Ka Leody de Guzman should be allowed to participate in presidential debates
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) standard bearer Leody de Guzman became a top trending topic on social media late Friday night as Filipino netizens clamored for his inclusion in upcoming presidential debates and for the media to give him more air time.
The spontaneous expressions of support for De Guzman from netizens came amidst the flood of criticisms aimed against former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. for declining to participate in the interview series to be hosted by veteran television journalist Jessica Soho. According to De Guzman’s supporters, GMA-7 should have invited the labor leader to be part of the interview series set to air this January 22.
“Nais kong iparating sa COMELEC (Commission on Elections) at sa publiko ang aking interes na lumahok sa kanilang national debates. Tingin ko, tungkulin ng bawat kandidato na ipakilala ang kanyang sarili at kanyang plataporma sa mga botante upang magkaroon sila ng “informed choice” sa Mayo 2022,” de Guzman wrote through his Twitter account.
The labor leader described the upcoming debates as an opportunity to “level the playing field” especially for candidates with limited funding. “Kung may kandidatong nag aatubiling humarap sa debate asahan natin na mas mag uurong-sulong sa mas mabibigat na responsibilidad bilang mataas na opisyal ng bansa, o maaring may itinatago sa sambayanan,” de Guzman added.
While it is true that de Guzman has very little chance of winning the presidential race, his presence on the debate stage is still very important. Some of his proposals like support for abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and a six-hour work day may not be acceptable to most Filipinos right now – but the more they hear about these ideas through time, they might become more open to it. This is described in political science as moving the Overton window.
Nais kong iparating sa @COMELEC at sa publiko ang aking interes na lumahok sa kanilang national debates. Tingin ko, tungkulin ng bawat kandidato na ipakilala ang kanyang sarili at kanyang plataporma sa mga botante upang magkaroon sila ng “informed choice” sa Mayo 2022.
— Ka Leody de Guzman (@LeodyManggagawa) January 20, 2022