Wednesday, December 14, 2016 – During a press briefing at the House of Representatives, the Makabayan bloc denied President Rodrigo Duterte's claim that the Reds would die for him.
The militant lawmakers made it clear that they would only be willing to give their lives for oppressed and marginalized Filipinos – but not for the Philippine president.
"No, we are not ready to die for the President. Alam naman niya na i-a-alay ang buhay namin para sa mga inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan na Pilipino" Act Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said.
This statement came after the Duterte administration has opened up peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Last Monday, during a speech held at a business forum in Malacañang, Duterte said it was the “yellows” (those connected to or a part of the Liberal Party) who were planning to oust him. Duterte boldly proclaimed that the “Reds” would die for him, because he was a Left-leaning president himself.
“Let me tell you frankly, in every demonstration, it’s the yellow who’s shouting for my ouster. But you will never hear it from the communists because I am the president belonging to the left actually,” Duterte claimed.
“The Reds would never demand my ouster. They will die for me, believe me. That’s the reason why I was able to convince them for a talk,” he added.
Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao further clarified, “Our track record speaks. We serve the people, we die for the people.”
Tinio made it clear that the main basis for their so-called alliance with the administration is to continue peace talks. The lawmakers added that they won't be cutting ties with Duterte anytime soon, despite certain controversial moves that the President had made – moves that the Left were critical of.
“Sinasabi natin na ng isang malinaw na isyu ang pinagbabatayan pa rin ng so-called alyasansa, ay yung peace talks. Nagpapatuloy pa naman ‘yung peace talks" Tinio said.
“Yung dalawang matibay na batayan ay ang usapin ng peace process, yung usaping pag-uugat sa root causes ng armed conflict" He added.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate clarified that Duterte’s remark may just be another example of the president's penchant for hyperbole.
"It’s part of another hyperbole of the President. Alam niya na prinsipyado ang mga progressive organizations" Zarate said.
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