DAVAO CITY, Philippines — “The rightist in the cabinet is making a United States lackey out of President Rodrigo Duterte,” was how Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao described the recent foreign intervention of the US in the Marawi siege.
“Since the Marawi incident, the president has fallen to the dictates of the rightists in the cabinet, particularly of Defense Secretary Lorenzana,” Casilao said who served as a delegate of the House of Representatives to the International Labor Conference (ILC) held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Casilao cited the May 23 declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, the suspension of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and the latest direct intervention of US military forces.
“In a matter of weeks, the president literally threw out his platform for peace, democratic rule and independent foreign policy, and all these were due to the ‘recommendations’ of Defense Sec. Lorenzana,” the militant lawmaker said.
It can be recalled that Duterte vowed to continue the peace negotiations with the NDFP including the release of 400 political prisoners. The talks, however, was put on hold after DND chief Delfin Lorenzana recommended the cancellation of the fifth round of peace talks with the communist group.
On the imposition of the Martial Law, the President has earlier said that such declaration was “imprudent” but acting on the suggestion Lorenzana, he issued Proclamation No. 216 which placed Mindanao under Martial Law and suspending the writ of habeas corpus.
“President Duterte has also made crucial steps for a closer relationships with China and Russia. But recently, US military forces has intervened in the operations against the Maute group in Marawi City, which the President denied prior knowledge,” Casilao pointed out.
He said that all these “few concerns” serve the US’ interest in the country, noting that Duterte “is apparently becoming a lackey or helpless to resist their machinations to subjugate or undermine his regime.”
“The latest measures, related to those advised by Sec. Lorenzana are outright making the president eat his words, an idiot in front of the whole country, as his talk don’t walk, and essentially erodes his integrity, and the people’s trust and confidence,” Casilao said.
With this, he urged Duterte to “seriously reflect on his actions, stand his ground for his platform for peace, democratic governance and independent foreign policy, as these were his promises for genuine change that garnered him a broad mass support from the Filipino people.” (davaotoday.com)