Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
December 29, 2018
Beware of ‘holiday pork’ – labor leader
Labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) warned the public today against the “full force of patronage politics” as politicians casually give out gifts allegedly out of benevolence during the holiday stretch but are actually engaging in premature campaigning.
De Guzman issued this warning after an estimated 40,000 people endured long queues on Christmas Day in Davao City as they expected a present from President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Patronage politics rears its ugly head by donning a Santa Claus outfit. The yuletide holidays before an election year is a time for grand giveaways by traditional politicians”.
He alleged that the usual recipients are barangay officials and workers who would be expected to mobilize votes for them in upcoming polls.
De Guzman added that "holiday pork is deadly, not only the traditional fatty food associated with the holidays but more the lagresse by politicians who use the holidays to exploit the poverty, misery and desperation of the majority of our countrymen".
The labor leader condemned what appeared to be gift-giving sponsored by generous, incumbent politicians, but according to him is actually insulting because the gifts were actually derived from people's pockets via their taxes.
"Duterte could not boast of his popular support as showcased by the tens of thousands in queue in Davao. The long queues are reflective of the millions who live below the poverty line in the city that he once ruled for twenty-two years. Proof that his 'Change is coming' remains illusory to the workers and the poor," he furthered.
The PLM candidate for senator says he was not surprised that the Palace remained mum when the issue of pork barrel during the last sessions of Congress hit the headlines earlier this month.
“The Executive branch could have easily intervened by abiding by the Supreme Court decision prohibiting pork barrel allocations to legislators but even enabled them. They are just as accountable as the legislators. The president himself not only tolerates the scamming of the poor but is actually leading in the perpetuation of poverty, misery and desperation,” he pressed.
De Guzman likewise dismissed the recent Social Weather Station survey result which claimed that the president’s net satisfaction rating climbed to ‘very good’, gathering plus six points from his September rating.
He explained that the “shameless full-display of gift giving schemes that exhibit political patronage” at the highest levels of our government is the reason behind Duterte’s popularity ratings.
"No amount of chicanery and blinding survey results can fool a hungry mob as the air of hopelessness thickens as the new year approaches with the administration all set to unleash the second wave of oil excise taxes on January that will further aggravate prices of basic goods,” the labor leader concluded.###