The communists have expressed their willingness to support and stick with Rodrigo Duterte through his presidency in response to his offer for cabinet posts in his administration.
“We take his hand, and we will struggle with him,” Adelberto Silva, the detained consultant to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), told reporters. Silva added that Duterte’s recent political moves show a serious intention to have peace negotiations with the left.
This statement comes after presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte offered four Cabinet posts to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The offered Cabinet posts are for the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Earlier reports say that Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate is the Reds’ top choice as the new Department of Environment and Natural Resources chief. However, Rep. Zarate has not yet made a decision regarding the nomination and Duterte still has the final say regarding the DENR appointment.
Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, detained officers of the CPP-New People’s Army (NPA), said that they are happy with the incoming president’s offer. “It’s a very good initiative on [Duterte’s] part. We are open to a possible alliance for national unity, just peace and development—but it will really depend on how the peace talks will go,” Benito Tiamzon said.
The Tiamzons are also positive that the peace talks and Duterte’s plans to unify the country could lead to their release from detention at Camp Crame. The communists also acknowledge that Duterte’s plans for unity will have plenty of critics and detractors but the Reds are willing to fight and struggle with the incoming president, who won the recent presidential election by a large margin.