MANILA, Philippines – Labor candidates said on Monday, April 15, that they would be game to sing and dance in the campaign, only if administration bets take the challenge to join them in a debate.
“Puwede natin sila pagbigyan ‘dun sa pagkanta at pagsayaw, iparating natin sa kanila, pero pagbigyan din ang hamon namin na harapin nila ang issues at ilatag nila sa taong bayan ‘yung individual nilang katayuan sa bawat mahahalagang isyu,” said labor lawyer Allan Montaño of the 5-man senatorial slate Labor Win.
(We can give in to them and sing and dance, let’s tell them that, but they should also take up our challenge that they should face the issues and tell the people their stance on these important issues.)
Administration bets have been iffy to media-organized debates. Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) candidates like Bong Go, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and even reelectionist senators Sonny Angara, Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar and Nancy Binay have not attended any of the media-organized debates thus far.
HnP and PDP-Laban sorties have been criticized to be mainly song and dance numbers, with monologues here and there that resemble a stand-up comedy piece. (READ: [EDITORIAL] #AnimatED: Candidates avoid debates to avoid scrutiny)
Labor Win and Makabayan candidate Neri Colmenares said he cannot believe how administration bets can make it to the top tier of pre-election surveys without having to show their platforms or even achievement.
“Ako po ay kakanta at sasayaw kung ang Senado ay Karaoke bar, pero ang Senado is a deliberative body kung saan ang members ng Kongreso ay nagdedebate para sa isang batas, kaya ang hamon talaga, pumunta kayo sa debate, kasi ‘yun ang function ng Senado,” Colmenares said.
(I will sing and dance if the Senate is a Karaoke bar, but the Senate is a deliberative body where members debate for a law, that’s why the challenge is for them to join debates, because that’s the function of the Senate.)
Labor Win’s Ka Leody De Guzman said he wouldn’t expect administration allies to join debates, as doing so would supposedly expose their anti-people interests and agendas
“‘Yung pag-sayaw at pag-kanta ang ginagawa ng mga kandidatong walang maipangako sa mga mangagagwa, hinahamon namin sila na sino ang tiitindig na ipantay ang sahod ng mga manggagawa sa probinsya sa suweldo ng mangagagawa sa metro manila, hindi titindig yan, kasi tiyak na (taliwas ito sa) mga kapitalistang sumusuporta sa kanya,” said De Guzman.
(Dancing and singing are the resorts of a candidate who cannot promise anything to a laborer. We challenge them who can push for the equality of provincial wage rates and metro manila wage rates, they will never stand up for that because that is against the interests of the capitalists who support them.)
De Guzman added: “Sa kontraktuwalisasyon, hindi sila titindig sa pagbabawal ng kontraktuwalisasyon, kaya ang gagawin lang nila ‘yung kumanta, magbigay ng shirt, mamigay ng pera, dun nila pabobotohin ang mga tao, hindi sa tindig nlia sa isyu, ayaw nilang ilabas ang tindig nila sa isyu dahil ang tindig nila sa isyu ay anti-mahirap, anti-mamamayan, anti-mangagagawa.”
(On the issue of contractualization, they will not push for the abolishment of contractualization, so all they will do is sing, to give away free t-shirts, to give away money. Those are the only things they will use to convince voters, not their stance on issues, they will not tell you what their stances are because their stances are anti-poor, anti-people and anti-laborer.)
Opposition slate Otso Diretso has petitioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to organize a debate that administration candidates cannot refuse, but the request was turned down by the poll body. – Rappler.com
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