DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A peasant group has challenged political aspirants to make a genuine stand on issues that matter to poor Filipinos as the campaign for 2019 mid-term polls began.
“Performance in public service, track record, lifestyle and wealth, and political standpoint are among the important qualifications to look for in a candidate. Hindi basta-basta dapat magpadala sa dami ng political ads lamang. Ang mahalaga ay kung ano ang mga isinulong at sinuportahang panukala at programa,” Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary-general Antonio Flores said in a statement on Wednesday.
Flores urged the public to listen and discern what the candidates present to them, especially their political platforms.
He then added that among the issues that Anakpawis fought hard to campaign were implementation of free land distribution and genuine land reform for farmers, regular employment and living wages for workers, low prices of rice, commodities, and utilities, respect for human rights and social justice, and upholding of national sovereignty and patrimony, among others.
He also added that candidates who are supporting the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law and Martial Law in Mindanao will have a hard time convincing farmers for votes.
“Anakpawis has been fighting for the poor since our founding, we are the party-list of the masses, the poor’s ally in congress since 2004,” Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao said.
The Davao-based lawmaker urged the people to ask their own candidates to support the group’s electoral platform: “Lupa, Sahod, Trabaho, Paninirahan, at Karapatan”.
“Our very existence is to campaign for the people’s interests not just during elections but all throughout, just as how the farmers are fighting for their rights to land and against land grabbing, The workers launching their strike for regular jobs and wage hikes, urban poor defending their homes, our fight is defend the interest of the poor and marginalized, inside congress,” Casilao said. (Christine Grace Sabute, HCDC intern/davaotoday.com)