Weeks after CA rejection, Mariano joins anti-Duterte protest

Rambo Talabong

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Weeks after CA rejection, Mariano joins anti-Duterte protest
While he still refuses to call his former boss a dictator, former agrarian reform secretary Rafael Mariano warns President Rodrigo Duterte that his administration is showing signs of one-man rule and favoring the powerful

MANILA, Philippines – Two weeks after the Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected his appointment as agrarian reform secretary, Rafael Mariano joined protesters in the streets to air his own grievances against the administration he served for over a year.

Mariano joined militant groups in a rally in Mendiola on Thursday, September 21, the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, and was one with the crowd in shouting that his former boss, President Rodrigo Duterte, was a “fascist” and a “tuta (lapdog)” of the US government.

Ang sinigaw ko po kanina ay labanan at biguin ang lahat ng national anti-demokratiko at ‘yung neoliberal at pasistang patakaran ng rehimeng US-Duterte (What I shouted earlier is to fight national anti-democratic, the neoliberal and fascist policies of the Duterte-US regime),” Mariano told Rappler on the sidelines of the protest.

Doon po sa pasista at pagiging sunud-sunuran sa interes ng malaking panginoong  maylupa, landlords, oligarchs, business interests, at interests ng imperyalistang US, naniniwala po ako,” he added.

(I believe in the chants on [Duterte] following the interests of big landlords, oligarchs, business interests, interests of US imperialist.)

Mariano had expressed the same sentiments after the powerful CA rejected his confirmation. (READ: Mariano after CA rejection: Interest of landlords, oligarchs prevailed)

While he refused to call Duterte a dictator, he warned the President that his administration was showing signs of one-man rule, and favoring the powerful.

Asked how come it came easy for him to transition from a cabinet member to shouting in the streets as the co-chairperson of Makabayan, he said: “Tapos na kabanata na ‘yun (That chapter is over).”

According to Mariano, he did his part in serving 14 months in the Duterte cabinet.

Akin pong ginampanan nang buong katapatan may malasakit at walang bahid ng kurapsyon, masigasig na pagpapatupad ng mandato(I fulfilled my responsibilities with all honesty, with compassion, and no trace of corruption, and worked hard to fulfill my mandate),” he said.

Back outside government, Mariano said he would serve the interests of marginalized farmers who were among those who shouted anti-administration slogans in Mendiola.  (READ: Farmers’ groups condemn CA rejection of Mariano) – Rappler.com


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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.