BBM makes Toots Ople cry after describing her dad Blas as ‘champion of labor’

7 May 2022

SUSAN ‘Toots’ Ople, youngest of the seven children of former Labor Secretary and Senator Blas Ople,   could not help but cry when presidential frontrunner for Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., described her father as ‘champion of labor’.

The elder Ople served as labor chief for 17 years during the term of former President Ferdinand Marcos, and was credited for introducing various reforms in the department including allowing local workers to work overseas, aside from being one of the most brilliant and astute advisers of the former president.

During a recent meeting with leaders and representatives of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) Marcos assured the country’s work force that he will appoint credible and efficient officials in the labor department who would look into their welfare.

“Siyempre, ang pinakauna maghanap tayo, makikinig ako sa inyo, sino ang mga dapat na maging secretary, undersecretary diyan sa mga departments na iyan at mga ahensya ng government para talagang represented kayo,” Marcos said.

“Yung champion ng labor talaga noon si Ka Blas, Blas Ople hindi ba? Yun talagang naiintindihan talaga nya at saka nakikita ko pinapaliwanag nya sa matanda, sa father ko. Talagang pinaglalaban nya nang mabuti. Mahusay naman talaga kaya nakikinig yung aking ama. Ganon din ang gagawin natin,” he added.

Ople, who was then 40 years old, was appointed in 1967 as labor secretary of Marcos Sr., a post he held for 17 years.

In 1975, he became the first Filipino president of the International Labor Organization. He delivered his acceptance speech in the Filipino language.

Susan Ople, who was present during the town hall meeting admitted that she cried when her father was mentioned by Marcos.

“Naiyak talaga ako, kasi na-recognize niya ang ginawa ng aking ama,” said Susan.

She then met Marcos after the event and ask for a souvenir photo. “Salamat po sa pagbanggit sa pangalan ng ama ko,” she told Marcos.

“Magaling naman talaga ang father mo,” Marcos answered.

Susan is now the president of Blas Ople Policy Center which assists distressed OFWs in various parts of the world.

During the town hall meeting, Marcos Jr. assured that his top priority is to protect the labor force in the country as part of his programs to recover from the pandemic when elected in the May 9, 2022 national polls.

“When it comes to labor, my number one priority is to protect the labor force, doon natin unahin and from there magpo-flow na basta’t maayos ang ating pagtrato sa ating mga workers, I think the rest of all of the issues will flow from that,” Marcos, who was greeted with cheers and applause by the workers, said.

The presidential frontrunner and the labor leaders were able to tackle the problems and issues that lay siege to the sector and outlined his plans and programs to address them.

Marcos also expressed interest in making a priority bill the Security of Tenure Act, which aims to amend the Labor Code to better protect workers’ rights.

-30-

FILIPINO VERSION

Toots Ople napaluha matapos kilalanin ni BBM ang amang si Blas na ‘champion of labor’

HINDI napigilang maluha ni Susan ‘Toots’ Ople, ang pinakabata sa pitong anak ni dating Labor Secretary at Senador Blas Ople, matapos banggitin ni presidential frontrunner dating Sen. Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., na ang ama nito ay ‘champion of labor.”

Si Blas ay nagsilbing labor chief sa loob ng 17 taon noong panahon ni dating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Sr., at nakilala sa kanyang malaking ambag sa sektor ng paggawa kabilang ang pagkakaroon ng trabaho ng mga Pinoy sa abroad, bukod pa diyan na siya ang isa sa pinakamagaling na taga-payo ni Marcos noon.

Sa town hall meeting kamakailan kasama ang mga kinatawan ng Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) sa Quezon C

ity, siniguro ni Marcos na magtatalaga siya ng magaling at pro-labor na kalihim sa labor department.

“Siyempre, ang pinakauna maghanap tayo, makikinig ako sa inyo, sino ang mga dapat na maging secretary, undersecretary diyan sa mga departments na iyan at mga ahensya ng government para talagang represented kayo,” ani Marcos.

“Yung champion ng labor talaga noon si Ka Blas, Blas Ople hindi ba? Yun talagang naiitindihan talaga nya at saka nakikita ko pinapaliwanag nya sa matanda, sa father ko. Talagang pinaglalaban nya nang mabuti. Mahusay naman talaga kaya nakikinig yung aking ama. Ganon din ang gagawin natin,” dagdag niya.

Nasa 40 taong gulang pa lamang noon si Ople, nang italaga siya ni Marcos noong 1967 bilang kalihim ng labor department at hinawakan niya ang pwesto sa loob ng 17 taon.

Noong 1975, si Ople ang kauna-unahang Filipino president ng International Labor Organization. Hinangaan siya dahil sa kanyang acceptance speech na gumamit ng purong Filipino ang salita.

Dumalo rin si Susan sa naturang town hall meeting at umamin na hindi niya napigilang maiyak nang banggitin ni Marcos ang pangalan ng kanyang ama.

“Naiyak talaga ako, kasi na-recognize niya ang ginawa ng aking ama,” saad ni Susan.

Pagkatapos ng okasyon, agad itong nakipagkita ng personal kay Marcos para magpasalamat at magpa-litrato. “Salamat po sa pagbanggit sa pangalan ng ama ko,” ani Susan kay Marcos.

“Magaling naman talaga ang father mo,” sagot naman ni Marcos.

Si Susan ang pangulo ngayon ng Blas Ople Policy Center na tumutulong sa mga inaaping OFW

Sa naturang town hall meeting, siniguro ni Marcos Jr. na ang kanyang prayoridad ay protektahan ang mga manggagawa bilang bahagi pa rin ng kanyang programa para makabangon mula sa pandemya.

“When it comes to labor, my number one priority is to protect the labor force, doon natin unahin and from there magpo-flow na basta’t maayos ang ating pagtrato sa ating mga workers, I think the rest of all of the issues will flow from that,” ani Marcos, na sinalubong ng sigawan at palakpakan ng mga manggagawa.

Napag-usapan din sa pulong ang iba pang mga isyu at pangangailangan ng mga manggagawa kasabay ang paglalatag ni Marcos ng kanyang mga programa para sa kanila.

Nagpahayag din ng interes si Marcos para gawing priority bill ang Security of Tenure Act, na naglalayong amyendahan ng Labor Code para ma-protektahan ang mga karapatan ng mga manggagawa.

-30-