Another activist makes it to Duterte Cabinet

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A long-time activist and former lawmaker has been named to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet.

Former Gabriela party-list representative Liza Maza is the new lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the Presidential Communications Operations Office announced in a statement on Friday.

Maza, a former student leader at the University of the Philippines, is an official of the leftist Makabayan coalition, and is noted for her advocacy of the rights of women, children and the poor.

In the House of Representatives, Maza co-authored the Rent Control Act of 2009, the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, Magna Carta for Women, Philippine Nursing Act, Anti-Torture Law, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act.


Maza is the latest leftist personality to join the government of Duterte, who describes himself as a “socialist.”

Earlier named to the Cabinet were former Anakpawis party-list representative Rafael Mariano as Agrarian Reform secretary and University of the Philippines professor Judy Taguiwalo as Social Welfare and Development secretary.

Mariano and Taguiwalo were nominated to Duterte’s Cabinet by the National Democratic Front (NDF), the communist political arm engaged in peace talks with the government.

Silvestre Bello 3rd, who used to lead the government panel in negotiations with the NDF, was named Labor secretary.

Meanwhile, Duterte appointed one of his campaign strategists, Angelito Banayo, as managing director and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, the country’s de facto embassy in Taiwan.

Banayo had served as postmaster general and head of the Philippine Tourism Authority and National Food Authority.

Malacañang also officially announced the appointment of former Globe Telecom lawyer Rodolfo Salalima as secretary of the newly created Department of Information and Communication Technology.

Salalima is Duterte’s fellow San Beda College law alumnus.

CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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