Salceda defects yet again, this time to Duterte
Incoming Albay Rep. Joey Salceda has defected again, this time to the camp of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. But he explained that he was directed to support the country’s new strongman by Duterte’s losing rival Sen. Grace Poe whose presidential bid Salceda had supported.
The outgoing Albay governor likewise backed Duterte in his decision to offer four Cabinet posts to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Salceda was seen attending the meeting of incoming members of the 17th Congress who are supporting the speakership bid of incoming Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.
Alvarez, a former transportation secretary, was picked by Duterte and his political party PDP-Laban for the House speakership.
Former first lady Imelda Marcos who was reelected as Ilocos Norte 2nd District representative was also seen at the meeting of about 62 incoming members of the lower chamber.
Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, an ally of Vice President Jejomar Binay, was also spotted.
Asked why he was supporting Duterte now, Salceda said: “That is the order of Grace Poe: support the new president.”
Salceda has jumped from one ship to another in the last three months. A former Liberal Party stalwart, he withdrew his support for former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in favor of Poe.
Salceda was eyed by Duterte to head the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
Although no formal announcement has been made, Salceda said he would accept if there was such an offer.
Salceda, an economist, meanwhile saw nothing wrong with giving Cabinet posts to the CPP, saying some countries have proven that it is doable.
“Look at Colombia. They managed to do it. Peru had done it too,” Salceda said.
Salceda was referring to the agreements reached by the Colombian government with the Farc rebel group.
For the Albay governor, the incoming Duterte administration should abandon the neoliberal policies in its economic agenda which left-wing groups have earlier questioned.
“We really have to question neoliberalism within the globalization framework. It is being questioned anyway my mainstream economists,” Salceda said.
Neoliberalism, a set of policies which involve the transfer of control from public to the private sector, has been blamed for the greater concentration of wealth and inequality across the world.
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