Press Release
April 21, 2016


The 1.3 million-strong Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka (PMM) of the late OFW Family Club party-list Rep. Roy Señeres officially endorsed on Thursday the candidacies of independent presidential bets Sen. Grace Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero.

In a press statement signed by PMM chairman and president Atty. Jose Malvar Villegas Jr., the party announced its decision to support the presidential bid of Poe in lieu of their original standard-bearer Señeres, who passed away last February.

"The ground has been cleared by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Supreme Court for PMM to now adopt a guest candidate for president," Villegas said.

The third oldest political party in the Philippines, Villegas said, decided to adopt Poe as its guest presidential candidate because "her record as a public official shows that she is the most pro-labor candidate having experienced to be an ordinary employee herself for most part of her working career."

"(Poe) knows the pulse of labor when it comes to workers' benefits, tenure of employment, rights of labor unions and federations, OFW difficulties while working abroad, the need to have labor hospitals and health center, repatriation of OFW subjected to abuse by their employers and the evils of contractualization and low minimum wages," the party's statement said.

The party also cited its opposition against political dynasties as another reason for backing Poe since among the presidential candidates, "she is the only one who does not belong to a political dynasty," Villegas noted.

"Like her father, the late Fernando Poe Jr., who I had the privilege to have worked together in the fight against crime when we were young, when we fought together the notorious 'Big Four Crime Syndicate' in the 60s and succeeded in putting to jail its leaders, Sen. Poe is also known to be a great crusader against crime and corruption as chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal drugs," he added.

The PMM also threw its full backing on the candidacy of Escudero, whom the party deemed as the "most qualified" among the vice-presidential candidates.

"The PMM likewise believes that to strengthen our democratic institution, the president and vice-president should belong to the same political party, and in this regard, I am also nominating as PMM Guest Vice-Presidential Candidate Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, who among the vice-presidential candidates, is the most qualified, having filed the most number of bills in the senate, which have become laws," Villegas said.

"These laws benefited the working class and for which he has been known as the "heart" of the struggle of the workers for more benefits, better working conditions, protection against violation of human rights, equitable share of wealth of the nation, dismantling of the monopolies of business and delivery of shelter, food and educational opportunities for the family of the workers," he added.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, spokesperson for Poe who was at the PPM meeting, said the "Gobyernong may Puso" tandem is elated over the endorsement.

"Sa ngalan po ni Sen. Grace Poe at Sen. Chiz Escudero, taos-puso po kaming nagpapasalamat sa inyong pag-endorso sa kanila kandidatura. Makakaasa ho kayo na ang inyong ipinaglalaban na maihaon ang ating mga manggagawa at magsasaka mula sa kahirapan ay magiging prayoridad ni Sen. Grace at Sen. Chiz."

Formerly known as Lapiang Manggagawa (LM), the party that was founded on February 3, 1963 is known for its crusade against corruption in government being one of the petitioners in landmark cases such as the declaration of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the Disbursement Acceleration Program as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

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