Labor leader Leody de Guzman files bid for presidency

Gaea Katreena Cabico, Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:24 p.m.) — Socialist labor leader Leody de Guzman filed his certificate of candidacy for the 2022 elections on Wednesday.

De Guzman, who chairs Bukluran ng Masang Pilipino, is the standard bearer of Partido Lakas ng Masa for next year’s polls.

In his speech after filing his candidacy, De Guzman took aim at contractualization, low wages and the "elitist" way the government has been run which he said has never benefited workers.

"Hindi na pwedeng magpatuloy ang ganitong kalagayan. Kailangang baguhin ang mga batas at patakaran na nagliligalisa sa pagkakamal ng yaman ng iilan at pagpapahirap sa mga manggagawa at masa ng sambayanan," he said.

(This situation should not continue. Laws and policies legalizing the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few and the suffering of workers and the masses must be changed.)

Asked about how he plans to compete in the presidential race already dominated by political heavyweights, De Guzman said he believes that people are fed up with better-known candidates who do not follow through with their campaign promises.

"Papasayahin lang ang mga botante sa panahon ng kampanya, pero pagkatapos ng eleksyon ay hindi na pinapansin ang mga taong bumoto sa kanila," he said.

(They will only make voters happy during the campaign, but after the elections, they snub the people who voted for them.)

System change

Should he win, the labor activist said he will push for a “system change.”

“We need a system change. Not just to replace President Rodrigo Duterte. Not just to change the face of the president in Malacañang, but to change the whole system of our government,” de Guzman said on September 28.

But it is going to be a difficult battle for the former garments worker who does not have funds and machineries.

In 2019, De Guzman ran for senator under the Labor Win alliance, a five-man ticket focused on campaigning for labor rights such as ending contractualization and raising minimum wages.

He, however, lost and placed 38th in a race dominated by allies of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Commission on Elections is accepting candidates for the May 2022 elections until October 8.

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