By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Members of Tatak Kalamay will wait until after the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) in October before choosing a presidential candidate to support.
Atty. Emilio Yulo, lead convenor of Tatak Kalamay, said they will conduct consultations with their members like what they did during the 2019 senators before deciding who to support.
“It is premature to openly support a candidate if we are not sure that the candidate is even running,” he pointed out.
A major criteria, Yulo said, is that the candidate should manifest support for the sugar industry and has a proven track record.
“We know that every election time everybody will have the view that they support the industry. We will take a look at their track records. For newbies, we will look at their stand on other issues,” he said.
As to other sugar industry groups that have earlier expressed support for certain probable presidential candidates, Yulo said it is the collective stand of their association or federation and they respect that.
He added that what is important for Tatak Kalamay is the candidates they are supporting “will help the industry return.”
Earlier, the United Sugar Producers Federation (UNIFED) issued a manifesto of support for the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Signed by the 11 associations under its umbrella, UNIFED said they believe that Duterte-Carpio “possesses the qualities that a leader must have to unify the country especially in these challenging times, and at the same time, continue and improve on the gains we’ve made as a nation.”
UNIFED said they see the Davao City chief executive as the candidate who will support the interest of the sugar industry.
“We strongly believe that among the presidentiables, Mayor Sara is the candidate who will have the sugar industry’s interest at heart as her father, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had, by supporting and enabling the agriculture sector in achieving food self-sufficiency,” the manifesto said.
“Kalamay” is the Hiligaynon word for sugar and “Tatak Kalamay” refers to “all about sugar.”/DGB, WDJ