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Joma Sison slams Duterte admin over Taguiwalo rejection

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison on Wednesday slammed the Duterte administration over Judy Taguiwalo's rejection as chief of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

In a message to GMA News Online, Sison said the administration showed it was becoming "reactionary to anti-national interests" when it failed to allow Taguiwalo to sail through the Commission on Appointments.

"The rejection of the appointment of Judy Taguiwalo is one more sign that the Duterte regime is becoming more and more reactionary and servile to anti-national and anti-democratic interests," Sison said via a Facebook message.

Taguiwalo is the third Cabinet official appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to be rejected by the Commission on Appointments (CA). The other two are Perfecto Yasay Jr. as Foreign Affairs Secretary and Gina Lopez as Environment Secretary.

Sison said following Taguiwalo's rejection, "patriotic and progressive forces can expect more ultra-reactionary actions from the Duterte regime."

"The actions being taken against them are in line with the all-out war policy which Duterte has duplicitously carried out since the beginning of his regime first under an extended Oplan Bayanihan and then under his Oplan Kapayapaan," the communist leader said.

"All patriotic and progressive forces have to develop a broad united front against the puppet and reactionary US-Duterte regime," he added, noting that communists must deal with the fact that Duterte has already ditched the peace talks.

Taguiwalo was one of those earlier nominated by the CPP to President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet.

Taguiwalo, however, had denied that she was still a member of the communist movement.

Groups disappointed

Following Taguiwalo's rejection, several groups have voiced their disappointment, including the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

"Her principled stand against the pork barrel system earned her the ire of the oligarchs who from the start were bent on blocking her appointment. We have allowed the oligarchs again to triumph over the Filipino people," it added.

The NAPC believed that the poor sector has a "little representation" in the society and that Taguiwalo's rejection meant a denial to serve them.

"The poor already have very little representation and we keep denying them the chance to be served by government officials like Sec. Judy, who is a staunch advocate of the poor and marginalized," the NAPC said.

"Sec. Judy served the people well. In her first months in office, she was able to accomplish what her predecessors failed miserably to deliver in years – prompt and efficient delivery of services to the greatest number of poor Filipinos who need them most," the agency added.

Karapatan, another group that shared NAPC's sentiment, meanwhile said the rejection was "another proof of the bankruptcy of the patronage and corrupt politics that exists in the country."

"It also shows the wide difference of the kind of politics of moneyed, powerful and the most incompetent nincompoops in the land and the kind of governance that the Left, the militant and progressive Left, offers as an alternative - pro-people, nationalist, dedicated, and selfless politics and governance," it said.

Karapatan also said the move to reject Taguiwalo just proved that the Duterte administration was never on the side of the Filipino people.

"By allowing the CA’s rejection of Taguiwalo, Duterte has once more proven that his government is not for the people, but for the elite. With Taguiwalo gone and Rafael Mariano’s appointment still uncertain, the Cabinet is once more overwhelmed by militarists and neoliberal foggies," the group said.

The group said Taguiwalo's rejection was against public interest and progressive change. "It is no surprise that someone like Sec. Judy Taguiwalo would be seen as an impediment to the status quo," it added. — MDM, GMA News