PLM presidential candidate Leody de Guzman
By Junex Doronio
November 8, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Aside from his advocacy for divorce and same-sex marriage, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) presidential candidate Leody de Guzman has promised to appoint women and lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, queers, intersex, and others (LGBTQIA+) to fill more than half of all positions in his Cabinet.
The socialist labor leader noted that the Cabinet serves as “the closest advisers of the President” and, if elected, De Guzman will pick former Supreme Court chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo, women’s health activist Princess Nemenzo, anti-debt campaigner Lidy Nacpil, gay leader Danton Remoto, among others.
“We never had a lack of competent leaders from the women and LGBTQIA+ sectors. But why is it that for the longest time, they are underrepresented or even not represented?” De Guzman lamented.
De Guzman’s vice-presidential running mate Bello, who is also chairperson of Laban ng Masa coalition, noted: “Of the 37 people who served as cabinet secretaries during the term of Ferdinand Marcos, only two were women, one of them being Imelda Marcos. Under Duterte, there were only 3 women out of 35.”
In line with gender equality and non-discrimination, De Guzman pointed out that placing more women and LGBTQIA+ in Cabinet positions would cement the priority of women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights and concerns in the agenda of a PLM-Laban ng Masa administration.
Among those De Guzman and Bello are considering inviting to their cabinet are progressive civil society leaders such as public health advocate Eleanor Jara, informal workers leader Flor Santos, indigenous people’s rights activist Beverly Longid, environmentalist Ipat Luna, journalists Inday Espina-Varona and Marites Vitug, feminist thinker Aida Santos, academic activists Marivic Raquiza and Melay Abao, and prominent civil society organizer Zena Bernardo Bernardo.
Also being eyed to take up key Cabinet-level posts are long-time gender equality activists Monique Wilson, Rossana Abueva, and Alex Castro as well as academics Nathalie Africa-Verceles and Andoy Evangelista. (ai/mtvn)