Left, yellow alliance? Duterte ‘weaving tall tales’

Bea Cupin
In a statement on Friday, October 6, members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives deny President Rodrigo Duterte’s allegations the 'left' and 'Bayan' had allied with the 'yellow' in trying to kick him out of office

DUTERTE. President Rodrigo Duterte gives his message during the celebration of the 24th Anniversary of Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) at the Malacanang Palace on Thursday. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines – Legislators who used to identify themselves as supporters of the change President Rodrigo Duterte once promised criticized the former Davao mayor for “weaving tall tales as a prelude to a crackdown on his critics and the opposition and nationwide martial rule.”

In a statement on Friday, October 6, members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives denied Duterte’s allegations that the “left” and “Bayan” had allied with the “yellow” in trying to kick him out of office.

By “left” and “Bayan,” Duterte was presumably referring to a coalition of different progressive groups in the country, represented by the Makabayan bloc in the House. 

Bayan Muna is a member of the coalition.

“Yellow,” meanwhile, refers to the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP), which is now mainly part of the opposition.

In a press conference on October 4, Duterte was asked about a supposed “tactical alliance” of the Liberal Party, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. Duterte’s said the two female officials were “a part of the program of the left.”

“But what is really very clear is iyong left pati – ang kaalyado ng left is a…ng mga Bayan is the… mga, iyong mga ‘dilaw’. Na gusto nila ako paalisin dito sa Malacañang. Oh ‘di – bigyan mo akong panahon magbalot… ahh basta-basta na lang tayo,” he said.

(But what is really very clear is that the left and, the left is allied with Bayan, and the yellows. They want me out of Malacañang. Give me more time.)

In a statement signed by all 7 legislators who belong to the Makabayan bloc, they said that this was simply not true, pointing out that the bloc did not join groups associated with the Liberal Party, even if they stood for the same things.

When the Makabayan bloc left the majority, for instance, it formed its own independent minority instead of joining an existing, LP-dominated independent bloc. The bloc and its allied groups also did not join “Tindig Pilipinas,” a coalition of groups, most of them LP associated, when held activities recently.

On September 21, the two groups noticeably picked two very different venues to stage protests – the “left” in Luneta and the LP-associated groups, at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

“Duterte has only himself to blame for the widening and deepening dissent and the rising of tens of thousands and millions against his tyrannical rule. It seems that Duterte is weaving tall tales as a prelude to a crackdown on his critics and the opposition and nationwide martial rule,” said the bloc.

ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao, and Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago comprise the bloc.

“Nonetheless, whatever color of the political spectrum whether they be Red, Yellow or whatnot, we are being compelled by present circumstances and the march of history to fight separately, and/or jointly, the tyranny of the US-Duterte regime,” the legislators said.

While the Makabayan bloc has left the House majority, some of its members and officials are appointees of Duterte. Two of those appointees – Judy Taguiwalo and Rafael Mariano – have since been rejected by the Commission on Appointments.

The bloc said that Duterte needs to listen to outcry against “extra-judicial killings, tyranny, and endemic corruption,” lest he finds himself in the same situation as the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted from power through the People Power Revolution. – Rappler.com

Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.