No more grounds for Left alliance with Duterte, says solon
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio “no longer sees grounds” for the left-wing Makabayan bloc to continue its alliance with President Duterte.
However, Tinio said the seven-member party-list bloc remains with the administration-allied supermajority in the House of Representatives.
“Whether we remain or not is under discussion,” Tinio told the Inquirer.
The Makabayan has had an uneasy alliance with Mr. Duterte, who described himself as a “socialist who is pro-people” in an April 2016 campaign speech.
The bloc had lately criticized the President’s pronouncements on the shaky peace process with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, as well as the Duterte government’s brutal antinarcotics campaign and foreign policy pronouncements.
Meanwhile, the militant congressman also assailed Mr. Duterte’s allegations that Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo’s appointment was rejected because of the alleged diversion of conditional cash transfers to the New People’s Army.
In a statement, Tinio said Mr. Duterte was “only covering up his own refusal to stand by Judy in the Commission on Appointments, the reforms she started in the DSWD, and her progressive stance against pork, patronage, and anti-poor new taxes.”
“At the same time, he is spreading lies and malicious accusations against one who, up to her rejection by the CA, had been one of the few rays of hope that the poor and marginalized had in his cabinet,” said Tinio. “This refusal shows his insincerity in ridding the country of corruption and poverty. He will eventually fail to deliver his promises of change.”
Meanwhile, his fellow ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro demanded that Mr. Duterte either substantiate his claims with hard evidence or retract his statements immediately.
The congressmen noted that as a long-time local government official, Duterte would have known that the cash transfers for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program are directly coursed to the beneficiaries through the Land Bank of the Philippines and its conduits.
“This is also an effort to demonize the progressive people’s movement where Judy comes from and fully dedicates her work to. Sadly, the President’s line echoes the military’s line which maliciously tags progressives as rebel supporters or NPAs themselves,” the statement read. JE
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