MANILA, Philippines – Presumptive Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has made no secret of his alliance with left-leaning groups. But a recent statement from Duterte spokesperson Peter Laviña seems to indicate that not everyone in the Duterte camp is in agreement with how things are being run.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page on the 15th of May, Laviña said:
“I am truly sorry for these leftist groups which will be left out in the march of history with their dogma and belligerent styles and methods of work. They need to right their wrongs and stop becoming roadblocks to genuine change. They should bring down their utopian dreams closer to reality. Sustained gains even little by little here and there to advance the cause of the masses are better than none at all. To perpetuate the sufferings of the masses is treasonous, a betrayal to serve them.
Their ways of pressuring others with the barrel of the gun and noise by the minority are now passe.
Here is an unsolicited advice to them – dialogue with the incoming government instead of mounting black propaganda to be heard. And listen to your units in Mindanao. Otherwise, you will be proving to be yet another bunch of trapos.”
The above statement was made in response to Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, Jr. earlier saying that Duterte’s eight-point economic program was “a continuation of the neo-liberal poison imposed on the people by the Aquino regime.”
In a report from the ABS-CBN News Center, Reyes urged Duterte to instead pursue national industrialization, economic sovereignty and the strengthening of the domestic economy; and end the “import-dependent, export-oriented, backward, pre-industrial economic set-up.”
When asked to comment, Lt. Col. Mike Logico, deputy senior military assistant to the secretary of National Defense at the Department of National Defense, remarked that it was “interesting to see how the Reaffirmists would further splinter.”
Logico believes that some people in the Davao City mayor’s camp had underestimated the left-leaning elements supportive of Duterte and are now in for a surprise. He thinks that government should expect leftists to frequently oppose efforts that are not in sync with their socialist ideology.
Logico added that “It’s insulting to the intelligence center that Duterte’s camp think they know the reds better than anyone else.” He said that Duterte’s camp needed a primer on “knowing the enemy.”
In defense of the left, former Bayan Muna representative left a remark on Laviña’s post, saying that they didn’t want Duterte to just be another “elitist, neoliberal president.”