Leody de Guzman

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Leodigario “Leody” de Guzman (born 25 July 1959) is a Filipino politician and activist. He is the chair of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and partly leader and founding member of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM). He is also the country representative to the International Council of the International Center for Labor Solidarity (ICLS).

De Guzman, who lost in the 2019 senatorial polls, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president for the 2022 elections on 6 October 2021.

Early Life and Education

He was born on 25 July 1959 in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. His parents were both farmers. He went to Naujan Academy and entered the Philippine Maritime Institute (PMI) College to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Science in Customs Administration. While still in college, he worked in an Aris Philippines Inc. factory. He gradauted in 1983.

Career

He worked in a garment factory two days after graduation. He has worked in a factory for thirteen years.

His interest in activism began after Benigno Aquino Jr., the political opposition leader against Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated on 21 August 1983. He joined in protests and became a leader of Justice for Aquino, Justice for All (JAJA) coalition of Aris Phils.

De Guzman was the organizer of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawa sa Pasig (ALMAPAS) from 1984 to 1990. He was elected as delegate for the regional congress of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Metro Manila. He was also elected as member of the Regional Executive Council. When the KMU and its branch in Metro Manila parted ways, he joined the BMP. He was later elected as its Deputy General Secretary.

In 1996, he took over Romy Castillo as BMP’s General Secretary. He was elected as its President and served until January 2018.

As an aspirant senator who pushed for pro-poor policies, de Guzman had a lot of trust in the workers’ votes because majority of the voters were laborers. It was until the announcement of the elections result that he accepted defeat. Despite losing the race, he was contented to have touched the lives of the youth and the section of workers.


Affiliations

  • National chairman, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
  • Founding member, Nagkaisang Labor Coalition
  • Founding member, Partido Manggagawa party-list
  • Regional Executive Council Member, Kilusang Mayo Uno
  • Country representative, International Council of the International Center for Labor Solidarity
  • Vice President Board of Trustees Asia Regional Organization of Bank, Insurance and Finance Unions
  • Member Board of Trustees, PhilRights
  • Member, Bulig Visayas


Presidential Bid

De Guzman, who is a known champion of workers’ rights, accepted the presidential nomination during the PLM national convention on 28 September 2021. He said that he was hoping to get support from the silent majority and workers in the country. He filed his COC together with BMP president Luke Espiritu, one of the senatorial aspirants of PLM. PLM’s platform emphasizes empowering workers.

According to de Guzman, his bold decision to run for the highest position in the country is rooted from the truth that the recent administrations all run by elitists have done nothing good for the workers. He added that while the workers play an important role in the society, they get contractualization, low wages, and trampled rights in return.


Advocacies

  • Labor: He vowed to create a law to end contractualization to end intermediaries or third-party firms that burden workers
  • Environment: He wanted to repeal Mining Act of 1995 as it favors big businesses and causes more environmental damage
  • TRAIN Law and Oil Deregulation Law of 1998: He vowed to suspend TRAIN Law and oppose excise tax. He also vowed to review the Oil Deregulation Law of 1998 or RA 8479. RA 8479 liberalizes and deregulates downstream oil industry. He aimed to ensure fair competition in the sector.
  • Addressing Criminality: He opposed the death penalty as it’s not a deterrent to crime. He also opposed incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte’s way of addressing the drug problem through killing.


Personal Life

Leody is married to Marieza Tolentino. They have three children: Prolan, Lea, and Dexter.


References




Citation

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