Totol gains urban poor support
Tañada, Akbayan hail covenant, new politics
Some 1,000 representatives of 165 urban poor organizations in Cebu City gathered at the Cebu Mariners Court and decided to support former DOTC USEC Aristotle ‘Totol’ Batuhan as they signed a covenant for change and reforms in the south district.
“Nakapadaog kita og duha ka konsehal sa 2010,” said UP ALL president Rodrigo Buhawe. The Urban Poor Alliance (UP ALL) supported two Cebu City Council candidates — Nida Cabrera and Alvin Dizon — and won. “Makapadaog kita og congressman sa 2013.”
Buhawe explained that many of the urban poor’s problems can be addressed by legislation at the Congress level.
During the pre-summit press conference, Buhawe said they closely scrutinized the records and performances of the congressional candidates in Cebu City’s south district. Only Batuhan showed the heart for the urban poor and knowledge on the intricacies of urban poor issues.
Liberal Party spokesman and Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, in a message read by Cebu Liberal Party leader Democrito Barcenas, praised Batuhan and the covenant called “Moving Forward: Joint Declaration for Change and Reforms in the South District of Cebu City.”
“He looks meztizo, but his heart is for the poor. We need servants like him in Congress,” said Tañada.
Akbayan second nominee and Political Affairs Undersecretary Ibarra Gutierrez said the covenant signing is something that could only be done by somebody who intends to do what he promised. Affixing his signature bounds Batuhan to an agreement that members of UP ALL can confront him later.
Tañada and Gutierrez, in effect, said Batuhan has embodied New Politics in the south district of Cebu City. The two, along with National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Cebu representative Marlene Paracueles, witnessed the covenant signing.
The covenant was a result of weekly consultations for six months with homeowners’ association leaders at the Pagtambayayong office.
The success of the Urban Poor Summit signals that the urban poor in Cebu City has already decided on who they will support based on a principled legislative agenda and shared vision of the future. (by Segundo Distrito)
PDF copy of the covenant document:
PDF copy of Deputy Speaker Erin Tanada’s message
Totol to run for south district post (Cebu Daily News)
Batuhan gituboy sa urban poor (Banat News)
Urban Poor signs deal with Totol (Sun.Star Cebu)