Who among the candidates are the most pro-labor?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

If the Filipino voters will only vote according to their class affiliation, then the working class will have a much better chance than those who represent the business sector and the corporate world. More than seventy percent of our voting population are either employed in the private and public sectors or self-employed in small, medium and micro enterprises. They are either wage-earners in the factories, in the farms, small shops and work sites, or salaried personnel who man the offices, the business processing organizations and hotels, restaurants and other service firms. They are also those who are paid by volumes of results, ''pakyaw'' or ''takay'' and those who are homeworkers and household service workers, maids, laundry women and drivers, gardeners and messengers. If all of them vote as one, then we can have a true Labor Party, not unlike those of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Among the presidentiables, the most pro-labor perhaps is vice President Binay. But since he is too ''tainted'' already, (thanks to the administration demolition team), then perhaps, the one who really represents the working class is Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.  Secretary Mar Roxas is the most prominent candidate for the capitalists. He represents the Makati Business Club, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Rotarians, the Jaycees and the Inner wheelers. Roxas represents the big landed estates in Negros and Iloilo. He is the man of the taipans, the tycoons and the sugar barons, the fishing magnates, the shipping moguls and the miners, the hacienderos and the ilustrados. One thing is sure, Mar Roxas does not represent the working class.

Grace Poe represents the academe, the church, the middle class. She is the candidate of the homeowners' associations, the women's clubs and the managerial and supervisory personnel. She speaks for the taxpayers and the consumers. She claims to stand for the pedestrians and the daily commuters. But she is not a legitimate representative of this class. Grace Poe also belongs to the elite. She is not filthy rich but she can never qualify to be called poor. She is a former US citizen, and she once renounced Philippine citizenship to acquire US citizenship. Her looks, her demeanor, her breeding is not of the lower class. She is the reincarnation of Maria Clara, nurtured by Capitan Tiago who was not her real father. Grace Poe does not represent Sisa, Crispin or Basilio.Her paternity was put under a cloud of doubt, and so is her citizenship.

Vice President Binay claims to come from the poor. But that was before, Today, his assets are way above those of the real poor. He is even charged of ''using'' the poor to advance his selfish interests. Jojo Binay is more of a new Crisostomo Ibarra or a Simoun rather than an Elias. Binay represents, according to him, the Boys Scouts, but many scouters are already in doubt whether he lives up to the Scout law of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, brave, clean, and reverent. Many are asking what did he do to the Boys Scout building in Makati in relation to the alleged deal with Jaime Ongpin. I do not think that Jojo Binay can represent the working class. He was yesterday's radical who is today's reactionary. He tries his best to appear proletarian. But his true status may not be seen from his looks.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago represents the intelligentsia, the ivory tower philosophers, like Pilosofo Tasyo, the ilustrados who study abroad but have no time to walk around the hinterlands of her own country. She lives in a Utopia, or an ideal Shangri-La that is quite removed from the pains of the real world. These people cannot represent the working class although their parents used to be proletariat. They have been transformed by education and other mechanisms of social mobility into some sort of a Dona Victorina, albeit in a more positive sense. Senator Miriam is like a female Rizal who loves to write and to debate but does not dirty her hands in the mud and clay of daily toils, nor have herself wounded and scarred in the rough and tumble of life's daily struggles for survival.

The most pro-labor among the presidential candidates is ambassador Roy V Seneres. He is the man of the masses. He understands the pains of the working class. He hates exploitation and oppression. He was the savior of Sarah Balabagan. He punched an Arab employer in the face for maltreating a Filipino maid. He had the guts to disagree with the late Secretary Blas F Ople on matters of principles. But since Roy cannot win the election, the real man for the masses who is a more viable candidate is no one else but Digong Duterte. He is the real Elias, the filibuster, the fighter against injustice. Labor will be in the better hands of the true proletarian. Not Poe or Roxas, neither Binay nor Defensor Santiago, but Rodrigo Duterte, the most pro-labor of them all.

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