Ople encouraged by OFW support; gets backing of various party-list groups

Labor advocate and senatorial aspirant Susan Ople remains resolute in her fight for a seat in the Senate buoyed by expressions of support from her own political party, the Nacionalista Party, and several party-list organizations, as well as overseas workers’ groups.

“The entire party membership is behind the candidacy of Susan Ople because we believe in what she’s fighting for, which is also our advocacy, to protect the rights and welfare of our OFWs,” Las Pinas Representative Mark Villar said.

Meanwhile, since the start of the overseas voting last April 9, Ople has been receiving a daily barrage of messages from OFWs that included her in their ballots.

“OFWs in different countries send me messages via Facebook that they have already voted and that my name is in their ballots. These messages have become a daily source of encouragement and inspiration for me. It has also strengthened my resolve to fight for a seat in the Senate despite the odds attached to a shoe-string campaign budget,” Ople said.

Ople also received a significant endorsement from the DIWA party-list organization during a meeting of its coalition partners held yesterday in Mandaluyong City. The Democratic Independent Workers’ Association (DIWA) has a pro-labor agenda and supports 45 livelihood and training programs in more than 100 barangays that benefit more than 7,000 families nationwide.

Present during the said meeting were: Retired General Edgar Aglipay, chairman of DIWA party-list and its president, Defe Pico as well as other coalition members representing the Security Guards Association of the Philippines (SEGAP), Philippine Association of Detective and Protective Agency Operators (PADPAO), Police Hotline Movement (PHMI), Inc., Federation of PNP-accredited NGOs (FPAN), and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO). Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar presented to Ople the livelihood programs of DIWA party-list.

“I am very grateful to all these declarations of support especially from my party, the Nacionalista Party, and from the different grassroots organizations, OFW federations, and party-list groups that believe in my platform and advocacy,” the former labor undersecretary and youngest daughter of the late Senator Blas F. Ople said.

Aside from DIWA party-list, the following party list groups have also pledged their support to Ople: Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Sanlakas, Partido Manggagawa, Ating Guro, Ang Nars party-list, ACTS-OFW, Ako Bicol, OFW Family Club, and Samahang Magdalo.

Major OFW groups based in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar and other parts of the world have also come out openly in support of Ople’s bid.

“I urge everyone to consider new faces in the Senate, especially those who have been serving the public consistently through the years even without much fanfare,” Ople said.

The former labor undersecretary holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, which bestowed on her the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Achievement Award in 2010. Ople also holds the distinction as the 2013 recipient of the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Hero Award. She is also a columnist, writer and broadcaster with two public service radio programs on DZXL and DWIZ.