us all saying the same thing: that the Leody-Walden tandem is the only force that is brave enough, determined enough, and effective enough to stop the Marcos-Duterte axis of evil,” Bello said.

Bello is the former House representative of Akbayan partylist but he resigned in 2015 over political differences with the Aquino administration. He is currently an adjunct professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Binghamton, according to Laban ng Masa.

Bello said their platform offers a program for a socialist and democratic future.

For De Guzman, changing the face of the next president in Malacañang is not enough. He said this has been done before and nothing has changed.

“Kinakailangan ay hindi business as usual. Kinakailangan ang pagbabago sa politika, sa ekonomiya, sa kultura ng ating bayan (This cannot be business as usual. We need to reform the political system, the economy, and the culture of our country),” he said.

Their proposals may need legislative imprimatur, but if they win they believe they can obtain this by simply explaining properly their platform and through the help of the public.

“ ’Pag dumating ang pagkakataon na kami ang nanalo ibig sabihin mulat ang masa at tinatanggap nila ’yung plataporma na inilalako nami ni Walden at kung ’yun ang mangyayari at mapapaliwag ng todo sa taong nasa Kongreso tingin ko mauubusan sila ng mukhang ihaharap sa kanilang constituents at maoobliga silang sundin o suportahan yung panukala para sa kagalingan ng mamayang Pilipino,” said De Guzman.

(Should we win, that means the people accept the platform that Walden and I are pushing for and when that happens when we explain it properly to those in Congress, I think they will lose face with their constituents if they don’t support the proposals for the betterment of the Filipino people.)

Bello said the only promise they can make to the public is to “fight for you.” 

“Ang approach namin we will do this together and if your’e not with us hindi tayo magwawagi. Maski malaki ang opsosisyon sa Kongreso pag isinabak mo mass movement dyan maaari ka talgang mag-create ng mga divisions and you can get good legislation through,” he said.

(Our approach is we will do this together and if you are not with us, we will not succeed. Even if there is a big opposition in Congress, but when you involve mass movement, you can get good legislation through.)

The duo hopes that voters don’t fall for false promises.

“They promised you everything but once they took power they leave you with nothing, they grab everything. Kaya we cannot allow that anymore. Tama na itong mga lawyers, itong mga elite, itong upper-middle class kasi lolokohin lang tayo ng mga ’yan. Manggagawa naman,” Bello said.

He added: “the best thing we can do to show the way to the future is to elect Ka Leody as president.”