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KMP backs Mariano as peasants rep in Duterte Cabinet

/ 03:45 PM May 27, 2016

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Friday welcomed the nomination by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) of former Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael “Paeng” Mariano to the position of agrarian reform secretary in the administration of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

The group is confident that Mariano will push for “significant policy changes.”

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READ: Reds name 2 ex-solons, ex-UP prof for Cabinet

“In light of the absence of a land reform law due to the death of the failed and sham comprehensive agrarian reform program, incoming President Duterte should seriously consider the NDFP’s nomination of Ka Paeng to effect significant policy changes in the agrarian front,” KMP secretary general Antonio Flores said.

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Flores said that should Mariano assume the post, he will become the “Filipino peasantry’s representative.”

“Should Ka Paeng be appointed as DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) secretary I am absolutely sure he shall not depart (from) and, instead, will further link arms with the Filipino peasantry’s mass movement and militant struggle against land-grabbing, land use and crops conversion, and other forms of feudal and semi-feudal exploitation,” he added.

The group also urged the President-in-waiting to fulfill his promise of resuming negotiations with the NDFP and to certify as urgent the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill.

Mariano is one of the 10 nominees submitted by the NDFP to Duterte in a meeting here last Tuesday.

In a press conference early Thursday, Duterte said that the Left has drawn up an “impressive” list for his Cabinet.

“The Left has given me an impressive list of people who have the talent. I am inclined to give in,” the incoming President told reporters.

Aside from Mariano, former University of the Philippines professor Judy Taguiwalo and former Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño are on the list.

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Duterte offered four Cabinet portfolios to the Left: Department of Social Welfare and Development, DAR, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

READ: Duterte: 4 Cabinet posts open to Reds

Duterte has named former Justice Secretary Silvestre Bello III as his labor secretary. RAM/rga

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TAGS: Cabinet, Filipino, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, KMP, peasants, presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, Rafael "Paeng" Mariano
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