BBM makes Toots Ople cry after describing her dad Blas as ‘champion of labor’

BBM makes Toots Ople cry after describing her dad Blas as ‘champion of labor’

MANILA — Susan ‘Toots’ Ople, youngest of the seven children of former Labor Secretary and Senator Blas Ople, could not help but cry when presidential frontrunner for Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., described her father as ‘champion of labor’.

The elder Ople served as labor chief for 17 years during the term of former President Ferdinand Marcos and was credited for introducing various reforms in the department including allowing local workers to work overseas, aside from being one of the most brilliant and astute advisers of the former president.

During a recent meeting with leaders and representatives of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) Marcos assured the country’s workforce that he will appoint credible and efficient officials in the labor department who would look into their welfare.

“Siyempre, ang pinakauna maghanap tayo, makikinig ako sa inyo, sino ang mga dapat na maging secretary, undersecretary diyan sa mga departments na iyan at mga ahensya ng government para talagang represented kayo,” Marcos said.

“Yung champion ng labor talaga noon si Ka Blas, Blas Ople hindi ba? Yun talagang naiintindihan talaga nya at saka nakikita ko pinapaliwanag nya sa matanda, sa father ko. Talagang pinaglalaban nya nang mabuti. Mahusay naman talaga kaya nakikinig yung aking ama. Ganon din ang gagawin natin,” he added.

Ople, who was then 40 years old, was appointed in 1967 as labor secretary of Marcos Sr., a post he held for 17 years.

In 1975, he became the first Filipino president of the International Labor Organization. He delivered his acceptance speech in the Filipino language.

Susan Ople, who was present during the town hall meeting admitted that she cried when her father was mentioned by Marcos.

“Naiyak talaga ako, kasi na-recognize niya ang ginawa ng aking ama,” said Susan.

She then met Marcos after the event and ask for a souvenir photo. “Salamat po sa pagbanggit sa pangalan ng ama ko,” she told Marcos.

“Magaling naman talaga ang father mo,” Marcos answered.

Susan is now the president of Blas Ople Policy Center which assists distressed OFWs in various parts of the world.

During the town hall meeting, Marcos Jr. assured that his top priority is to protect the labor force in the country as part of his programs to recover from the pandemic when elected in the May 9, 2022 national polls.

“When it comes to labor, my number one priority is to protect the labor force, doon natin unahin and from there magpo-flow na basta’t maayos ang ating pagtrato sa ating mga workers, I think the rest of all of the issues will flow from that,” Marcos, who was greeted with cheers and applause by the workers, said.

The presidential frontrunner and the labor leaders were able to tackle the problems and issues that lay siege to the sector and outlined his plans and programs to address them.

Marcos also expressed interest in making a priority bill the Security of Tenure Act, which aims to amend the Labor Code to better protect workers’ rights. (ai/mtvn)

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