The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) welcomes the appointment of Rafael Mariano and Judy Taguiwalo for the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). CPA believes that their appointment is a recognition of their untarnished track record of the Left in serving the people. The acceptance of Mariano and Taguiwalo to their appointment is also a proof that the Left truly cares for the people.
Mariano has been a long time peasant organizer and leader. On the other hand, Taguiwalo is a long time champion of education and women’s rights. As leaders, they showed determination and courage despite difficult times to serve the people. Mariano in fact was one of those farmers who marched in Mendiola in 1986 to demand Agrarian Reform but was met with bullets during the Cory Aquino regime.
Along with the people, the two incoming Cabinet Secretaries stood firm against political repression, corruption, human rights violations and other issues of the people. From the streets to the schools and congress, Taguiwalo and Mariano are in the forefront of the struggle for peace, justice, agrarian reform, women’s rights and more.
With their appointment, CPA hopes that they remain firm and steadfast in serving the people amidst pressure, bureaucracy and corruption in the government. Their incoming tasks are gargantuan and need the support of the people. And their number is not enough, we need more progressives in whether in the Cabinet or government for the people to have greater voice.
And lastly, in as much that we welcome the appointment of two progressives in the Cabinet, the challenges for our people remains. Despite the change of leadership in Malacanang, we will continue to remain vigilant on policies and programs that affect indigenous peoples and people of the Cordillera. We will remain guarded on the issues of destructive mining, energy, human rights, and militarization and on regional autonomy.
Abigail B. Anongos