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Makabayan now endorses for senate labor leaders De Guzman, Matula

MANILA, Philippines – The progressive group Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) is endorsing two more senatorial candidates: labor leaders Leody de Guzman and Sonny Matula

The Makabayan Coalition endorsed De Guzman and Matula in a ceremony held at the Quezon City Sports Club on Thursday, March 14.

This means De Guzman and Matula now join the 9 other senatorial candidates – most of whom are either part of the Otso Diretso ticket or are reelectionists – whom Makabayan previously endorsed.

De Guzman earlier said he was slightly disappointed when Makabayan initially snubbed him, but he and Matula said they respected the group’s decision not to endorse them at the time. 

In a statement, Makabayan said they are adding De Guzman and Matula in the list of senatorial bets they are supporting in May because of the their commitment to protect the rights of Filipino laborers. (READ: Can progressives win Senate seats?

De Guzman is from the Partido Lakas ng Masa while Matula is part of the Federation of Free Workers. (READ: Labor Senate bets: We have 'real credentials' to push for pro-poor policies

“Ang dalawang batikang unyonistang ito ay subok na sa pagtatanggol at paggigiit sa karapatan ng mga manggagawa at sa kilusang unyon. Kasama natin sila sa pagsisikap na makamit ang nakabubuhay na sahod at benepisyo ng mga manggagawa," said Makabayan.

(These two veteran unionists have been tried and tested in their advocacy to fight for the rights of workers and unions. We are with them in working towards a living wage and benefits for laborers.)

Among the Makabayan leaders present were its president and former Bayan Muna congressman Satur Ocampo, secretary general Nathanael Santiago, Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Representatives France Castro and Antonio Tinio, and Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate.

Makabayan said they plan to work with all 11 candidates on the following issues:

“Umaasa kaming sa pamamagitan ng pag-endorsong ito, makakaambag ang Makabayan sa pag-usbong ng isang koalisyon ng mga kandidato mula sa hanay ng mga independent at oposisyon na makapagbibigay sa ating mamamayan ng pag-asang maitaguyod ang isang Senadong malaya at para sa bayan,” said Makabayan.

(We hope that through this endorsment, Makabayan will be able to do its share in developing a coalition of candidates from the independents and the opposition that would give our people the chance to hope for a independent Senate dedicated to the country.) – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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