Labor leader Matula completes Robredo Senate slate

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star
Labor leader Matula completes Robredo Senate slate
File photo of Federation of Free Workers president Sonny Matula
Sonny Matula / Release

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo yesterday announced the selection of labor leader Sonny Matula as the final candidate who will complete her Senate slate in next year’s elections.

Matula, an independent candidate, is president of the Federation of Free Workers and chairman of Nagkaisa Labor Coalition. He is also part of the alliance of labor leaders supporting Robredo and her running mate, Sen. Francis Pangilinan.

In choosing Matula, Robredo cited his clear track record in fighting for the rights of workers in the country.

“He faced large corporations with his resolve and proficiency in law as his only weapons. He fought to promote the rights of workers – an advocacy that we have been fighting for even before I entered politics. As a labor advocate, I am sure that he is ready to fight for what is right, good and just until the very end,” she said in Filipino.

Matula said his selection is a sign that Robredo is serious in bringing the fight of the workers in the upcoming elections. “It is only fitting that the people’s campaign will have a representative in the Senate who came from the people and the marginalized sector – the workers.”

“We will not fail you. We will work together to defeat corruption and promote labor and human rights until our victory,” he said in Filipino.

Matula will join other candidates previously announced by Robredo, including reelectionist Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, former Ifugao representative Teddy Baguilat, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno and lawyer Alex Lacson.

Her slate will also field five guest candidates: former vice president Jejomar Binay, former senator and Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero and reelectionist Senators Richard Gordon, Juan Miguel Zubiri and Joel Villanueva.

Matula’s selection eases out former Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares, who is running under the progressive bloc Makabayan.

Both Matula and Colmenares have been endorsed by opposition coalition 1Sambayan, which also endorsed Robredo’s presidential bid.

In Bacolod City, organizers of the Laban Leni Negros Occidental (LLNO) are expecting 300 vehicles to join today’s Para Kay Leni caravan.

LLNO spokesperson Pinky Mirano Ocampo is appealing for patience and support, especially from commuters who will be affected by the volume of attendees for the Para Kay Leni caravan in the city.

“We are expecting more as we have been notified by supporters from the north and south of the province that they will join us. We are aware that we might be creating traffic jams along our route so we are appealing to commuters to avoid the route from 10 a.m. to noon,” she said.

Meanwhile, former Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas reminded the electorate that they are the “boss” and the politicians are just job applicants in the 2022 polls.

In a short video posted on TikTok, Villegas said the electorate should not allow politicians to dictate on them what they want for the Philippines as he emphasized that they are nothing but public servants seeking elective positions.

Villegas also emphasized that the voters who will elect candidates are also capable of ousting them should they fail to perform their duties. – Robertzon Ramirez, Gilbert Bayoran

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