(FILE PHOTO) Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano
MANILA, Philippines — On the last day of deliberation over the confirmation of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) have once again scrutinized the issues hurled by several groups against him.
Among them was the issue on land conversion which Mariano denied opposing.
Discussed as well was his alleged link to leftist groups.
Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Ramirez Sato also asked him about his position on the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform (CARP) Law.
Mariano called the said law “fake” when he was not yet Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary.
Also discussed anew was the alleged involvement of the DAR Secretary in the alleged plan of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) to attack the Lapanday Group of Companies in April 2017 in Davao City.
The accusation stemmed from the joint resolution Regional Development Council signed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
“They sent this representation a formal report on the incidence report which was the basis of this joint resolution,” said Sato.
Mariano strongly denied all the accusations.
“If it is true that I have direct involvement and participation in these allegations, that I was involved in the planning of all the incidents that took place in Lapanday, they should have filed a case,” said Mariano.
After the deliberation that resulted in 13 votes against Mariano, the CA rejected his confirmation as DAR Secretary.
“Therefore it is with heavy heart that I, as chairman of your committee on agrarian reform, hereby respectfully submit the result of the voting of your committee which resulted in a minimum of 13 votes against the confirmation of ad interim of Mr. Rafael Vitriolo Mariano as secretary of agrarian reform,” said Sen. Vicente Sotto III.
In response, Mariano said, “The balance of class interests have tipped in favor of the interests of big landlords, oligarchs.”
Some employees of DAR also turned emotional after the rejection of Mariano’s appointment.
Mariano refused to comment further on the decision of the CA and immediately went to the group protesting outside the Senate.
Malacañang meanwhile said it is saddened by the CA’s rejection of former DAR Secretary Mariano.
Based on the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, the primary goal of Mariano was to advance the rights and welfare of farmers.
Abella said the public will always be grateful to the dedication shown by Mariano.
Mariano is the fourth Cabinet member of President Duterte rejected by the CA.
Among the others rejected were former DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Environment Secretary Gina Lopez. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue