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Duterte Cabinet remains intact

The Cabinet is still intact after President Duterte decided to keep three Left-leaning members despite the stalemate in the peace process with the local communist group.

The President remained “civil” with Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and National Anti-Poverty Commission head Liza Maza during the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday and decided to continue advancing the interests of the Filipino nation, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

“The fact that you still see the Leftist Cabinet members attend the Cabinet meeting (last Tuesday), malaking simbolo ho iyan na at the end of the day, sabi ni Presidente, it’s all about the welfare of the Filipinos,” Andanar said in a radio interview. “Si Presidente napaka-civil sa mga taong nasa kaliwa,” he added.

The presence of the three Cabinet members showed “civility is not a sign of weakness but sincerity is subject to proof” as mentioned by the late US President John F. Kennedy, Andanar said.

Mariano, Taguiwalo, and Maza earlier called on the Duterte government to resume the peace talks with the local communist group, considering the “historic strides on many fronts.”

They said it was “unfortunate” for the peace talks to reach a standstill especially after the negotiations have been productive in recent months. “Let us give just and lasting peace a chance. Continue the GRP-NDF peace talks and pursue socio-economic and political reforms for the people,” a statement read. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)