February 10, 2013
The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) asked candidates running in the elections to make workers demands part of their platform. PM issued the dare with two days to go before the start of the campaign of national candidates and as part of its electoral advocacy.
“If our so-called democracy is not just all form but has some substance, then the demands of the majority of the people must be met by those seeking the mandate of the voters. The electoral air war is already heating up even before February 12 with wannabes senators maximizing the loophole of the law by flooding television and radio with pre-campaign political ads. Yet we have to see any of them respond to the urgent demands of the workers and poor aside from motherhood statements,” declared Judy Ann Miranda, secretary general of PM.
As a kickoff for labor’s campaign around issues, last Friday some 300 workers bannered the demand “Manggagawa Naman!” as a challenge to senatorial and other candidates. “The torch parade around the airport area is the herald of the ‘Manggagawa Naman Movement’ which seeks to highlight labor issues in this election,” Miranda explained.
The workers pushed for a set of demands which they called “Apat na Dapat”:
1. Regular jobs
2. Affordable housing
3. Health and education for all
4. Cheap food, electricity and water.
In the Friday mass action, members of members of PM, the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA), United Cavite Workers Association, Samahan ng Manggagawa sa
Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Antipolo, Zone One Tondo Organization and Alyansa ng
Maralitang Pilipino marched from the PALEA protest camp to the Our Lady of
Airways Parish in Pasay
and then back several times. The scores of torches lit the night and
highlighted the placards emblazoned with the slogan “Manggagawa Naman!”
Before the torch parade, the workers celebrated the 13th founding anniversary of PM and commemorated the first year of the group PM Coalition with an afternoon-long program of speeches, presentations and cultural numbers at the PALEA picketline. The workers also paid homage to Filemon “Ka Popoy” Lagman who was assassinated on February 6, 2001 in the University of the
Lagman was the brain child behind the formation of PM as a labor party. ###