No cries and appeals from the progressive groups were wasted in streets yesterday as the new president Rodrigo Duterte few hours after his oath-taking ceremony.
About 2,000 members of the leftist groups gathered at the streets of the Mendiola Thursday not to protest but to support the President Duterte at his inauguration.
Representatives from various progressive groups led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) was welcomed by President Duterte inside the Malacanang ushered by his Presidential Security Group.
In a phone patch with 105.9 Balita FM, Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said the group was able to present the 15-point agenda they wished the new administration to give attention.
Among the agenda they lobbied were the improvement of the economy, good governance, anti-corruption programs, social policies, upholding of the peace, promotion of human rights, foreign policy.
Reyes said they have also discussed issues such as contractualizations, effects of the on-going mining operations, land reforms, release of the political prisoners, increasing the budget on health services and education.
“He stressed his abhorrence about contractualization, he wanted it to stop as well as the destructive mining and cross the line open mining. He thinks it is detrimental to the environment,” he said.
Reyes said he saw how serious President Duterte to end the armed conflicts and to achieve lasting peace and unity for the Filipinos.
“He is stern on pushing the peace talks, on the need to provide lands for the farmers. He is thinking how he would distribute the six million hectares of lands for the farmers,” he said.
Reyes said that what he wanted was to lessen the animosity, to end the clashes between the government and the Leftist groups although our relationship with the government has been consultative since.
We hope that with some members from us are part of the administration, there will be an open communication line between the two entities and lessen the conflicts.
Reyes said their entry in Malacanang after more than 15 years was generally peaceful than expected.
It can be recalled that the militant groups were hindered to hold protest during the State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs) of the past administration.
But he considered yesterday as a refreshing scenario for them especially that President Duterte allowed them to enter the Malacanang despite their rugged outfits and sweaty faces.
They were also given the consent to stage protest in Batasan Complex on his SONA on July 25.
Reyes said he is expecting that the president will include the 15-point agenda in his SONA.
Along with Reyes were Elmer Labog of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), former Gabriela representative Liza Maza, Sarah Elago of Kabataan, Christina Palabay of Karapatan, Christian Tuayon of Bayan-Negros, Windel Bolinget of the Cordillera People’s Alliance, Diego Torres of Bayan-Southern Tagalog, Eufemia Cullamat, a Lumad from Caraga and Antonio Flores of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
| Published in 105.9 Balita FM’s Facebook page: Progressive groups lobbies 15-point agenda to President Duterte, July 1, 2016