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Duterte dared to axe Leftists in Cabinet

by Hannah L. Torregoza

Opposition Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV yesterday dared President Duterte to fire Leftist members in his Cabinet, following the Chief Executive’s order to the Armed Forces to go after the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army.

“Now that President Duterte has ordered the AFP to go after the NPA, I am now calling on him to kick out the communist leaders in his Cabinet,” Trillanes said in a statement.

Trillanes said hundreds of CPP-NPA cadres are employed in various government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development headed by Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Department of Agrarian Reform led by Secretary Rafael Mariano, Department of Labor and Employment Secretary headed by Silvestre Bello III, and the National Anti-Poverty Commission headed by Secretary Liza Maza.

The four government officials are known to have ties with Leftist groups.

“Because based on my AFP sources, hundreds of CPP-NPA cadres are now officially employed by the DSWD, DAR, DOLE, NAPC, and HUDCC,” said Trillanes.

The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council is now headed by Eduardo del Rosario, a retired military official.

“Moreover, these communists are using the resources from these government offices to stockpile arms and ammunition, which they would use later on against our soldiers,” Trillanes said.

Duterte has ordered the government peace panel to stop negotiations with the Left after the NPA engaged a convoy of the Presidential Security Group in North Cotabato recently.

He said the attack is an attempt on his life. Duterte has been trading barbs with CPP founder Jose Maria Sison.

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police, has vowed to fight the communist rebels at all cost as the government eyes tactical offensives against the Maoist rebel group after Duterte closed the door on the peace talks.