DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The National Democratic Front of the Philippines negotiating peace panel said the appointment of three cabinet secretaries in the Duterte administration could help push the socio-economic reforms in the country.
Fidel V. Agcaoili, NDFP Panel chairperson, in a statement sent to media on Saturday, April 29 said that it views positively the presence of DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano, DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and DENR Secretary Gina Lopez in the Duterte cabinet.
“Ka Paeng will play an important role in implementing a program of free land distribution for poor peasants. Ka Judy will likewise play an important role in implementing expanded social services for the people,” Agcaoili said.
“Gina Lopez meanwhile has expressed willingness to work with the revolutionary forces in protecting the environment against destructive mining operations,” he added.
The NDFP peace panel chairperson said the three cabinet secretaries could be “helpful in implementing a Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER)” that would be agreed upon by the government and the communist group.
Agcaoili, however, pointed out that the “their removal from office by reactionary interests will run counter to the people’s long-standing desire for reforms in government.”
It can be recalled that the Commission on Appointments last year had bypassed the appointment of Mariano, Taguiwalo, Lopez and Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial. All four had faced tough oppositions from the CA members because of some controversial issues they dealt within their respective agencies.
“The NDFP looks forward to continue working with the three officials, in the framework of peace negotiations, to achieve meaningful reforms for the benefit of the people towards a just peace,” he added. (davaotoday.com)