Left-leaning Cabinet members urged to go after Duterte dropped peace talks

(left) President Rodrigo Duterte (top l-r) DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo and DAR Sec. Rafael Mariano (bottom) NAPC Sec. Liza Maza (Photo: www.gmanetwork.com)

By Macon Araneta | FilAm Star Correspondent

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to kick out leftist members of his Cabinet after he ordered the Armed Forces to go after the communist New People’s Army (NPA).

But Senior Deputy Executive Sec. Menardo Guevarra said leftist members of Duterte’s Cabinet are bound to stay.

“As far as the Office of the President is concerned, we see no reason why the three so-called leftist members of the Cabinet will have to be removed. The President continues to repose trust in them,” he said.

With the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law, he said there was no reason that those espousing ideals of the left should be outlawed, or kicked out from government.

“…the very purpose of that repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law is to ensure that people who advocate Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Maoism, et cetera, will not go underground and that they join the legitimate organizations, so that they can espouse whatever they want to espouse,” he said.

Trillanes, a staunch critic of the President, said he has received information from the military that hundreds of cadres from the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA are now officially employed in various government agencies.

He enumerated these government offices as: Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) headed by Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) headed by Sec. Rafael Mariano, Department of Labor and Employment headed by Sec. Silvestre Bello III, National Anti-Poverty Commission headed by Sec. Liza Maza and the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council headed by retired military official Eduardo del Rosario.

Taguiwalo, an activist who helped organized the militant women’s organization Malayang Kilusan ng Kababaihan was nominated by National Democratic Front (NDF) to the President to lead the DWSD.

Mariano, former Anak pawis party-list representative, was also nominated by the NDF to Duterte to be the DAR secretary.

Also known as “Ka Paeng,” Mariano is the chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas a militant farmers’ group that has led many protests against the Aquino administration’s implementation of agrarian reform and agriculture programs.

Bello, a former Justice secretary, was involved with the NDF-CPP/NPA having served as chairperson of the government peace panel negotiating with the communist rebels.

Maza was a former party-list representative of Gabriela and Bayan Muna and had led several protest actions on various issues against previous administrations.

Duterte had earlier offered at least four departments to the communists, but recently engaged its founder and leader Jose Maria Sison in a word war.

Trillanes pointed out that these communists are using the resources of their government offices to stockpile arms and ammunition, which they would use later on against government soldiers.

Before his second State of the Nation Address, Duterte said he would no longer pursue peace negotiations with the left, after the NPA ambushed a convoy with members of his security detail.

The President also ordered the police and military to go after the communist rebels when they are done with the Marawi siege by Islamic State-inspired terrororists. CPP Joma Sison on July 30 taunted Duterte, calling him the country’s “number one drug addict.”

Sison also called his former student a “coward” for killing poor people extra-judicially by the thousands while retracting his previous public threats against alleged drug protectors and syndicates.

“As an addict user of the opioid Fentanyl, Duterte is the number one drug addict in the Philippines and is the most fitting target of the police units that he has turned into death squads and corrupted with money and promotions,” Sison said.

Duterte, an admitted user of Fentanyl to ease the pain from his spinal injuries, previously said that he took more than the required dosage of the pain reliever that made him feel like he was “on cloud nine.”