MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Sunday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to fire communist leaders from his Cabinet following his order for the military to crush the New People's Army (NPA).
"Now that President Duterte has ordered the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to go after the NPA, I am now calling on him to kick out the communist leaders in his Cabinet," the senator said in a statement.
Trillanes, citing military sources, claimed that hundreds of communists have infiltrated government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
"Because based on my AFP sources, hundreds of CPP-NPA cadres are now officially employed by the DSWD, DAR, DOLE, NAPC and HUDCC," Trillanes said.
"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."
Duterte appointed left-wing leaders Judy Taguiwalo as DSWD secretary and Rafael Mariano as DAR chief when he assumed office last year, as he moved to restart negotiations with communist rebels that have been stalled for two decades.
Last week, however, Duterte said he no longer wanted to talk with Communist Party of the Philippines after its armed wing, the NPA, mounted a string of fatal attacks against government troops.
The President also said he would unleash security forces against the NPA after the government liberate Marawi City in the south from Islamic State-inspired extremists.