Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday assured Presidential appointees from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) that they can stay in their posts even after President Rodrigo Duterte decided to terminate peace negotiations with the leftist.
“For as long as they remain in their posts, they enjoy the trust and confidence of the president. When they go, the president then obviously had ceased to have trust and confidence in them,” Roque said in a press conference in Davao City.
“All presidential appointees hold office at the pleasure of the President,” he added.
Following the termination of peace talks between the government and the communist group, doubts have also been lifted over the fate of the existing left-leaning officials in the Duterte administration.
There were expectations that peace negotiations will succeed in the current administration, after five decades of communist insurgency.
Such expectations, however, ceased to exist when Duterte decided to suspend the talks with the communist rebels as they failed to show their sincerity and commitment in pursuing genuine and meaningful peaceful negotiations.
Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano were both appointed by the President in his Cabinet, however, their appointments were rejected by the Commission on Appointments (CA).
After Taguiwalo and Mariano left the Cabinet, the only existing left-leaning members are Labor Undersecretary Joel Malungsod, National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza, and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor Chairman Terry Ridon.
Even though they were nominated by the National Democratic Front (NDF), the appointees were not considered as members of the CPP. They are former party-list lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc as Malungsod is a former Anakpawis representative, Maza is from Gabriela, and Ridon is from Kabataan party-list.
Duterte has recently signed Proclamation No. 360 which declared the termination of negotiations with the communist rebels. The President mentioned the supposed goal of the communists to form a coalition government with his administration as another reason the negotiations were called off.