2022 PH presidential race

Ka Leody explains alleged misogynistic remarks against female presidents

Jairo Bolledo
Ka Leody explains alleged misogynistic remarks against female presidents

ASPIRANT. Labor leader Leodegario 'Ka Leody' de Guzman of the Partido Lakas ng Masa files his certificate of candidacy for President in the May 2022 elections, at the Sofitel hotel in Pasay City on October 6, 2021.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

The presidential aspirant responds to criticism he was putting down women

Labor leader and presidential aspirant Ka Leody de Guzman on Monday, October 18, sought to explain his alleged misogynistic remarks against female leaders. 

‘Yung sinasabi ko… si Cory, napuna ko si Cory, napuna ko si Gloria. Kasi sa history ng ating Pilipinas, ang talagang pantapat doon sa mga masasamang tao, sabihin na nating masasamang tao, katulad ni Marcos, katulad ni Erap, eh babae ang pinantatapat nila at nakahahatak ng suporta,” de Guzman said during the Pandesal Forum on Monday.   

(As I have said, I talked about Cory [Aquino], I talked about Gloria [Arroyo]. Because in the history of the Philippines, what we did was to oppose bad people, let’s say bad people, like Marcos, like Erap – and it was women who fought against them and gained public support.) 

Netizens slammed de Guzman over the weekend following his post that singled out two former female presidents.

On Facebook on Saturday, October 16, de Guzman addressed someone who said that by choosing to run for president, he was going to divide the votes for the opposition. De Guzman dismissed this claim by saying that, unlike presidential bet Vice President Leni Robredo, he was courting voters beyond those who are merely anti-administration or anti-Marcos.

Then he cited two former female presidents – the late Corazon Aquino and ex-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – and their failure to address the problems of the poor.

Ayaw ko nang maulit ang masamang karanasan ng pagsuporta ng taong bayan kay Cory laban kay Marcos at kay Gloria laban naman kay Erap. Walang napala ang taong bayan, nagpatuloy lang ang kahirapan at kaapihan ng mamamayan,” De Guzman said in his Facebook post.

(I don’t want the people to have another bad experience by supporting Cory against Marcos and Gloria against Erap. The people did not gain anything from that; poverty and poor conditions still persisted.)

This did not sit well with netizens who felt that de Guzman was putting down women.

De Guzman later apologized in a Twitter thread, saying he was commenting on Aquino’s and Arroyo’s leadership based on what he considered were their poor performance in addressing the problems country’s fundamental problems – not because of their gender.

At the Monday forum, de Guzman said: “‘Yun bang statement na ‘yon ay ako’y anti-women na? Eh bakit hindi nila basahin ang history? At ang dalawang ‘yan, hindi pa natatapos ‘yung termino ni Cory, patalsikin na ang panawagan ng taumbayan. Kay Gloria ganun din, patalsikin si Gloria,” de Guzman said. 

(Does that statement make me an anti-women? Why don’t they read history? Those two presidents… Cory had yet to finish her term and there were already calls for her ouster. The same happened with Gloria; there were calls for her ouster, too.)

De Guzman forgot to say the late president Aquino had to battle at least seven power grabs by rebel soldiers, who believed her government was being run by leftists. Ms Aquino was catapulted to power in February 1986 following a people power revolution that brought down the Marcos dictatorship, which relied on the military.

Arroyo, on the other hand, replaced then-president Joseph Estrada, who was forced to resign following a civilian-backed military revolt that was triggered by corruption allegations against him and his family. She also brought down coup attempts following allegations she cheated her way to victory in the 2004 polls.

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No division of votes

In the same forum, de Guzman added that the votes for the opposition will not be divided between him and Robredo, because a different set of voters will choose him in May 2022. 

Ang kay Leni, ‘yung mga naniniwalang huwag pabalikin si Duterte at si Marcos. Iyon lang, okay na sila roon. Masaya na. Ang sa amin ni Walden [Bello] at ng Laban ng Masa, at ang aking partido, ay ‘beyond’,” de Guzman said.

(For Leni, [her voters will be] those people who believe that Duterte and Marcos should not return to power. That’s all. They’re happy with that. For me and Walden Bello and the Laban ng Masa and my party, we want beyond that.)

De Guzman ran for senator in 2019 and placed 38th – 26 spots away from the Senate’s “Magic 12.” – Rappler.com 

Jairo Bolledo

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