MANILA — Labor Day rallies on Wednesday highlighted propositions and promises of change as the election nears, with several candidates for party-list and Senate posts braving the capital’s scorching heat to woo protesting laborers.
Labor lawyer Allan Montaño believes his presence in the gathering would give him a leverage to snag a slot in the Senate despite his poor survey rankings.
“Meron pa namang milagro. ’Pag gumalaw lang ang mga tao na ito, communicating with their respective families, friends, and neighbors, ako, naniniwala, may pagkakataon,” Montaño said.
(There is a miracle. If these people would move, communicating with their respective families, friends, and neighbors, I believe I will have a chance.)
Labor leaders Neri Colmenares and Sonny Matula urged people to elect someone like them in the Senate who would push for pay hike and put an end to contractualization – promises that President Rodrigo Duterte also once vowed but deemed to have abandoned.
“Ang krisis ngayon, hindi lang krisis sa tubig, hindi lang brownout sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa kundi krisis sa mataas na presyo at mababang sahod,” Colmenares said.
(The crisis now is not just in water, not just the brownout in different parts of the country but the crisis due to high prices and low salary.)
Matula also urged protesters to vote for candidates from the labor sector.)
Members of party-list candidates Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), and Partido Manggagawa (PM), among others were also present with their flock of supporters bringing drummers, jingles, chants, and speeches at assemblies at Welcome Rotonda, Mendiola, and Liwasang Bonifacio.
“Sa mga tulad naming organisasyon ng iba’t ibang manggagawa, ang paglahok namin sa halalan ay ang pagtitiyak na magkaroon ng boses ang mga manggagawa sa Kongreso, hindi galing sa political dynasty, hindi galing sa mga grupo na nagsasabing representante ng mga marginalized sector na alam naman nating lahat na ito ay hindi totoo,” PM secretary-general Judy Ann Miranda said.
(The participation of our organization from different types of workers in the election is an assurance that laborers will have a voice in the Congress, not from political dynasty and groups claiming that they represent the marginalized sector, but we know that are untrue.)
Members of opposition ticket Otso Diretso Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno and Erin Tañada, meanwhile, stopped by Welcome Rotonda for a brief speech before the protesters march.