2022 Philippine Elections

De Guzman-Bello fight for Valenzuela workers, aid Typhoon Odette victims

Jairo Bolledo
De Guzman-Bello fight for Valenzuela workers, aid Typhoon Odette victims

PRO-LABOR. Presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman and running mate Walden Bello during a protest on the celebration of the International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2021.

Walden Bello/ Twitter

The tandem also raises concern over the redesign of the P1,000 bill

MANILA, Philippines – Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) standard-bearer Leody de Guzman and running mate Walden Bello, lobbied for the rights of workers in Valenzuela City. The tandem also helped the victims of Typhoon Odette. 

Arrested Valenzuela workers

On Wednesday, December 15, police arrested workers of Soft Touch Development Corporation in Valenzuela City for staging a strike. In a tweet, senatorial aspirant and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino president Luke Espiritu said workers were subjected to a violent dispersal. 

The workers were detained shortly after the commotion. 

De Guzman called on Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian to facilitate the release of the workers. The presidential aspirant also shared a photo of the workers under detention.

Meanwhile, Bello slammed the arrest as a “brutal attack.” 

“The response of the police to workers on a peaceful strike at Soft Touch Development Corporation in Valenzuela City was anything but soft – a brutal attack with truncheons and water cannons early this morning,” Bello said.

In reply to Bello, Gatchalian said that he would not have condoned such action by the local police.

“Prof, this is an unilateral action on the side of the chief of police. He never consulted me on his actions. I do not condone this at all. I would have done mediation…. We disown this,” the mayor said.

As of December 17, the detained workers were released by the police until further investigation.

Aid for victims of Typhoon Odette

Between December 15 to 17, Typhoon Odette (Rai) destroyed parts of the Visayas and Mindanao. Based on the data of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, at least 14 reportedly died due to the typhoon. 

On December 17, Laban ng Masa (LNM) announced that the De Guzman-Bello tandem would redirect their efforts towards helping Odette victims. 

“Laban ng Masa’s campaign for presidential and vice presidential tandem Ka Leody de Guzman and Walden Bello is redirecting efforts towards the ongoing onslaught of Typhoon Odette in large parts of the country,” the LNM said. 

The party added that they prepared their own relief drive: “We continue to monitor the situation on-ground, especially of our volunteers, as well as prepare our own relief drive efforts for those affected by the typhoon.”

The party, which Bello chairs, also launched a donation drive for the typhoon victims.

P1,000 bill redesign

On December 11, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas unveiled the new design of the P1,000 bill which featured the Philippine eagle and discarded World War 2 Filipino heroes Vicente Lim, Josefa Llanes-Escoda, and Jose Abad Santos. 

The redesign angered the kin of the Filipino heroes as well as other Filipinos. De Guzman immediately raised his concern over the new design and noted that the Philippine eagle was also being used by a political aspirant. 

Nakakapagduda ang pagpapalit ng logo ng P1,000 bill dahil ginagamit itong simbolo ng isang kandidato. Parang ang balak ay malawakang brainwashing kasabay ng pagmumudmod ng isang libo sa bawat botante,” de Guzman said. 

(The redesign of the P1,000 bill is really questionable because it is being used as a symbol of a candidate. It seems that it’s a wide scale brainwashing, along with giving P1,000 to every voter.) 

Bello, meanwhile, said it was part of President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s “war against the country’s real heroes.” 

“Will this regime’s war against the country’s real heroes never end?  One of its first acts was the burial of a national villain in the Libingan. As it nears its end, it seeks to erase the memory of three martyrs in the war against Japan by effacing them on our 1K notes,” the vice presidential aspirant noted. – Rappler.com

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.