• Davao City mayor offers the communists top positions in four government departments
  • He said they can best serve the people in those departments
  • Duterte’s offer praised, scrutinized

MANILA, Philippines – In line with his promise to build a diverse yet unified government, incoming president Rodrigo Duterte announced he would offer communists the top position of the Departments of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Energy and Natural Resources (DENR), Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

In an interview, the Davao City mayor said he was giving away the posts to the leftists due to their experience dealing with the country’s poor and marginalized.

Ang ibibigay ko sa Communist Party of the Philippines, open ‘yung DAR, DENR, Labor if they want kasi sabi nila pinaka-oppress ng ano yan,” he told GMA News.

[What I’ll give to the Communist Party of the Philippines, DAR, DENR, and Labor is open if they want because they  say it handles the most oppressed.]

“They are the most vigilant group in the Philippines about labor so they would get it. DSWD at madami pang iba [and there’s more] but those are the only departments I can concede to them, that four. Maganda na ‘yan [That’s a good start],” Duterte added.

Analysts have both praised and aired their concern over Duterte’s offer.

“This is part of his campaign promise to form a unity government, also confidence building measure with the communist Left. This is really out of the box. There has never been a government in our history that has offered the communists to join a coalition,” Julio Teehankee, Liberal Arts college dean of De La Salle University, said.

For his party, former education secretary Edilberto de Jesus said Duterte should first consult with other sectors who may be uncomfortable working with communists.

“I think the problem is that it will probably raise many issues with other sectors in the community that will not be immediately comfortable with the idea that they are given these appointments without apparent consultation with other sectors,” he said.