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200 labor leaders seek end of pandemic burden, call for Robredo for President in Eleksyon 2022

Around 200 labor leaders across the country whose ranks were hit by job and income losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic have called for the election of Vice President Leni Robredo as president in the 2022 polls, saying she can help them lift such burden.

The group, dubbed as Alliance of Labor Leaders (ALL) for Leni, argued that the Duterte administration has deserted the workers' rights amid the pandemic with the number of unemployed reaching four million, lack of financial support for transport sector by failure to release budget for service contracting scheme, delayed release of special risk allowance of health workers, and the rejection of Security of Tenure law that President Rodrigo Duterte initially certified as urgent.

“Kami ang nakakaramdam ng bigat ng krisis na bunga ng pandemya at kapabayaan ng administrasyong Duterte ay pangunahing biktima ng kakapusan ng ayuda, paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao at sa paggawa, nasaisantabing kalusugan na sanhi ng patuloy na pananalasa ng Covid, pagkalimot sa kababaihang manggagawa, salat na pampublikong serbisyo at kakarampot na pondo na kinukurakot pa (We are the ones who are burdened by the administration’s incompetence marred by lack of financial aid and other significant support to workers),” ALL for Leni said in a statement read by Mercy Abucayon of Sentro during the group’s launch.

"Bunga ng masidhing pagnanais namin na isulong ang kapakanan ng Manggagawang Pilipino, inilulunsad ngayon ng mga lider manggagawa ang kilusang hihimok kay Vice President Leni Robredo na tumakbo bilang Pangulo ng Republika ng Pilpinas (We are launching this group urging Vice President Leni Robredo to run for president in 2022 out of our burning desire to push for the welfare of our workers)," ALL for Leni added.

Abucayon said their ranks include officials of labor federations, labor unions, workers association, groups of informal economy workers, overseas Filipino workers, women’s groups and Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer, among other sectors.

“Naniniwala ang All for Leni na lalawak ang demokratikong espasyo kapag nahalal si Leni Robredo bilang pangulo dahil sa kanyang track record, mga pahayag at mga gawain na nagpapakita ng kanyang kahandaan at layuning mapabuti ang kalagayan ng manggawang Pilipino (We believe that our democratic space will expand if Leni Robredo is elected President based on her track record, readiness and goals to improve the quality of life in our ranks),” they added.

The labor leaders’ call was echoed by Lawyers for Leni and LGBTQ for Leni who are also urging Robredo to pursue a 2022 presidential bid.

“United in our aspirations, ideals, and principles to ensure a just, humane, and equitable society where the rule of law is valued at all times, we express our collective support for Leni Robredo and join like-minded individuals and groups in calling for her to run for President,” Lawyers for Leni said in a statement.

“As the entire country bears the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, we see how the brazen disregard for the rule of law undermines efforts to save lives. We need a President who believes that the rule of law cannot be brushed aside on a whim and values human rights and human lives. We are firm in our belief that the President we need is Leni Robredo,” the lawyers added.

The LGBTQ, for its part, said Robredo’s desire to protect rights of is evidenced by her support of the bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity when she was still a Camarines Sur lawmaker.

“As one of the advocates of the Equality Bill during her time as lawmaker, the group said a government with Robredo at the helm can make this measure a reality to raise the dignity and give equal rights to our sector,” they said

“Her efforts during the pandemic of aiding the poor and health workers also show that she can respond to our needs based on science and research,” they added. — Llanesca T. Panti/RSJ, GMA News