Leftists alarmed over Duterte's close ties with Marcoses

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Leftist groups are worried over President Rodrigo Duterte's close ties with the Marcos family, following his approval to bury former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo said the burial is not part of the President's promise to the Filipino people, but a fulfillment of a personal promise to the Marcoses.

"Kailangan maipamukha kay Duterte na hindi pagbabago yung pagtanaw nya ng utang na loob kay Marcos dahil ang ama niya ay naglingkod sa gobyerno ni Marcos. Dapat sabihin kay President Duterte, yung personal relationship, political patronage na kanyang tinanggap ay taliwas sa kanyang pahayag sa pagsasagawa ng pagbabago," he said.

[Translation: We must show Duterte that paying back favors to the Marcoses does not signify real change, because his father served under the administration of Marcos. We should tell Duterte that the personal relationship and political patronage he has with the Marcoses is contrary to his call for change.]

For the leftist groups, this is not the change they want to see. They warned it may affect their alliance with the leftist President.

"Hahamunin natin ang gobyernong Duterte," Ocampo said.

[Translation: We will challenge the Duterte administration.]

Should they break away from Duterte, pro-people policies may be affected such as the peace negotiations with the rebels.

The Communist Party of the Philippines has expressed dismay over Duterte's go signal for the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. They urged Duterte to reverse the burial or face more protests.

The leftist groups admit they are worried the influence of the Marcoses over Duterte may pave way for the former's return to power as it aids in whitewashing the crimes committed in the past. Duterte has supported Bongbong Marcos since his vice presidential campaign.

Former Senator Rene Saguisag challenged some Cabinet members to resign if they do not share the same vision with that of Duterte.

"Yung iba pang mga kasama natin na nasa Kabinete, pag-aralan iyan kung sila'y magbibitiw na. We can't go on na ganito," he said.

[Translation: Our other left members in the Cabinet, they should study if they should resign. This cannot continue.]

Cabinet members from leftist groups include Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.

Taguiwalo has been vocal that she does not agree that Marcos is a hero. But she said there are compelling reasons for her to remain as member of the Duterte administration, such as prioritizing social services and the needs of the poor.

For now, the country's leftist members vow to take to the streets as they call for genuine change.