‘Father of modern linguistics’ Noam Chomsky backs Ka Leody and Walden Bello

The so-called “father of modern linguistics” Noam Chomsky has endorsed the presidential and vice presidential tandem of Leodegario “Ka Leody” De Guzman and Walden Bello, both of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) party.

Noam Chomsky (Photo from Noam Chomsky's Facebook page)

The 93-year-old Chomsky is a world-renowned linguist, philosopher, academic, and activist. He is an institute professor emeritus (retired) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The upcoming (Philippine) elections offer a real choice: two outstanding candidates are on the ballot (De Guzman and Bello),” Chomsky said in a video message provided by De Guzman’s media team on Monday, May 2.

Chomsky, in his message, endorsed the PLM duo and even mentioned that he and Bello had known each other for years.

“Walden Bello, I’ve known him for many years, has compiled a stellar record in activism and scholarship, always on the frontlines of struggles for justice and freedom in the Philippines and worldwide. I’ve personally learned a great deal from his work which has always been a constant source of inspiration for engagement and activism. It’s been my great privilege to have been able to join him in some of his efforts,” he said.

“Ka Leody De Guzman has long been engaged in very impressive struggles especially for the rights of working people and along with Walden, in the leadership of popular movements that seek to defend and expand peace and justice in opposition to the neolioberal assault against the population, actually a form of cruel, one-sided class war, which has had devastating effects worldwide,” Chomsky added.

Early in his message, he even described the candidacies of De Guzman and Bello as an opportunity to escape from the “grim history” of the Philippines.

“The people of the Philippines have borne more than their fair share of suffering, brutality, corruption. There have been repeated uprisings providing hope for progress, crushed by violence and repression. None of this is inevitable. Right now, there is a real opportunity to escape from this grim history,” Chomsky prefaced.

One instance of the “grim history” described by Chomsky was the Martial Law era under late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s administration. This period saw countless human rights violations and an estimated $10 billion in wealth stolen from the Filipino people.

Running rival to De Guzman in the 2022 national elections is UniTeam standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, son of Marcos Sr. and heir to the Marcos estate.

“Their program of democratic socialism offers a way for the Philippines to escape from the bitter cycle of the past and to take its proper place in leading Asia forward towards the role it can and should play in creating a much better world for the Philippines and for all of us,” the 93-year-old linguist concluded.