SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. urged members of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) to continue championing the rights and welfare of the “little guys.”
Marcos was referring to farmers, workers, informal settlers, and other exploited sectors who could not afford the services of lawyers.
“These ‘little guys,’—the lowly farmers, the underpaid and oppressed laborers, the homeless and informal settler families threatened by eviction—are all your clientele,” he told attendees of the PAO-National Capital Region Convention led by PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta.
The senator asked PAO lawyers to fight oppressive landowners who illegally grab the farm lots from small farmers as well as greedy capitalists who prey on laborers.
He noted that many laborers are subjected to several oppressive employment schemes like the “5-5-5” popularly known as “endo” or ending an employee’s contract after five months of work.
He said poor people and informal settler families, on the other hand, get evicted from their homes through violence and intimidation.
“Protect them from the scourge of unbridled capitalism and urbanization, and uphold their rights under the Constitution and our laws. Kayo po ang pag-asa nila. Iniaasa po nila ang kanilang buong buhay at kinabukasan sa inyo, mga magigiting na Pampublikong Tagapagtanggol, tulad ng mga akusado na mga walang pambayad ng sariling abogado na siya ring umaasa sa inyo (You are their hope. They depend on you, just like those accused of crimes who do not have the means to hire their own lawyers),” Marcos said.