Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate is being eyed by the National Democratic Front (NDF) as their top choice for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) post.
Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte stated on May 16 that four government agencies are open to selections from the communists, including the DENR. The other three agencies are the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Carlos Isagani "Kaloi" Tabora Zarate is a Bayan Muna party-list Representative and a human rights lawyer based in Davao.
"Yes, he (Zarate) is being selected as one of the recommended appointees. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and NDF representatives will personally deliver the list of recommendees along with letters of intent and CVs to Davao very soon,” a source revealed on Friday morning.
The source added that it is up to Zarate if he will accept the offer from the Left. The NDF will also have to see if Duterte will approve of their nomination. Jose Maria Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), recently stated that the Left welcomes Duterte’s offer for the four cabinet positions.
Zarate explained in a phone interview with Rappler that he has not yet made up his mind about the Left’s nomination. He will also have to consult with his Bayan Muna family before making a decision. "It’s a new challenge, but we’re very much willing to give our support,” Zarate added.
Duterte’s political move to offer government roles to the communists has drawn both praise and criticisms from various sectors. Some analysts believe that it can help unify the country while others think that it will not do anything to stop the Left’s rebellion against the government. “Do we really believe that Joma Sison will truly give up his communist aspirations?” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV asked.