April 12, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) dared Rep. Mikey Arroyo who is running as a party-list nominee to attend the forum being organized by a group of security guards. “Since Mikey claims to be the party-list representative of security guards, there is no reason for him not to face his alleged constituents, present his electoral platform and defend his track record, of which we have not heard of yet,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.
A group of security guards led by Pilo Rosete, a licensed guard with more than 15 years of experience, announced yesterday that they plan to invite Arroyo to participate in a forum they are organizing. Rosete said that security guards want to hear Arroyo’s position on the concerns and grievances of their sector. He also declared that they will invite Magtubo and ex-General Danny Lim to the forum so they can faceoff with Arroyo on various issues of interest to security guards.
Magtubo confirmed that he will attend the security guards forum. He added that “It would be interesting to debate with Mikey about his allegations that he is the voice of the security guards as a marginalized group. If Mikey does not honor the invitation of the security guards then it can only because he does wish to be exposed as a fake.”
Rosete stated that they were surprised by the existence of Arroyo’s party-list group of security guards and they were ignorant of the latter’s qualifications as a nominee. “The forum will be an opportunity for my fellow security guards to ask questions of Mikey Arroyo. We will ask him about his stance on the long hours of work, the low wages and the lack of security of tenure of many security guards. We want to hear what laws he will enact to protect the rights and welfare of security guards. We wish to know if he will push for the organizing of security guards into associations so we can defend our economic and social interests,” Rosete clarified.
Magtubo insisted that security guards are a sub-sector of the working class and that “PM has acted as the political party of workers, including security guards, inside Congress and the parliament of the streets. PM’s platform of ‘Apat na Dapat’ responds to the most important grievances of security guards. The ‘Apat na Dapat’ means regular jobs, a living wage, affordable housing and healthcare coverage for all workers, which incidentally are also the demands of security guards.”