Why it's time for progressives in the Duterte Cabinet to leave

Complicit in crime

The recent developments raise the question of how anyone can continue to serve in the Cabinet of a mass murderer. Indeed, one would not be surprised if former environment secretary Gina Lopez and former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo are secretly relieved at not being confirmed by the Commission on Appointments since they will no longer have to face criticism for remaining in the Cabinet as the murders escalate.

But there are others who remain in Duterte's Cabinet who have had a distinguished record promoting human rights, people's rights, labor rights, and social development, and it becomes harder by the day to understand how they can remain in their positions when it is becoming abundantly clear that mass murder is the central and only real policy of this administration, like the elimination of Jews was that of Hitler's regime.

To think that they can isolate their departments from the rest of the administration and close their eyes to the bloodletting taking place under their very noses and insulate themselves morally from it is an illusion. By remaining in office, they are complicit in the crime, and they know it.

By this time, for these Cabinet members, it should no longer be a question of if but when they split from the mass murderer. If the dictates of conscience do not constitute enough motivation, then let their fear of history's judgment of their failure to abandon a morally bankrupt bloodstained regime. Let history's harsh verdict on the progressives who compromised with Marcos be a lesson to them.

The dilemma of these Cabinet members mirrors that of the remaining liberal or progressive citizens who have stuck with Duterte for over a year in the hope that he would bring about some social reform that would, in their peculiar calculus, offset his murderous spree. (READ: The Left's unity and struggle with Duterte)

The departure of Gina Lopez and Judy Taguiwalo owing to the President's refusal to support them and the absence of any significant social reform initiatives except for cheap populist stunts shorn of mechanisms for funding such as the free college tuition scheme, should make it easier for these people to end their moral and political ambivalence towards the fascism that is engulfing  the country. – Rappler.com

Walden Bello made the only recorded resignation-on-principle in the history of the Philippine Congress in 2015 owing to differences with the Aquino administration on the Disbursement Acceleration Program, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States, and the Mamasapano raid.