Duterte said he had entertained Maglunsod and other left-leaning personalities during the early days of his presidency but discovered later on that the political left wants to take over government.
DOLE/file
Duterte sacks left-leaning DOLE undersecretary
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2018 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY  , Philippines  —  President Duterte has dismissed Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod.

While Duterte did not explain why he fired Maglunsod, the President lamented the labor strikes allegedly instigated by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) were affecting certain companies.

“I dismissed Maglunsod. I gave them a chance when I was still new in office… We were together in Davao,” Duterte said in Filipino during his visit to the Army’s 803rd Infantry Brigade at Camp Juan Ponce Sumuroy in Catarman, Northern Samar on Tuesday.   

Duterte said he had entertained Maglunsod and other left-leaning personalities during the early days of his presidency but discovered later on that the political left wants to take over government.

Duterte told his special assistant Christopher Go to advise Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea about Maglunsod’s dismissal. 

Maglunsod, a political detainee during the Marcos dictatorship, was KMU vice chairman for Mindanao and former Anakpawis party-list representative before Duterte appointed him to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in mid-2016.

“If workers don’t have money anymore, I will be forced to… If (their ranks are infiltrated), I will arrest all KMU members including (Maglunsod), the undersecretary of (DOLE),” the President said.

Duterte said KMU-led strikes were paralyzing the economy. 

“If they continue to agitate (workers), I will have them arrested. If they always stage strikes, they will paralyze the economy,” Duterte added.

But Duterte was quick to point out that if people earn their living in a decent and clean way, the government will protect them.

Maglunsod was among the left-wing individuals whom Duterte appointed during his first few months in office, including former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo and former agrarian reform secretary Rafael Mariano. 

Other left-leaning personalities once part of the administration are former National Anti-Poverty Commission lead convenor Liza Maza and former Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chairman Terry Ridon.

The Commission on Appointments rejected the appointments of Mariano and Taguiwalo, while Ridon was fired over alleged unnecessary trips. Maza resigned because of what she described as the “anti-poor” and “militaristic” decision of Duterte to cancel the peace negotiations with communists.    – With Alexis Romero, Mayen Jaymalin

JOEL MAGLUNSOD RODRIGO DUTERTE
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