Mariano: I was never a member of CPP-NPA
Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael “Paeng” Mariano once and for all clarified that he has never joined the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) which had been waging war against the government for nearly 50 years.
“Hindi po ako naging bahagi ng (CPP-NPA). Hindi po ako nagkaroon ng karanasang nasa underground,” Mariano told reporters at the Senate on Wednesday.
(I was never a part of the CPP-NPA. I never experienced being underground.)
Mariano faced the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday to deliberate the confirmation of his ad interim appointment as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
“Hindi po ako miyembro ng CPP o ng NPA… kaya magkaiba po ang history at kalagayan namin ni Secretary Taguiwalo,” Mariano said.
(I’m not a member of CPP or NPA… my history and situation are different from Secretary Taguiwalo.)
Mariano was referring to former Social Welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo, whose appointment was recently rejected by the CA panel.
After her rejection, President Duterte said Taguiwalo might have used the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) funds to support the New People’s Army.
Mariano was formerly the chairman of militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). But he clarified that he stepped down from the progressive organization’s leadership prior to his appointment to DAR to avoid conflict of interest.
Mariano and Taguiwalo were among those the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), CPP’s political wing, nominated to join Duterte’s cabinet. JE
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