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Joma Sison welcomes Duterte's Cabinet appointees

After securing two of four Cabinet posts promised by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison said Thursday they are not in the position yet to ask for more government positions.

Speaking at a press conference via Skype, Sison hailed Duterte for being “magnanimous” when he offered the environment, social welfare and development, labor and employment and agrarian reform portfolios to allies of the Communist movement.

“Si President Duterte magnanimous na sa pag-aalok ng posisyon,” Sison said.

Sison maintained that no officials from the CPP and its political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), would actually serve in the next administration before reaching a political agreement in which the rebels may push for a coalition government.

“Pero napakarami yung highly qualified sa hanay ng mga makabayan at progresibong mga tao na namumuhay ng legal kaya yun ang pinagbigyan muna,” he said.

Endorsed by the insurgents were University of the Philippines professor Judy Taguiwalo who was named social welfare secretary and former Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano who was chosen to head the agrarian reform department.

Lawyer Silvestre Bello III, a former chief negotiator with the NDFP, was designated labor secretary while Duterte will reportedly assume the environment portfolio for the meantime.

Meanwhile, Sison hoped that Duterte would consider a leftist to be an undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“Siguro pwede pag-usapan na yung undersecretary ni President Duterte ay galing sa mga progresibo at kapag nahila ng mas malalaking problema ang presidente, pwede na niya ibigay ang posisyon sa kanyang undersecretary,” he said.

“Maaaring ganun pero hindi pwede pilitin ng NDF si President Duterte. Nasa kanya yun,” Sison added. — BAP, GMA News