Billion-dollar military deals provide context to the release of Pemberton.
Category: Bulatlat Perspective
Duterte publicly labeled the communists as the number one threat to national security in his speech on June 22. He also declared communists as terrorists on July 8. Are these not treated as orders from the Armed Forces of the Philippines commander-in-chief? Are these statements aiming to justify the attacks on so-called communist-terrorists?
While the Duterte administration has implemented a two-week stricter lockdown, other legitimate demands raised by medical experts have been largely ignored. It must be pointed out that many of the recommendations have been articulated by several health NGOs since day 1 but, unfortunately, these have fallen on deaf ears.
Behind his macho posture and ashen face, Duterte is afraid to the core. He is fighting against the prospect of him being made to account for all his crimes. He is doing everything to stop us, the Filipino people, from exercising our right to have better governance and better society.
The very act of spreading fear reveals this administration’s fear of the power of the people.
Who have been declared “communist-terrorists” by state security forces and the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict? Practically all sectoral organizations advocating for reforms and genuine change. They did not spread terror or cause panic among the public but called on the government to act on legitimate demands of ordinary citizens.
With billions of pesos at its disposal, from the nation’s coffers and from loans incurred in our name, this government still failed to institute even the minimum standards for COVID-19 response. Of the P380-billion COVID-19 budget under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, it has spent P12.32 billion for health or merely 3.2 percent of the total COVID-19 allocation.
While it is true that ordinary citizens are expected to maintain civility, speaking out should not be criminalized. We are being punished for demanding from government what it should have been doing in the midst of a health crisis.
The Duterte administration should focus its energy on containing the virus instead of containing the growing discontent.
Instead of a moratorium on debt payments, the Duterte administration wants the country to sink deeper in debt. It is shamelessly taking advantage of the pandemic to push for the interest of his foreign masters.
All these actions aim to create chilling effect, to force us into silence amid the Duterte administration’s glaring failure to address the COVID-19 crisis.