Left-leaning DSWD chief: I renounce violence as it is
For Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, who has been endorsed to the Cabinet by the communist group, asking whether or not she abhors violence was not an easy question that could not be answered by a yes or no.
Nevertheless, Taguiwalo was confronted by the question raised by Senator Panfilo Lacson, former Philippine National Police, when she faced her confirmation hearing on Wednesday at the Commission on Appointments’ committee on labor, employment, and social welfare.
Under Lacson’s questioning, the Secretary admitted that the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front had endorsed her appointment to President Rodrigo Duterte but said she is no longer part of the group.
“Since sinabi niyo naman na hindi na kayo member na and since you are now a member of the Cabinet, do you abhor violence as a means to show dissent against the duly-constituted authority?” the senator asked.
At first, Taguiwalo gave a lengthy answer to the senator’s question. She said there were “compelling reasons” why some people have decided to take arms.
When Lacson pressed for a “yes or no” answer, the Secretary said: “You can’t just say that yes or no…”
“If you don’t want to answer, then fine with me. I know more or less what’s on your mind,” Lacson said.
“Well, it’s not an easy question, you know. I was a student activist during the first quarter storm, we were holding a rally in front of Congress and we’re brutally dispersed and I have seen how my colleagues were hurt so I renounce that kind of violence against helpless people,” Taguiwalo said.
“So I think it’s a very tricky question Mr. Senator, but as member of the Cabinet of President Duterte, I renounce violence as it is. I’m willing to work with him so that we can put an end to the armed conflict that has beset our country for so many decades,” she said.
Lacson ended his questioning with an assurance that he would support Taguiwalo’s confirmation.
The committee, however, suspended the hearing as there were other members who have expressed intentions to ask questions from the nominee. JE
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