Duterte fires last leftist in government
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday announced that he had fired Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod.
“Joel Maglunsod pinaalis ko. Pinagbigyan ko sila noong bago ako,” Duterte said in a speech at the Camp Juan Ponce Sumuroy in Catarman, Northern Samar, the transcript of which was shared to Palace reporters Wednesday morning.
Maglungsod is the last left-leaning official in the Duterte Cabinet.
The President earlier appointed several former leftist lawmakers to top government positions in a bid to boost the peace process with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army and National Democratic Front.
However, Duterte’s relation with the CPP had gone south over continued rebel attacks on soldiers despite the peace talks.
Last year, the appointments of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, a former Anakpawis party-list representative, were rejected by lawmakers.
Taguiwalo and Mariano were activists and leftist leaders and were appointed by Duterte in 2016.
The President recently expressed relief that Congress rejected the appointments of leftist leaders to his Cabinet, noting that the widespread presence of communist insurgents in society enabled them to enter government.
“Eh ako naman in my desire really to just extend a helping hand, maybe I can succeed talking to them, naipasok ko rin sa gobyerno. Mabuti’t na lang ni-reject ng Congress’yung appointments nila,” Duterte said.
The chief executive also accused the communists of conniving with the opposition Liberal Party and his fiercest critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes, in a supposed plot called “Red October.”
On August 20, 2018, Liza Masa resigned as secretary of the National Anti-Poverty Commission. /cbb
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