Today's Punto
Today's Punto
CA accused of bowing to political vested interests
By Ding Cervantes

Mar 16, 2017

 ANGELES CITY- The failure of the Commission on Appointments to confirm the appointments of “leftist” Cabinet members allegedly reflected control of “politician with vested interests.”

The Anakpawis Partylist lamented the commission’s bypassing of the appointment of Rafael Mariano in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and of Judy Taguiwalo in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“These two secretaries are genuinely pushing for pro-people governance, but are facing opposition from powerful politicians with vested interest,” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said in a statement.

He said their being bypassed “exposes how powerful and influential, the sectors whose interests are contrary to the majority of the people.”

Casilao noted that “even the confirmation of Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez is being opposed by government officials who are entrenched in plundering the country’s natural resources through mining operations.”

He said that at the DAR, Mariano “has been advancing the farmers’ rights to land which is historical, as past secretaries usually favored the interests of landlords.”

He also noted that “Mariano has also been pushing for a two-year moratorium on land conversion, which earned the firm opposition of economic managers.”

Casilao said this has allegedly alienated Mariano from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director- General Ernesto Pernia and even former Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Chairperson and Vice President Leni Robredo.

“Mariano is also seen as threat by big landlords as he championed the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) during the 14th and 15th congress, now fi led as House Bill No. 555 by Casilao and other Makabayan lawmakers. GARB is pushing for free distribution of land to farmers and coverage of all agricultural lands,” Casilao also said.

“Ka Paeng decided favorably on the farmers of Hacienda Luisita, Lapanday and other haciendas, hence, it is obvious that his confi rmation would be obstruced by landlords and landlord members of the CA,” he noted.

Casilao said that, on the other hand, “Taguiwalo is being bypassed due to her obstruction of patronage politics, such as the referrals by legislators as access to the services being rendered by the agency.”

He noted that DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 9 removed from congressmen the practice of referrals to encourage their constituents to seek direct help from the agency.

Casilao urged the public to “support the progressive Cabinet secretaries,” even as he asked Pres. Duterte to “stand firm and fully support their confirmation.”

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