With only more than two years left into the presidency, the Duterte administration and its band of minions have been flaunting and boasting his so-called legacy. Among these include peace and order, infrastructure development, and so-called poverty alleviation as part of its three “key pillars.”
But why is there a legacy “report” halfway into Duterte’s term of office?
In 2018, Duterte said he considers himself a “lame duck” leader because of the proverbial “firewall” as he can no longer run even for a village post after his presidency. With the next presidential polls approaching, it is time to flex the powers-that-be’s muscles and prove they can still hang on to the very last strand of political power.
Ironically, the well-oiled legacy campaign – with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) receiving at least P1.7 billion budget this year – is rife with disinformation.
Independent think-tank IBON Foundation noted the exaggerations, with the PCOO claiming to have generated a total of 4.2 million jobs through the “Build Build Build” when the Philippine Statistics Authority said only 4.15 million were employed in the construction sector.
IBON Foundation pointed out that the supposed 5.9 million Filipinos being lifted from poverty is “only because a very low and unrealistic poverty line of P71 was used to compute this.”
The think-tank found the legacy campaign “insensitive politicking for the still distant 2022 elections” as it was launched in light of what the public perceives to be inept response to the dire needs of the Taal volcano evacuees.
But this does not mean that the Duterte administration, more than halfway into his term, will leave no “legacy” behind him: (1) more than 20,000 alleged illegal drugs peddlers and users have been killed in the name of the government’s war against drugs (2) huge debts to China, (3) lowest monthly average of land distributed, (4) the killing of the rice industry owing to liberalization, (5) more than 12 million families trying to survive on P132 or less per person per day, to name a few.
And, so far, this administration has yet to return to the negotiating table with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to address the roots of armed conflict in the country.
The happiest and most satisfied with Duterte’s legacy are the likes of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Marcoses and other favored oligarchs, not the majority of the Filipino people burdened by his policies.