Labor leaders push for Sonny Matula's inclusion in Robredo's Senate slate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 19)— Presidential hopeful Vice President Leni Robredo has yet to reveal the last aspirant who will complete her senatorial lineup, but labor leaders made their last-minute pitch for one of their own, lawyer Sonny Matula, to be included in the slate.

The Alliance of Labor Leaders for Leni (All4Leni) met with Robredo to discuss their labor agenda, such as ending contractualization, pushing for a national minimum wage, investigating slain workers, strengthening public healthcare system, and securing employment guarantees.

"Ang ating bise presidente ay bukas na bukas para pag-usapan yung mga agenda. Sabi nya tuloy-tuloy tayong mag-uusap para makuha natin ang detalye nito," Nagkaisa chairperson and senatorial aspirant Sonny Matula said Tuesday.

[Translation: Our Vice President is open to discussing our agenda. She said we'll continue to have talks.]

Last week, Robredo announced her senatorial ticket, which included reelectionist senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, former Congressman Teddy Baguilat, former senator Sonny Trillanes, and lawyer Alex Lacson.

Also included as guests are Senators Richard Gordon, Joel Villanueva and Miguel Zubiri, Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero, and former vice president Jejomar Binay.

Robredo said they're choosing among four to five nominees for the 12th spot, including Matula and Makabayan's Neri Colmenares.

Should Robredo decide not to include Matula, the alliance said they will still support her presidential bid.

"'Yung mga kasama natin humihingi ng representasyon mula sa mga manggagawa pero 'yun naman ay hindi sagabal para hindi matuloy ang laban sa pagkapresidente ni Leni Robredo. At 'yung ating alyansa naman ay hindi naman aatras dahil lang dyan. Tuloy ang laban," Matula explained.

[Translation: We are asking for representation from workers, but I think that would not be a hindrance to Leni Robredo's presidential bid. Our alliance will not withdraw just because of that. The fight will continue.]

Sentro's Nice Coronacion admitted they'll be saddened, but will still join Robredo's fight.

"Merong mas malawakang layunin. At 'yan ay talunin ang mga Duterte at Marcos. At alam natin hindi na natin papayagan at ayaw na natin sa diktadurya at otoritaryanismo," she said.

[Translation: We have a bigger purpose — and that is to beat Duterte and Marcos. We will not allow dictatorship and authoritarianism.]