Today, the Commission on Appointments (CA) composed of Duterte-allied congressmen, senators, and bureaucrat capitalists has refused the services of a genuinely progressive land reform advocate in Ka-Paeng Mariano. Ka-Paeng has decades in his tenure as a peasant leader, surviving the worst the reactionary state has to inflict: the 1987 Mendiola Massacre and as part of the “Batasan 6”, progressive legislators who were detained by the US-Arroyo regime in 2006.

“With Ka Paeng’s rejection, the US-Duterte regime has fully revealed itself to be beholden to the interests of despotic landlords and big business like the Cojuangco-Aquino clan,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

He said this can be seen in the way the Duterte loyalist dominated CA has used co-opted local government officials in Hacienda Luisita and employees of the land-grabbing Lapanday Foods Corporation to cast in a negative light Ka-Paeng’s bias in favor of landless farmers and farmworkers.

The youth leader said Duterte is fully exposed as the chief protector of a semi-feudal and semi-colonial order by ensuring the perpetuation of land-grabbing, the virtual enslavement of farmers, and violence brought down on peasants and plantation workers. The perpetuation of semi-feudalism is part and parcel of the US-Duterte regime’s ongoing wars against the Filipino people: the War on Drugs, the All-out War against progressives and revolutionaries, and the Martial Law in Mindanao.

“Certainly, truly pro-people and progressive public servants such as Ka-Paeng, alongside Judy Taguiwalo and Gina Lopez, do not deserve to be in a reactionary government such as Duterte’s. True enough, much of the government’s executive branch today is dominated by former military officers, each ensuring that the fascist, militaristic, and pro-American line is towed – at the expense of any real meaningful change,” he said.

Crisostomo said that while Ka-Paeng will depart from DAR, he will do so with his reputation of genuine and militant service to the people intact. “We only have strong condemnations reserved for the US-Duterte regime, who has been unveiled as a lapdog of imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism, and feudalism. We greet Ka-Paeng as he returns unhindered to the struggle for a national democratic alternative with a socialist perspective,” he said.


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