Labor Leader Gets Support of Coup-Linked Magdalo Party
MANILA – Susan Ople, a former Philippine labor undersecretary, has been endorsed by the 55,000-strong Magdalo Party, a group originally linked to the July 27, 2003 coup launched against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Known as the Oakwood Mutiny, named after the posh apartel where the putschists were holed up, the failed overthrow was instigated by a group of 321 armed soldiers who called themselves "Bagong Katipuneros."
Magdalo’s endorsement of Ople’s bid after Bro. Mike Velarde, leader of Catholic charismatic movement known as El Shaddai, recently endorsed her in Hong Kong.
According to Rey Robles, chief of staff of detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, “Ople embodies the very core of Magdalo’s principles and that is change and good governance. She is competent and well-prepared to be in the Senate as the lone and genuine voice of labor and the OFWs.”
The labor leader actually met with Trillanes at the custodial services unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) where she was informed of her inclusion in the 12-person slate that the Magdalo movement would be actively campaigning and voting for.
The overseas Filipino worker (OFW) advocate and former labor undersecretary said that tomorrow the Magdalo Party would make a major announcement on who to support, adding that Sen. Trillanes had assured her of the party’s commitment which “comprises a solid vote among members with a multiplier effect on their families and communities."
Susan, youngest daughter of the former International Labor Organization (ILO) president Blas F. Ople, also disclosed he was briefed about the names of the Magdalo-backed candidates for president, vice-president, and 12 senators, hinting “it's a mixed ticket that was a product of a series of consultations among the Magdalo officers and members."
Francisco Ashley Acedillo, a former Air Force first lieutenant, it was learned, has been tasked by the party to make the announcement, marking the first time the group of rebel soldiers and their civilian supporters would be expressing support and actively mobilizing its members nationwide to help certain candidates.
Magdalo Party, with chapters in the provincial, city and municipal levels, is considered as one among the silent but very powerful organizations in terms of command votes among the military personnel and their families.
This claim was clearly proven when then Navy Lt. Senior Grade Trillanes ran as an independent candidate for the Senate seat and won in the 2007 national elections despite limited logistical support.
The Magdalo Party, Robles said, followed a consultative process in formulating its own list of candidates, and that Ople was chosen because of her consistent fight for the rights of OFWs.
Under the party’s rules, delegates were made to select from among the senatorial bets on the basis of the latter’s character, vision and leadership.
The group earlier endorsed the senatorial candidacy of fellow Magdalo members Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and Col. Ariel Querubin.