Labor leader and presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman declared Wednesday he will not back out of the 2022 presidential race, following reports of his withdrawal.
“We will not withdraw. This is clear to me, to my party and to the Filipino people who believe in our theme, ‘It’s the workers’ turn in 2022,’” De Guzman said in Filipino in a statement.
“I would like to underscore that my candidacy is due to the Filipino masses’ hope for meaningful change in our country’s political and economic life. This is concretized in a platform centered on a ‘Labor First’ policy and rising from a crisis caused by the pandemic and climate change,” he added.
De Guzman also said he is open to supporting the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo if she will make a stand on various people’s issues.
Among the issues he wanted to get a clear-cut stand from the Vice President are contractualization, low salary of workers, increasing prices of basic goods, and automatic debt appropriation.
He said this effort is also a way to have unified candidates to defeat the tandem of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
De Guzman said if there are unity talks with other candidates, it would be based on their principles.
“We are open to talk to all candidates who are serious in their purpose to resolve the crisis we are dealing with, including stopping the Marcos-Duterte tandem,” the labor leader said.
The unionist and labor rights activist was the former president and currently the chairperson of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, a socialist federation of militant trade unions.
De Guzman was also an aspirant in the 2019 senatorial elections and is running for president under the Partido Lakas ng Masa.