#OustDuterte | Netizens criticize gov’t ‘incompetence’ in addressing ncoronavirus

“The barrage of online sentiments shows how government inaction over consecutive crises leads to mass unrest and protest.”

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Many Filipino netizens expressed their outrage against the government’s handling of a major public health problem after the Department of Health has just confirmed that a patient was tested positive of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

#OustDuterte trended on social media, particularly Twitter, not only in the Philippines but also worldwide as of 1 a.m. of Feb. 1. The hashtag was trending since the morning of Jan. 31.

Netizens are particularly furious for the belated travel ban for those coming from China. Just a few days ago, government officials including President Duterte are reluctant in temporarily preventing the entry of flights from China.

However on Jan. 31, Duterte has finally order a travel ban for those coming from Hubei province in China which is the epicenter of the novel coronavirus.

There are also Duterte supporters who expressed their frustration online and used #OustDuterte which surprises many netizens.

Those who are critical of the Duterte administration also said that it only takes a virus for people to “realize how incompetent the Duterte administration is” in handling issues confronting the Filipino people.

It was in December 2017 when urban poor group Kadamay called for the ouster of Duterte. The group laments that Duterte failed to address the change he once promised during the campaign period saying that they are still suffering from extreme poverty, homelessness, job insecurity among many others.

#OustDuterte not a mere hastag

Meanwhile, for some netizens the #OustDuterte is not a mere hashtag but an opportunity to make that rage online translate to the mobilizations in the streets just like #MillionPeopleMarch during the administration of President Benigno Aquino. People also expressed their rage online after the anomaly surrounding the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) was exposed. This led to the massive protests which was dubbed as #MillionPeopleMarch.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan Spokesperson Alex Danday said “The barrage of online sentiments shows how government inaction over consecutive crises leads to mass unrest and protest.”

“The government is suggesting that we improve our resistance to avoid catching the virus, but we believe that to resist diseases means to resist government negligence,” Danday added. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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