Candidate Duterte different as President? Unacceptable, says Bayan
Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Wednesday denounced the statement of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno that the public should differentiate President Rodrigo Duterte from the candidate who made the promise of pension hike for Social Security System (SSS) members in the campaign trail.
Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said Diokno’s statement was “unacceptable,” adding that “no one would believe candidates’ promises then.”
In a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, Diokno said it would be “unfair” for SSS executives to “pass the buck” to Duterte. He added that it would also be unfair to use taxpayers’ money to subsidize the proposed P2,000 pension increase, a bill vetoed by former President Benigno Aquino III during his term.
Reyes also warned Duterte against what he called as “neoliberal triumvirate” of his economic managers, namely Diokno, Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
“The economic managers from DoF, DBM and NEDA respectively, oppose Duterte’s pro-people policies while continuing to uphold the discredited neoliberal macro-economic policies of the Aquino regime. They oppose the SSS pension hike. They previously opposed the 2 year ban on land conversion. They now want to raise the excise tax on oil products. They should be helping the President fulfill his promise to the people, instead of finding ways to abandon these promises,” Reyes said in a statement.
“If economic mangers can offer this much resistance to such a basic reform measure as an increase in pension, what more can we expect in peace negotiations with the NDFP on far-reaching socio-economic reforms? Duterte should listen to the ordinary people and not the pro-business, pro-foreign, economic mangers,” he added.
Reyes warned of looming protests should the government “fail to uphold its promises to the people.” JE