Makabayan bloc rethinks alliance with Duterte
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives will rethink its strategic alliance with the Duterte administration after the Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected the appointments of Judy Taguiwalo and Rafael Mariano as secretaries of Social Welfare and Agrarian Reform, respectively.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) recommended Taguiwalo and Mariano to their posts to President Rodrigo Duterte as a confidence-building measure to restart peace talks with the communists.
In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said he will call for the pull out of the militant groups from the majority coalition in Congress during a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) next week.
The seven-member Makabayan bloc became members of the supermajority when they voted for Pantaleon Alvarez as House Speaker. But their affiliation with the majority has not stopped them from openly criticizing the administration.
According to Zarate, the President “torpedoed the alliance with the Left with his anti-people and pro-imperialist, and fascist policies and actions.”
“We are now inclined to recommend at the NEC meeting of Makabayan next week to pull out from the alliance with the Duterte administration,” Zarate said on Thursday.
Zarate also said that it is time to rethink their ties with the administration especially since Duterte has “reneged on his promise” to release and grant amnesty to political prisoners.
Zarate likewise decried the government’s all-out war against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army; imposition of Martial law in Mindanao; worsening human rights violations, including the rising drug-related killings and attacks on Lumads and farmers; plan for higher taxes; and continued labor contractualization and land conversions.
“Pres. Duterte should be held accountable for his unfulfilled promises and gross violations of human rights and further impoverishing the people. The people demands a stop to all vicious attacks and will continue to press for meaningful change,” Zarate said. KGA
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