DAVAO CITY – Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing for another person to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and not from the progressive left as earlier planned citing serious and sensitive issues on mining operations.
But Duterte remains committed to give the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), might even consider to put leftists in some agencies. He said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) went to Silvestre Bello III, who is also the choice of the left.
Duterte said he reconsidered to give the DENR to the progressive left after going through some papers. But Duterte said he has already explained to Fidel Agcaoili, the emissary of the Communist Party of the Philippines – National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF), why he would not concede the DENR post to them during their meeting on Tuesday night.
Agcaoili met with Duterte on Tuesday night to submit the list of nominees from the progressive left for government offices reserved for them.
“It is an impressive list… about less than ten,” Duterte told reporters. He said he already submitted the list of the nominees mostly from the University of the Philippines, to the screening committee.
“If you are identified with the left – that is not an issue with me. Once upon a time I was a left of center,” Said Duterte. He emphasized he only wanted a peaceful country.
“Hopefully when I step down wala na yung (there is no more) left… right… Moro… lumad… Christian. I want to build a strong nation for the next generation,” he said.
In explaining why he cannot give the DENR to the leftists, Duterte said there are serious issues there that he may need someone to strongly oversee. The mayor has been strongly criticizing the mining operations in the country because of abuse of resources.
“Mainit ako diyan kasi talagang sinira nila ang ating lupa (I am really furious to that… they really destroyed our land), he told reporters in a midnight conference on Wednesday.
What is unacceptable, Duterte said they (oligarchs) partnered with multinational mining firms and enrich themselves leaving nothing for the poor Filipinos but the spoils of their operations.