Leftist leaders set emergency meeting after Mariano’s rejection by CA
The leftist Makabayan bloc has called an emergency meeting of its top officials to determine whether or not to stay with the House supermajority, following the rejection of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano by the Commission on Appointments (CA).
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said the meeting of the Makabayan national executive committee would be held next week “to assess the bloc’s membership with the majority coalition.”
The seven Makabayan party-list lawmakers belong to the administration coalition in the 293-strong chamber.
But the relations between the President and the Left seemed to have become lukewarm, as the militants have grown increasingly critical of the Duterte administration and opposed a number of administration policies.
Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said the CA’s decision to reject Mariano was a “calamitous and grave mistake” that “sealed off any prospect for fundamental reforms almost half of the population could look forward to.”
He suggested that the CA move had a deeper implication on the government’s relationship with the Left, noting that “Mariano’s post is crucial to the peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).”
Last month, former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, who, like Mariano, was recommended by the NDFP to Duterte, was rejected by the CA.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., a Liberal Party-member belonging to a House opposition faction, said Mariano’s rejection exposed the volatility of Duterte’s relationship with the Left.
“It shows that the tactical alliance forged by the extreme left and President Duterte before during and after the elections is based on flimsy grounds,” he said, adding that he was personally saddened by Mariano’s rejection. kga
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