Socialist labor leader Leody “Ka Leody” de Guzman apologized for his previous Facebook post on Filipino women leaders that drew criticisms over perceived “misogyny.”
In a statement on October 17, presidential aspirant De Guzman said his previous post was meant to point out shortcomings of late president Corazon “Cory” Aquino, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Vice President Leni Robredo as leaders, but was not an attack on their womanhood, as some social media users alleged.
“Humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa mga nasaktan at nakaisip na ang pagpuna ko kay Cory, Gloria, at Leni ay dahil babae sila. Sila ang mga lider na nagbigay ng pag-asa sa maraming tao noong People Power 1 at 2 na kayang mawakasan ang mga madugo, korap, at elitista na rehimeng Marcos at Estrada,” De Guzman said.
“Hindi ako namumuna dahil sa kanilang kasarian kundi dahil sa kanilang naging pagkukulang sa masa. Sa bandang huli, hindi pa rin nila naiwaksi ang nakagawiang politika ng mga bilyonaryo,” he added.
In a lengthy post on October 16, De Guzman addressed a certain Camille Estonio who he claimed was criticizing his presidential bid. De Guzman said Estonio accused him of dividing votes for his fellow presidential hopeful, Robredo.
“Sagot ko sa kay Camille P. Estonio na nagsabi na hinahati ko lang ang boto ni Leni. Pero, ang nakakatuwa, may pauna siya na nire-respeto nya ako. Ang sagot ko. Salamat sa pag-respeto,” De Guzman responded.
“Pero hindi ko hinahati ang boto ni Leni. May sariling botante si Leni, ito yung mga sumasang ayon sa kanya na ang problema ay si Duterte at si Marcos kaya dapat hindi sila makabalik!” he added.
The labor leader also lamented the still-prevailing concerns of Filipino workers that the previous administrations, such as those of female presidents Arroyo and Aquino, failed to address.
“Ayaw ko nang maulit ang masamang karanasan ng pagsuporta ng taong bayan kay Cory laban kay Marcos at kay Gloria laban naman kay Erap. Walang napala ang taong bayan, nagpatuloy lang ang kahirapan at kaapihan ng mamamyan,” he said.
The labor leader posted this on his personal Facebook account. He has a different Facebook page where he updates his supporters on his campaign and other related activities.
De Guzman ended his statement by claiming Robredo is the one dividing the votes of the “opposition.”
“Kung mayroon mang nanghati, ito ay si Leni mismo. Nang kausapin n’ya si Paquiao at si Isko para magsama sama daw ang oposisyon. Sa ginawa nya, nabendisyunan si Paquiao at si Isko na oposisyon din. At dahil sa tagal nyang mag desisyon sa pagtakbo, marami sa mga nainip ang lumipat kay Isko at Paquiao,” he said.
In his apology, De Guzman stressed his respect for Robredo’s leadership.
However, he said that his fellow presidential aspirant still needs to give more “context” for why she is running for president.
“Malaki ang aking respeto kay VP Leni at sa kanyang track record. Ngunit sa tingin ko lang ay mahalagang bigyan ng konteksto ang kanyang pagtakbo sa puntong ito ng ating kasaysayan nang hindi tayo humantong ulit sa mga pagkakamali ng nakaraan,” the labor leader said.
Some Filipinos perceived De Guzman’s social media post as “misogynistic” and “distasteful” when he took a jab at Aquino, Arroyo and Robredo.
“Sorry pero even if he’s partially right and making some valid points here, this is a really, really bad take. Disappointing,” one user said.
“The Cory and Gloria analogy is misogynistic. It’s like saying, ‘oh meron tayong dalawang palpak na babaeng presidente dati’ to invalidate another woman (VP Leni). This is where he crossed the line. VP Leni never said anything against him, yet he went there,” another user wrote.
De Guzman’s supporters, meanwhile, defended him. “Cory and GMA weren’t singled out [because] they were women, but rather because they led their respective EDSAs which focused on Ferdinand Marcos/Erap in particular instead of systemic problems,” one user said.