Despite worsening repression and political harassments against the progressive bloc, Bayan Muna Party-list defied the government’s red-tagging and garnered 3 seats in the just concluded 2019 elections. Today, COURAGE National President Ferdinand Gaite takes his oath to be administered by Associate Justice Mario Victor “Marvic” Leonen as the new Bayan Muna Party-list Representative in the 18th Congress.
Associate Justice Leonen was requested by the employees because of his pro-people and anti-corruption decisions such as standing against Martial Law extension in Mindanao, empowering indigenous peoples’ rights, opposing Duterte’s drug war campaign and Marcos burial at Heroes’ Cemetery, declaring Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) as unconstitutional, dissented to grant bail to former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and disagreed to acquit Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from plunder. We believed that he will also stand for the oppressed government employees,” Santiago Dasmariñas Jr., incoming COURAGE National President explained.
Ferdinand Gaite served as Courage National President and has also championed government employees’ rights for more than 3 decades. Public sector unions’ hope soar high as the new representative is set to step inside the halls of congress who will strive to junk practices of contractualization, uphold security of tenure and legislate the P16,000 national minimum wage for all government workers. Gaite will also guard government employees’ fund from corruption and oppose the proposed right-sizing of public offices that will result to mass layoff of government employees.
“Gaite will sit in the House of Representatives together with incumbent Atty. Carlos Zarate and lumad leader Eufemia Cullamat under Bayan Muna. The Makabayan bloc which Bayan Muna is a member of has a total of 6 representatives. Together with the mass movement, they will champion laws and policies for the political and socio-economic rights of the marginalized and oppressed,” Dasmariñas ended.###