With the “Duterte Serye” ending on the last day of filing of candidacy, youth group Anakbayan called on Davao Mayor City Rodrigo Duterte to continue pushing for pro-people advocacies even as he announced his final decision not to run for president in 2016.
The group specifically acknowledged Duterte’s commitment to resuming the now stalled peace negotiations between the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and address the root causes of the rebellion in the country.
“His commitment to pursuing just and lasting peace by addressing the root causes of the armed revolution should be picked up by other presidential candidates and should be a major agenda in the 2016 elections,” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.
Crisostomo expressed admiration for Duterte’s audacious leadership style and noted his support to the progressive mass movement especially in Davao.
“Mayor Duterte is not someone who settles for empty rhetoric but has matched his talk with action,” said Crisostomo who cited the mayor’s repeated calls for the resumption of the GPH-NDFP peace talks, his condemnation of military harassment and killing of lumad leaders as well as his role in the release of various prisoners of wars in Mindanao.
He said Duterte, with youth organizations can push for a “people’s agenda” for 2016 which includes fighting for free education at all levels, genuine agrarian reform, living wage and employment for all, defence of national sovereignty, basic social services, peace based on justice, and the rights of marginalized sectors.
“Duterte can also help boost the candidacy of Makabayan senatorial bet Neri Colmenares and significantly increase the representatives of progressive party-lists in congress,” he said.