DESPITE their opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, his leftist Cabinet members said they saw no need to resign and will continue to work on the reforms they envision.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, a former political detainee under Marcos’ Martial Law from 1972 to 1980, reiterated her opposition to the burial but opted to remain quiet because she did not want to “keep rubbing it in.”
“When I was interviewed upon my appointment, I was asked about that [Marcos burial]. I told them that for me, I’m really against it,” Taguiwalo said in Baguio on Friday.
But she will remain with the government and pursue her vision to implement improvements in social services to the people.
Former Gabriela party-list congresswoman Liza Maza, now secretary of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, said history has already judged Marcos when he was ousted in 1986.
“Certainly, my position is different from the President’s. I do not believe that Marcos is a hero. I am opposed to the revision of history.
“Marcos committed human rights violations and was a despotic leader and that history already judged him when the Filipino people toppled him through people’s uprising at Edsa,” Maza said.
Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod, meanwhile, said that while he is not in favor of Duterte’s decision, he “is just following what the law is saying.”
“I don’t have a problem where he is buried so long as he won’t be declared a hero,” he said.
Maza likewise stressed that her mandate in the agency won’t necessarily be affected.
“All these are being weighed,” Maza said. “Even from the start, both President Duterte and the left were aware that there are issues we agree on, like independent foreign policy, peace process and some reforms that can be realized during his term, and there are issues that we don’t agree on.”
“At this point, there is still space for common agenda that can be maximized in the service of the people.”
Taguiwalo’s media officer, Ina Silverio, likewise stressed that there is no need for a resignation.
“The Secretary has marching orders from the President on improving social services and cutting red tape in the DSWD. This issue of the Marcoses is very hard for the Secretary… but their professional relationship won’t be affected by this,” Silverio said, quoting Taguiwalo.
“This is about Marcos. This is not about President Duterte and the Secretary. The President knows that there is a personal issue with the Secretary and he will not hold that against her,” she added.
But Renato Reyes, secretary general of the leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, admitted that while Duterte’s decision affects the alliance, there are still other issues to be considered.
“They have registered their opposition in various ways. I am not aware of any decision on resignation. But if the question is whether the burial affects the alliance, yes it does. It is testing the alliance. There will be a collision here,” he said.
“There are also other issues where the alliance will be tested and those will also be factors in determining where the alliance will go.”