STATEMENT| Servant-leaders needed in the Cabinet

Mar. 25, 2017

* Statement of support of the Assumption College of Davao on the reappointment of progressive cabinet members

We, the MANAGEMENT and ADMINISTRATION of the Assumption College of Davao express our full support for the reappointment of progressive Cabinet members DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, DAR Sec. Rafael Mariano, and DENR Sec. Regina Lopez, whose appointments have been bypassed by the Commission on Appointments on March 15, 2017. The pronouncement made by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella that they will be reappointed to continue serving their respective posts is a much welcome relief.

As we position to advance the positive changes that the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte envisions, it is imperative that the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Agrarian Reform, and Environment and Natural Resources, must be headed by competent, hardworking servant-leaders that are genuinely committed to the realization of our shared vision of a truly inclusive and transformed society.

Judy Taguiwalo, a dedicated social worker, academician, and a staunch nationalist, has a long record of selfless service to the poor prior to her appointment as Social Welfare Secretary by President Duterte. Her principled stand against politicians who want to lay control over some of the DSWD funds for their own ends is testament of her commitment to curb corruption in the government.

Ka Paeng Mariano has always been a consistent fighter for the rights of small farmers, fisher folks, urban poor and the workers since his youth. The poorest congressman in his entire three terms as Anakpawis Partylist representative to Congress, he champions the cause of the toiling masses for genuine agrarian reform and is an invaluable partner in finally delivering social justice to the peasant sector—the biggest sector and key to developing our agricultural economy.

Gina Lopez’ fight against environmental destruction brought about by large-scale extractive mining is a fight of the common people for the common good. Her bold actions to put a stop to the wanton environmental plunder and to reform the agency that is known to be corrupt is unprecedented.

The President’s appointment of Taguiwalo, Mariano, and Lopez are the flesh and blood of his promise to the Filipino people–a Cabinet that is composed of the best and the brightest. We need servant-leaders of these calibers to serve as the President’s alter egos and champions of genuine, positive change, particularly those that would directly benefit the poor and the marginalized.

As what Pope Francis had reminded us during his pastoral visit to the Philippines in January 2015: “it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity, and commitment to the common good.”

Let us continue in supporting Judy Taguiwalo, Paeng Mariano, and Gina Lopez!

Let us continue in working for genuine change and social transformation!

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