MANILA, Philippines – Like other bets for national elective posts in 2022, presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman and running mate Walden Bello have been sharing their proposed solutions to longstanding problems and their positions on current issues, and also visited areas outside the capital region to ramp up voters’ awareness on their campaign.
The tandem under the Partido Lakas ng Masa, also joined events slamming the tandem of Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. They also joined the celebration of Human Rights Day.
Here are some of the highlights of the tandem’s activities from December 5 to 10:
De Guzman and Bello submitted a peace plan to the Commission on Human Rights on Friday, December 10. They recommended ways to address problems in the peace process, red-tagging, as well as terrorism.
The tandem recommended the following:
- Abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and redirect its original goals to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
- Demilitarize the civilian bureaucracy, cease appointments of former police and military generals to the Cabinet
- Repeal the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020
- De-list the CPP-NPA-NDF as terrorist groups
- Resume peace talks with the National Democratic Front
- Cease all armed hostilities
- Create zones of peace
- Establish an independent civilian-led “peace corps”
- Establish local peace councils and the National Peace Council
- Support self-determination of indigenous peoples
- Address the root causes of conflict through comprehensive economic and social reforms
The tandem proposed to “shift the framework and method of targeting LGUs away from identified ‘areas of influence of the CPP-NPA’” to “zones of peace and development.” They also said the measure of success in the counterinsurgency campaign should not military success but development indicators such as poverty incidence, malnutrition “in order to de-securitize the development and support programs in support of the peace agenda.”
The tandem also recommended different forms of subsidies to various sectors help achieve their so-called economic and social reforms.
“Guaranteeing that all workers receive P750 minimum daily wage across the country, P2,000 monthly food subsidy and P3,000 monthly health subsidy for all; imposing price controls on oil, electricity, internet, water, farm inputs, and other basic commodities; initiating a program of people-centered and ecologically sustainable re-industrialization, and so on,” the tandem said in their recommendations.
On SC decision on anti-terror law
On Thursday, December 9, the Supreme Court ruled on petitions seeking to junk controversial anti-terror law, upholding most of the law, including the controversial 24-day detention power of authorities.
The magistrates, however, voted 12-3 to declare the so-called “killer” caveat of the law in Section 4 as unconstitutional and also the power of the Anti-Terrorism Council to designate a person or a group as terrorists according to a request by another country.
Bello believed that upholding most parts of the draconian law was a “parting gift” of the High Court dominated by Duterte appointees.
“With their decision to affirm the ‘constitutionality’ of most of the provisions of the ATL, the cowardly SC majority packed with a number of Duterte appointees gave their boss a parting gift. A shameful surrender to a thug who has destroyed the separation of powers,” Bello said in a statement.
Meanwhile, De Guzman said he believed that the SC, by issuing such a ruling, failed to stand up as a co-equal branch of government.
“Sa naganap na desisyon, hindi tumindig ang Korte Suprema bilang sangay ng gobyerno na hiwalay at kapantay ng Malakanyang. Habang walang judicial reforms, mananatiling ang loyalty ng huwes ay nasa pangulong nag-appoint sa kanila, wala sa sambayanang Pilipino,” the presidential aspirant said.
(With that decision, the Supreme Court did not stand up as a branch of government that is separate from and co-equal to Malacañang. in the absence of judicial reforms, justices will continue to be loyal to the president who appointed them, not to the Filipino people.)
De Guzman met Quinapondan, Eastern Samar Mayor Raffy Asebias on December 5.
De Guzman visited Manicani Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, on December 6.
The tandem joined a joint press conference of various groups condemning the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem on December 8.
De Guzman-Bello tandem joined senatorial aspirants Neri Colmenares and Bong Labog during the celebration of International Human Rights Day on December 10.