The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday hit back at the Philippine Left for criticizing the economic agenda of the incoming administration.
“Leftist groups have rejected the hands of friendship and cooperation by the incoming Duterte administration by mouthing their usual criticism of others but not undertaking their own criticism, self-criticism,” Duterte’s spokesman Peter Laviña said in a Facebook post.
Laviña was reacting to a statement made by Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes that the proposed economic roadmap of the Duterte camp would worsen the conditions of ordinary people, most especially the marginalized sectors.
But Laviña said efforts to “sustain gains even little by little here and there to advance the cause of the masses are better than none at all.”
“To perpetuate the sufferings of the masses is treasonous, a betrayal to serve them,” he added.
The spokesman noted the “patented error” made by the Left in the May 9 elections, hinting that the mainstream Left in Manila had allied with the Duterte’s rival Sen. Grace Poe.
“They did it in 1985 and did it again in the 2016 elections. They boycotted the election in 1986 and went with another candidate 30 years later. For groups that claim that they are patriotic, nationalist and anti-imperialist, many were aghast in their decision to go with someone who abandoned our country and once pledged allegiance to the US,” Laviña said, referring to Poe.
“In their desire to push one of their national officials to be senator, they rush to a hasty decision rejecting calls to wait for the maturing of the political situation before deciding. Having [made]these mistakes, they want to continue with their old ways of critiquing, critiquing, critiquing. I am truly sorry for these leftist groups, which will be left out in the march of history with their dogma and belligerent styles and methods of work,” he added.
Laviña said the Philippine Left needs to right their wrongs and stop becoming roadblocks to genuine change.
“They should bring down their utopian dreams closer to reality,” he added. “A mistake not corrected becomes an error. A mistake may not be intentional, but to commit the same could be fatal.”
“Here is an unsolicited advice to them, dialogue with the incoming government instead of mounting black propaganda to be heard. And listen to your units in Mindanao. Otherwise, you will be proving to be yet another bunch of trapos [traditional politicians],” Laviña said.