By Yas D. Ocampo
Davao City – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has called out the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and accused it of “purging” the government of Left-leaning activists.
It also said that the President has lost moral ground in asking CPP members and the New People’s Army to surrender which they called “unacceptable.”
This CPP issued the statement after the rejection by the Commission on Appointments (CA) of the appointment of Rafael Mariano as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. Mariano’s rejection by the CA came in the heels of the non-confirmation of former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo.
The CA had also rejected the confirmation of former environment secretary Gina Lopez.
In a statement dated Sept. 7, the CPP said that Duterte’s government “has completely purged his cabinet of Left activists and mass leaders.”
The CPP lamented the rejection of one of the advocates of the implementation of agrarian reform programs.
“Mariano and Taguiwalo were among the recommendees of the National Democratic Front (NDF) who were appointed by Duterte as part of initial positive efforts to boost the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. A few other activists and leaders appointed in other positions face the same threat of expulsion from the Duterte regime,” the CPP said.
“Mariano and Taguiwalo are arguably the most genuine and competent people’s servants ever to have headed a GRP agency,” the CPP said.
The party added that the two had “performed their duties outstandingly and with full adherence to the interests of the downtrodden.”
“By having them removed, Duterte has displayed complete devotion to the interests of big landlords, big bourgeois compradors and bureaucrat capitalists,” the CPP said.
The CPP also suspected Duterte of reneging on his campaign promise of reconciling with the Left.
“The removal of Mariano and Taguiwalo makes it more starkly clear to the Filipino people that Duterte’s pretensions and promises of change are nothing but empty bluster,” the CPP said.
However, the CPP said it would continue hoping for the continuation of talks.
“As a matter of principle, the revolutionary forces will remain open to peace negotiations in the event that the Duterte regime (or any succeeding regime) will display genuine interest in addressing the issues at the root of the civil war,” the CPP said.
The group said that negotiations may still push through, at least from their end.
“As a matter of principle, the revolutionary forces remain open to negotiations as a means to attain a just and lasting peace even as it wages people’s war, conduct tactical offensives and confront the US-Duterte regime’s Oplan Kapayapaan all-out war,” the CPP said in a statement.
“The NDFP-GRP negotiations, however, cannot be fruitful while Duterte remains obsessed with Oplan Kapayapaan and demanding NPA capitulation.”
Duterte, the CPP said, demanded the surrender of the NPA but waged an all-out war against them.