A former diplomat who saved distressed domestic helper Sarah Balabagan from death row nearly 20 years ago announced on Thursday his plan to run for President in next year’s elections.
“I’m running for President. I’m happy to inform you I have a complete slate. I have a vice presidential candidate, 12 senators. I’m running under a Comelec-accredited party,” OFW Family party-list Rep. Roy Señeres told reporters in a news conference.
reporters in a news conference.
Señeres, the country’s former envoy to the United Arab Emirates and chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission during the Estrada administration, is the 4th to declare a presidential run.
“Suntok ba sa buwan? Determinado tayo dito [Is it like reaching for the moon? I’m determined to do this] I am more qualified and experienced than most of those who have declared their candidacy. I’m confident that the millions of OFWs [overseas Filipino workers]and their families will support our cause,” he told The Manila Times.
Señeres said he was urged by a manifesto from OFW Forse (Friends of Roy Señeres Everywhere), ATAKK (Alisin ang Tanikala ng Kontraktwalisasyon at Kurapsyon) and Respect our Security of Employment Movement.
He also told the Times that his running mate will be Bishop Ted Malangen of the Jesus Christ The Deliverer Ministry.
Señeres said his senatorial candidates are virtually unknown but are qualified to vie for the highest legislative seats in the land.
According to him, they will run under the Partido ng Manggagawa led by lawyer Jose Malvar Villegas. This is the same political party used by then Defense Secretary Renato de Villa in 1998 when he ran for President.
Señeres pointed out that his focus would be to eradicate contractualization and job order employment and corruption.
He said contractualization robs 15 million Filipino workers of their security of employment.
This is aside from the 10 million contractuals in the government sector.
“I will fight for the 555 o yung mga contractuals. The ones who lose their jobs after working for five months. Hindi sila ipaglalaban ni [Manuel] Roxas kasi may mga kumpanya sa mga malls nila na nagko-contractual [Roxas will not fight for their welfare because their mall tenants engage in contractualization],” Seneres said.
The family of Roxas, the presumptive standard-bearer of the Liberal Party, owns the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.
Seneres claimed hundreds of businessmen lay off workers every 3 to 5 months.
He said he would issue an executive order if he became President, directing all employers to comply with the law and ban the termination of workers every 5 months or else they will be penalized.
“According to latest statistics, there are 15 million contractuals working in giant malls and chain restaurants. This is against the law and the Constitution because the Constitution says every worker must have security of tenure. They cannot be dismissed from work without just and authorized cause,” Seneres pointed out.
He said OFWs have promised $5 dollars each to fund his campaign even as he said he will not take campaign contributions from tycoons.
Señeres hopes he will not be considered a nuisance candidate because he has proven his winnability as congressman. He previously was unsuccessful in his bids for the Senate.