SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV on Sunday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to kick out leftist members of his Cabinet after he ordered the Armed Forces to go after the communist New People’s Army.
Trillanes, a stanch critic of the President, said he has received information from the military that hundreds of cadres from the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA are now officially employed in various government agencies.
He enumerated these government offices as the Department of Social Welfare and Development headed by Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, the Department of Agrarian Reform headed by Secretary Rafael Mariano, the Department of Labor and Employment headed by Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the National Anti-Poverty Commission headed by Secretary Liza Maza and the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council headed by retired military official Eduardo del Rosario.
Taguiwalo, an activist who helped organized the militant women’s organization Malayang Kilusan ng Kababaihan was nominated by National Democratic Front to the President to lead the DWSD.
Mariano, former Anskpawis party-list representative, was also nominated by the NDF to Duterte to be the DAR secretary.
Also known as “Ka Paeng,” Mariano is the chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas a militant farmers’ group that has led many protests against the Aquino administration’s implementation of agrarian reform and agriculture programs.
Bello, a former Justice secretary, was involved with the NDF-CPP/NPA having served as chairperson of the government peace panel negotiating with the communist rebels.
Maza was a former party-list representative of Gabriela and Bayan Muna and had led several protest actions on various issues against previous administrations.
Duterte had earlier offered at least four departments to the communists, but recently engaged its founder and leader Jose Maria Sison in a word war.
Trillanes pointed out that these communists were using the resources of their government offices to stockpile arms and ammunition, which they would use later on against government soldiers.
Before his second State of the Nation Address, Duterte said he would no longer pursue peace negotiations with the left, after the NPA ambushed a convoy with members of his security detail.
The President also ordered the police and military to go after the communist rebels when they are done with the Marawi siege by Islamic State-inspired terrororists.
Sison on Sunday taunted Duterte, calling him the country’s “No. 1 drug addict.”
Sison also called his former student a “coward” for killing poor people ‘extrajudicially’ by the thousands while retracting his previous public threats against alleged drug protectors and syndicates.
“As an addict user of the opioid Fentanyl, Duterte is the No. 1 drug addict in the Philippines and is the most fitting target of the police units that he has turned into death squads and corrupted with money and promotions,” Sison said.
Duterte, an admitted user of Fentanyl to ease the pain from his spinal injuries, previously said that he took more than the required dosage of the pain reliever that made him feel like he was “on cloud nine.”
Sison took Duterte to task for the resurgence of the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison, while low-level drug addicts are being killed by the thousands.
“But many people, including his so-called diehard supporters, are waking up to the fact that the illegal drug trade continues to thrive even in Bilibid and that Duterte has been favoring certain drug lords by delivering the street market to them where the low-level pushers of other drug syndicates have been slaughtered,” he added.
Sison cited as examples of Duterte’s cowardice how he had made threats against suspected Cebu-based drug lord Peter Lim, Gov. Amado Espino of Pangasinan and retired general Marcelo Garbo, whom he accused of protecting the biggest drug syndicates, only to retract them later.
“But he has enjoyed the most the mass murder of suspected poor drug users and pushers in the urban slums by the thousands and has openly assured the obvious murderers in authority that they have the license to kill with impunity,” Sison said.
“Duterte is overconfident that the poor victims, their families and even institutions cannot stand and fight against his presidential power,” he added.
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