KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – MANGGAGAWA Party-list slammed, on Wednesday, the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc to disqualify them to join the 2019 midterm polls, saying such decision insults the Filipino workers.
“Denying MANGGAGAWA Partylist of the chance to run means denying the right of Filipino workers to elect a genuine and progressive voice for the labor sector in Congress,” it said in a statement.
The en banc decision which was issued last December has no legal basis, according to labor-oriented party-list. “We have complied with all the necessary requirements and are certain that we have met the qualifications for candidacy,” it said.
Comelec said the party-list failed to prove that they not receiving funds from the government, foreign government and organizations, an argument they perceived as a lame excuse.
“We are proudly funded by our members and supporters who come from the ranks of the working class – industrial workers, informal workers, public transportation workers, call center agents, and migrant Filipinos and their families,” the group said, noting that it did not receive any forms of funding from the government, among others.
MANGGAGAWA Party-list is composed of groups like Kilusang Mayo Uno, Migrante and Kadamay. They are the same group that vowed to fight for the P750 National Minimum Wage, regularization of contractuals and a vocal critic of the Duterte administration’s TRAIN2.
“COMELEC’s reason for disqualifying us is thus both laughable and infuriating. It is an insult to every Filipino worker in every industry and line of work, here in the Philippines and abroad,” it said.
“Our organization, and the organizations that support us, such as Kilusang Mayo Uno, Migrante, and KADAMAY, have a long track record of independence and nationalism. We have always stood for the interests of the poor and the marginalized and have never compromised our principles for the sake of funding,” it added.
MANGGAGAWA Party-list believes that the disqualification was part of the government to silence them.
“We know that our disqualification is part of the Duterte administration’s plan to stifle dissent and silence the opposition and those that are critical of its anti-people programs and policies,” the group said.
Despite the decision, MANGGAGAWA Partylist vowed to pursue all avenues to join the upcoming elections.
“We want to truly end contractualization and ensure the job security of workers and employees. We are fighting for genuine land reform and national industrialization. We believe that Government programs and policies should prioritize the interests of workers over those of foreign corporations, the elite, and the oligarchy. We want to protect the rights of migrant Filipinos around the world,” it said. (davaotoday.com)