Leftists rethink alliance with Duterte over Marcos burial
Leftwing supporters of President Duterte and the Communist Party of the Philippines said on Saturday his decision to bury dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and his close ties with the Marcoses could lead to a break-up of their shaky alliance.
Members of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma), which petitioned the Supreme Court to bar Marcos from the Libingan, expressed outrage at Mr. Duterte’s “political accommodation” of the Marcoses.
“If the influence of the Marcoses is too big on the President that it affects his propeople commitment, then we will have to consider our tactical alliance,” said former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo.
“If the President is clearly trying to revive the concept of ‘bagong lipunan,’ it might spell a separation,” Ocampo added, referring to the new social order Marcos tried to establish under martial rule.
He said a souring of their relationship could affect the resolution of issues such as the peace talks and ending labor contractualization.
Neri Colmenares, another former Bayan Muna representative, acknowledged cracks in their ties to the Duterte administration.
He said the President was “very wrong” with regard to the Marcos burial. “This is a very principled position that we cannot let go of,” he said.
In one of its strongest statements against the President’s actions, the Communist Party of the Philippines said on Saturday that Mr. Duterte “exhibited gross disrespect and insensitivity” to the sufferings of Filipinos under martial law and could face mounting protests.
“In ordering the AFP to give Marcos hero’s honors, Duterte is proving himself a rotten trapo (traditional politician) who has no qualms working with the worst of the bureaucrat capitalists and gives premium to paying political debt and political loyalties even to the detriment of the people’s aspirations for historical and social justice,” the statement said.
The burial has also completed “the political resurrection of the Marcoses,” the CPP said.
Former Sen. Rene Saguisag, who fought Marcos as a human rights lawyer, urged prominent Leftists in the Duterte Cabinet to resign.
At least two Cabinet members have said they strongly opposed the Libingan burial, but neither has threatened to resign over it.
Judy Taguiwalo, a political detainee during Marcos’ martial rule, said she had expressed her opposition to the dictator’s burial at the Libingan when Mr. Duterte appointed her as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“I said no to it [Libingan burial for Marcos],” she told Baguio and northern Luzon journalists on Friday. “I think the President knows that … But I didn’t want to keep rubbing it in because he is the President.”
National Anti-Poverty Commission chief Liza Maza, a former Gabriela representative, said she was a “martial law baby.”
“I have lived the dark years of Martial Law and was politicized by the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship. I will never accept any revision of history. Marcos is no hero,” she told the Inquirer in a text message. —WITH REPORTS FROM JAYMEE T. GAMIL
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