Former DENR Secretary Mike Defensor with Tawi-Tawi Mayor, Mang Sali in a recent visit. (Photo from FB of Sec. Mike.)

by Homerun Nievera | Bravo Filipino |

In a Facebook post, former DENR Secretary Mike Defensor shared his thoughts on the announcement of Presumptive President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte on a plan to put four leftists on his cabinet.

Understandably, reactions on social media were quite mixed. With a nation divided by various dialects, ideologies, and religions for decades and even centuries, today’s so called millennials may have a common ground on, “why not?” for the sake of peace.

Sec. Mike and I belong to one fraternity, the Alpha Sigma, in UP Diliman, besides him being 2 batches below me in UPIS. He is one of our ultra-achievers and his thoughts always resonate the loudest (and with respect) among us, his peers and brothers. I want to share what he wrote such that it may shed a bit of light on the so called “communist” issue.

Here is his post:

Many were quite surprised when Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte announced recently that he is giving the Communist Party 4 cabinet departments, namely; the DENR, DSWD, the DOLE and the DAR . The thought sends chills to the guileless, innocent of the goings on of the activist movement and those unexposed to the left. But to many student activists, the so called communists are those they go with to school, discuss with and join in immersions and rallies. There are those who continued the path of activism and became part of the communist movement. There also those who are now professionals who in their own small way contribute in the social transformation of our country. I admire the friends I had in UP who sacrificed their lives in joining the CPP-NPA when they could have chosen a more comfortable life when they had the means to do so and the competence to excel in a normal world. Amante Jimenez, UP student council chairperson and Roland Dela Cruz, Adamson University chairperson (who died in the mountains) are a few of those individuals. We may disagree with the ideology they have embraced but we cannot question the integrity and sincerity of these individuals who have sacrificed their future and their lives for the poor of this nation.

I was a member of the Kabataang Makabayan during my college days. My unit then was in the UP and later on in the youth sector of the National Union of Students of the Philippines. The CPP gave an orientation to my colleagues in the NUSP and as a student was part of the CPP. I made mention of this because I know of so many people who were part of the Communist Party which may be unknown to many. Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Sec. Rene Velasco, Sec. Nani Braganaza, Sec. and Amb. Bobbi Tiglao, Usec. Efren Moncupa, Cong Miro Quimbo, Cong. Kit Belmonte, Mayor Ed Pamintuan, Atty. Ruel Pulido, Philhealth Pres. Alexander Padilla, UP Prof. Raymund Agapito, among others. The names I listed were those friends from my student days and those I worked with after college. There are still many which I failed to list down and I apologize. My point in writing this is to inform my friends that the Communist Party is not a shadowy organization out to kill and conquer our nation but a group of individuals who sincerely want change for the betterment of this country.

I am quite close to some officials of the military and the police. I know that situations like this can cause uneasiness and anxiety to them. It is not so much because of ideology but many of our soldiers die in encounters with the NPA guerillas. So for them, the fight is not just political but personal as many of their colleagues and men have died fighting the so-called communist. But I also know that the idealist soldiers want change. When you talk to the men in uniform, many of them speak of change as a communist would. Many of our military and police officers died poor, integrity intact in the service of our nation. My cousin Col. Jun Parcon of the marines, who is a medal of valor and a TOYM awardee, lives in a small apartment and continuous to live a spartan life along with his family.

Do not be scared of the CPP entering the cabinet. This may be the step towards finally ending a decades old war which commands the biggest armed resistance in the whole world. The CPP are composed of real individuals who care, eat, empathize and cry like all of us. The departments mentioned are where they can effectuate change and reform instead of protesting and carrying arms in fighting for the rights of our people. If this happens, the next step is to lay down their arms and work for peace and progress of the Filipino nation.

What is your take on this?

Featured Photo: Former DENR Secretary Mike Defensor with Tawi-Tawi Mayor, Mang Sali in a recent visit. (Photo from FB of Sec. Mike.)