Palace on leftist bloc's split from House majority: Noted

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2017 05:55 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2017 07:09 PM

MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday noted the decision of leftist lawmakers to bolt the super majority in the House of Representatives, severing their long shaky alliance with President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the administration has taken “due notice of the decision of the seven party-list representatives belonging to the Makabayan bloc to leave the House of Representatives majority coalition.”

“We were hopeful that they would remain open to working together with the administration, particularly on pro-poor, pro-people issues,” he said in a brief statement.

The Makabayan bloc's decision to break away from the majority came amid worsening ties between the Duterte administration and the Left.

WHY THEY BROKE AWAY

In a statement Thursday, the bloc- Rep. Antonio Tinio and Rep. France Castro of ACT Teachers Party-list, Rep. Emmi De Jesus and Rep. Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women's Party, Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago- cited several grounds in deciding to split from the administration. 

The lawmakers said Duterte had "turned back on his promise to "separate" from the US," that his war on drugs "has turned into a campaign of mass murder for the poor," his favor for the family of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, the majority's decision to slash the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) budget to P1,000, and moves to revive the death penalty. 

The bloc also cited the suspension of peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, which Duterte had attributed to a string of rebel attacks on state forces.

Duterte, a self-proclaimed socialist, had tapped left-leaning leaders to hold key positions in government at the start of his term as he pursued peace negotiations with the Left. 

But the powerful Commission on Appointments have rejected his leftist Cabinet appointees: peasant leader Rafael Mariano for agrarian reform, and activist Judy Taguiwalo for social welfare.