By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 17May2016 (BicolToday.com) — Rodrigo Duterte on Monday offered the Left four departments to address serious concerns affecting labor, agrarian reform, environment and natural resources, and social welfare.
Meaning, the Philippine Left may endorse their comrade-experts for these agencies, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
According to sources, the Left has competent and well-qualified men and women who can join Duterte’s cabinet.
But, sources say, “leftist Technocrats” getting accepted by Duterte for the Department Secretary posts are entirely a different matter to be approved and confirmed later by the Senate Commission of Appointments.
“We are not sure if both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be friendly to the Duterte Administration,” said an activist.
“Chances are Congress might become hostile to Duterte,” said the activist, referring to previous Duterte’s anti-Congress statements and radical reforms during his campaign.
Duterte, due to assume the President position on July 1 after getting elected, hopes to strike a balance between groups involved in the internal conflict and the State, appeasing the Left while vowing to resume the stalled peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Leftist groups have openly campaigned for Duterte during the campaign period.
Over the week, leftist groups opened their first salvo at Duterte who has not yet assumed office, saying that his proposed, draft, 8-point economic agenda is a continuation of outgoing President Aquino’s neoliberal policies.
“It’s a copycat economic agenda lifted out from Aquino’s,” said a militant youth group.
Claiming, he has been a friend to the New People’s Army (NPA) and armed Muslim separatist groups, while serving as long-time mayor of Davao City, Duterte shall consider himself as their enemy when he assumes the Presidency.
“But, I will offer my hand in peace, and we shall talk to attain peace,” he said over media interviews in Manila.
Media reports over the week said exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison is willing to return to Manila if Duterte resumes the peace talks, which got stalled during the term of outgoing President Aquino.
It had been reported that militarist hawks inside the military establishment, a bunch of influential ones, preferred the swords of war rather than sweet-talking with the local communists. [BicolToday.com]