Taguiwalo: You want change? Ask Duterte to reform policies, not monopolize power

Aika Rey

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Taguiwalo: You want change? Ask Duterte to reform policies, not monopolize power
Revolutionary government under President Rodrigo Duterte is as good as establishing a dictatorship, says his former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo

MANILA, Philippines – A revolutionary government under President Rodrigo Duterte is not the answer to speed up reforms in the country, contrary to what his supporters believe, according to former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.

Taguiwalo – appointed by Duterte to the Cabinet, but rejected by his allies in the appointments commission for her Leftist links – attended the anti-dictatorship rally at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila on Thursday, November 30.

She said a revolutionary government under Duterte’s watch is as good as establishing a dictatorship.

“Hindi sagot ang revolutionary government na alam nating diktadura,” she said. (A revolutionary government, which we know is dictatorship, is not the answer.)

Duterte has been flip-flopping on his statements about declaring a revolutionary government. Initially, he declared that he was willing to do so if he sensed a destabilization plot against him. He backtracked a few days later, saying the country will “not get anything out of it.”

In an interview with Rappler, Taguiwalo said that if the government wanted change, it would come from true reform in policies and not from granting the President “full powers” over all branches and levels of government.  

“Sa akin, hindi tugon ang revolutionary government sa actual na kahirapan at kawalan ng karapatan ng mga mamamayan. Kailangan ipatupad talaga ang totoong reporma,” Taguiwalo said. (For me, a revolutionary government is not the answer to poverty and disregard for human rights. We need to implement true reform.)


Taguiwalo also slammed Duterte for reneging on his promise to hear and address the plight of the marginalized sectors in the country. He instead returned favors to serve the interests of those close to him.

“Everyone is hoping to have progressive [policies] for the good of the citizens, but when you are in Malacañang – I know it, as secretary – power can make you drunk, power can really be seductive. You forget people’s grievances. You attend only to those near you,” she said in Filipino.

‘Duterte knows the Left’

Taguiwalo took exception to Duterte tagging the Left as “enemy of the state.” She said the President would know the Left is fighting for. (READ: Duterte formally ends peace talks with communists)

“Alam niya kung para kanino yung kaliwa. Ang Kaliwa, para as ordinaryong mamamayan. Alam niya ‘yon mismo sa loob ng Gabinete kung paano kami tumitindig – hindi para sa sarili naming interes,” she said. 

(He knows for whom the Left is. The Left is for the ordinary citizens. He knew it, right inside the Cabinet, how we stood up, not for our own interests.)  

She said that if the President thinks Leftist groups are trouble makers, it means he is turning his back on his constituents, whom he knows the Left is also serving.  

On Thursday last week, November 23, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque formally announced the termination of the government’s peace negotiation with the communists. Duterte also earlier said leftist groups should be treated as outlaws since they are helping topple the government or promote violence. Rappler.com


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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.