NDF-Negros: Año’s ‘house-to-house searches’ empowers state terrorism
With no more efforts to sugarcoat state terrorism, the US-Duterte regime has declared to conduct warrantless – not to mention illegal – house searches in the guise of the Covid-19 pandemic. This, however, is obviously counter-insurgent and anti-people in nature, for all its intents and purposes.
In a statement Tuesday, July 14, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año casually declared that state forces, along with LGU representatives will be going house-to-house to check on Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, to transfer them if they are not properly quarantined in their own homes. But of course, quarantine facilities are getting scarcer.
First and foremost, it is not the job of law enforcers but of the public health sector to conduct these types of actions. Año needs to be reminded that their militarist approach has led to the world’s longest, stringiest and most brutal lockdown, and the pandemic hasn’t even been curbed. The execution would be questionable as to how state forces could identify patients of the aforementioned nature. This would also be very counterproductive as more AFP-PNP personnel are infected with the virus. Aside from spreading fear, they would literally be spreading the virus in this ill-thought plan.
These warrantless searches are all too familiar, as the AFP-PNP have already done this during Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Sauron, other SEMPO-like operations, and even during this pandemic at the cost of tens of thousands of innocent lives through the ‘nanlaban’ and ‘NPA ako’ narratives and the imprisonment of thousands more through trumped-up cases (with eventual corruption of bail money). This, days before the full enforcement of Duterte’s Terror Law, is bound to be grazed with human rights violations. The regime is abusing the pandemic to impose tyranny all over the country, to cement state terrorism.
What the country needs is immediate mass testing and additional funding for hospitals and the health sector, as patients are piling up. The funds and ballooning debt intended for the Covid-19 crisis should be used in empowering and mobilizing healthcare workers in the localities, along with nurses, doctors, and other medical staff. This militarized approach has only worsened the pandemic and the socio-economic crisis of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system. The masses should be vigilant in Duterte’s systematic maneuvers to impose his dictatorship, demand for a people-oriented and scientific solution in the pandemic, and firmly resist state terrorism to usher the madman out of Malacañang.