MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte admits he just “used” the communist group, in as much as they used him to for their own interest.
Duterte’s statement came days after declaring the communist group in the country a terrorist organization and threatening to arrest their sympathizers and financial supporters.
The President admitted he appointed some of the left-leaning personalities to the Cabinet in an attempt to improve the relationship between the Reds and the government.
“I accommodated them even in the Cabinet hoping that it would improve the quality of our communications. Na masabihan ko, ‘Adre, pwede ba itong ipasa mo?’ [That I can ask them ‘My friend, can you just pass this on?]” Duterte said during an interview with journalists in Taguig City on Wednesday.
“That’s why their purpose was there, gamitan lang ‘to [This was just about using each other]. And I was using them,” he added.
Among the leftists Duterte appointed to government positions are former Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano and former Social Welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo whose appointments were both rejected by the Commission on Appointment (CA).
Another leftist, Philippine Commission on the Urban Poor (PCUP) had just recently been fired over allegation of making ‘unnecessary junkets’.
So far, the remaining left-leaning personalities in the Duterte administration are Liza Maza of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and Joel Maglunsod, a Labor undersecretary.