April 11, 2010
A group of security guards is planning to invite Rep. Mikey Arroyo to a forum and are challenging him to present his electoral platform and track record. Pilo Rosete, a licensed security guard with more than 15 years of work experience in the field, said that “We wish to hear what Mikey Arroyo can say as a supposed advocate of security guards. And we want him to face-off with Renato Magtubo of Partido ng Manggagawa and ex-General Danny Lim who we know have both an electoral platform and track record of advocacy for security guards.”
Meanwhile Magtubo, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chairperson, accepted the proposal to meet Arroyo in a forum to be organized by security guards. “We accept the challenge to a debate with Mikey. The security guards as a subsector of the working class with their own workplace grievances surely deserve to have representatives in Congress who share their concerns and not impostors just out to use them.”
Rosete explained that they are already organizing the security guards forum although they have not firmed up details such as date and venue. He asked for the help of the media in informing Arroyo of the forum but they plan to send a formal invitation once the details of the forum are finalized. They have already sent feelers to Magtubo and Lim about the planned forum.
He said that security guards are very much concerned about the issue of Arroyo’s party-list bid as a supposed representative of their sector. “We know that Mikey has never experienced the grueling 12-hour shifts that we normally do and surviving on minimum wages. We have also learned that he did not file any document proving a track record of advocacy for security guards. Moreover no security guard I have met has any knowledge of Mikey’s group Ang Galing Pinoy. Our work as security guards usually involve protecting property from being stolen by thieves thus we also do not want our voice to be robbed by frauds.”
Rosete also clarified that the organizing committee for the forum is not a formal group but just an adhoc caucus of employed security guards and some recently laidoff. He elaborated that the freedom to organize is actually one of the major issues of security guards since many attempts to unionize guards in order to protect their rights and welfare have met fierce opposition from security agencies.
“Our group remains an adhoc caucus but our vision is to form an association of security guards for mutual aid and protection. Many of the owners of security agencies are former generals and officers in the armed forces with connections among influential people thus it is easy enough to intimate union organizers. Probably Mikey’s only tenuous connection with security guards is his friendship with our employers, owners of security agencies, who are in no way a marginalized sector,” Rosete argued.