Liza Maza resigns from Duterte Cabinet
Manila, Philippines (Updated at 12:07 pm) – National anti-poverty committee member Liza Maza announced her final resignation to the government on Monday.
She filed a letter with President Rodrigo Duterte a week after a court of Nueva Ecija rejected the case against her, ex-Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and former Bayan Muna representatives, Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño.
In a press briefing, Maza said she was grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve the government.
She quoted the government's decision to end the peace negotiations with communist rebels and the return of speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Pampanga) and the Marcoses to power as reasons for her decision to stop.
"However, his final statement about the definitive termination of the talks leads me to conclude that these reforms under the current government may no longer be possible, however real change can not happen when old forces of fascism and corruption and the defenders of elite and foreign interests consolidate their position in the government, "said Maza.
Maza and Mariano were among the nominees of the National Democratic Front, representing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army in peace negotiations, to the Duterte government.
In preparation for the resumption of formal peace talks in 2016, Duterte said he was prepared to appoint NDF nominees and progressives to the branches of Agricultural Reform, Environment, Labor and Social Welfare and Development.
Of these appointees, three – Mariano, former social assistant secretary Judy Taguiwalo and former Minister of the Environment, Gina Lopez – were rejected by the Congressional Committee for Appointments. Joel Maglungsod, a former representative of the Anakpawis party list, is still an undersecretary at the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
Palace thanks Maza for her service
Malacañang on Monday thanked Maza for her two years of service in the government, but expressed her regret that she had decided to leave.
"She had the confidence of the president and she resigned," said President Roald, who had called on President Maza to surrender to the authorities in the 2006 case.
Responding to Maza & # 39; s reason for her dismissal, Roque claimed that the Duterte will only go back to peace talks with communist rebels if they meet the conditions of the government.
"We maintain that the President will have peace talks with the Communists when it is in the Philippines, the collection of revolutionary taxes will stop while peace talks are under way, [will] Remember to resume the uprising and stay in designated camps, "Roque said.
He added: "I do not really know that she connected peace talks with her work in NAPC."
Maza said that the peace negotiations might enable socio-economic and political reforms, which could help eradicate poverty among Filipinos.
The former Gabriela party list Solon said she would resume the struggle from the crowd instead.
"Ako po ay babalik sa niling kilusang masa Ako po ay patuloy after magsusulong ng tunay after partisipasyoon ng mamamayan sa paglikha ng pagbabago (I go back to the mass movement, I will continue to insist on the sincere participation of people in creating change, "Maza said.
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Nueva Ecija suitcase
A court in Nueva Ecija last week rejected a complaint filed against Maza and other former Makabayan blokketgevers in 2006 for the kidnapping and killing of three farmers who reportedly were supporters of rival party list Akabayan more than a decade ago.
The former legislators had long ago asserted that the accusations had been made against them and had asked for the dismissal of the case.
In July, Judge Evelyn Turla issued an arrest warrant for the four former party list lawmakers, despite her assignment from 2008 to refer the case back to the provincial prosecutor's office, saying: "the correct procedure for conducting the preliminary investigation is not followed "and that prosecutors should carry out a thorough preliminary investigation.
"From the collection of evidence to the termination of the preliminary investigation, it appears that prosecutors were too eager to prosecute the case and an order to detain [petitioners] without bail and the ensuing detention, "she said at the time.
The respondents asked for the move before the Supreme Court and said that the cases should be rejected against them if the court did not find a probable cause.
In February 2017, the Supreme Court partially granted the petition of the respondents, whereby the sending of the cases to the public prosecutor was inappropriate and Turla had given a claim to the arrest of the former legislator during a turnaround.
Turla inhibited the case after issuing the order.
In response to the issuance of the order, the Palace Maza insisted to surrender to the authorities.
"If they are innocent, they must surrender, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court and prove they are innocent in court," Roque said at a press conference at the end of July.