NDF Negros calls out Duterte for ‘inutile’ response amidst Covid-19 crisis
The reactionary US-Duterte regime has outrightly shown the Filipino people its inutile character amidst the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. On his delayed weekly report after being granted emergency powers, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has done nothing but give the public empty promises and rhetoric. NDF Negros is united with the broad masses in calling out Duterte’s inability to address the health crisis.
One week since the declaration of a national emergency due to COVID-19, labelled ‘Bayanihan to heal as one act’, the Duterte administration is yet to take a concrete step towards solving the problem. After being granted P275 billion last week, the ‘poorest 18 million households’ are still being held hostage by government red-tape and false hopes by the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) which was recently revealed to be a hoax, as the originally promised amount of P5,000-P8,000 will actually be Php2,850-5,850, as written in the ESP guidelines. Additionally, Duterte shamelessly appealed to the private sector for funds, revealing further the questionable nature of the ESP.
Furthermore, Duterte had the gall to label our healthcare workers ‘lucky’ because they have ‘died for the country.’ They have suffered avoidable deaths had the government been prioritizing social services and not military spending, not to mention the continuing military measures taken despite the crisis’ medical nature. Instead of distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and implementing mass testing, Duterte and his military-ridden National Action Plan have only perpetrated more human rights abuses during the martial law-like lockdown and enhanced community quarantine in various cities and provinces nationwide, even threatening more arrests. So far, however, the law seems only applicable to the impoverished while bureaucrats and Duterte cronies can avail of a state-sponsored compassion.
Duterte’s actions are proof that he is not far from actually declaring nationwide martial law, and that he and his war freak cohorts do not prioritize the Filipino people at all, in spite of the glaring need for it in the current COVID-19 crisis. Even in the government’s so-called ceasefire, military and police operations continue in the countryside. This will only isolate Duterte’s regime further from the Filipino people: from the frontliners- healthcare and military workers alike- who have become cannon fodder in his ‘war against COVID-19,’ the political opposition due to his anti-people policies, and the masses who are dying not only due to the disease but the widespread hunger and employment worsened by the crisis. The Duterte regime can only expect more dissent on the ever-growing dissatisfaction of the broad masses against his fascist and tyrannical approach towards the pandemic, very much like his idol Marcos. ###