“We do not need a leader who fuels fear or division. We need one who can unite all Filipinos of various beliefs in this one big fight to save the nation. Duterte is not this leader. He has done too much damage to our people. He will never change. He must resign.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Thousands of citizens have signed an online petition calling for the resignation of President Rodrigo Duterte due to “inefficient leadership amid the continuing surge of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.”
The petition, which is posted at Change.org and initiated by Filipinos for Duterte’s Resignation, was initially signed by 500 medical frontliners, educators, youth leaders, lawyers, members of the academe, among others. As of 9:00 p.m. today, April 15, the petition has gained over 3,500 supporters.
“For the past five years we have watched President Duterte’s incompetence, brutality, corruption and kowtowing to foreign powers destroy democratic governance as we know it. The COVID-19 pandemic only magnified his failures of leadership,” the petition read.
They lamented that after a year since the pandemic began, the public health crisis has only deepened.
“We have record numbers of daily infections, positivity rates and deaths. The public health system is at breaking point. Our economy is just as bad. Too many patients are dying without getting access to critical care. Millions have lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the lockdowns and restrictions — the longest and harshest in the world yet glaringly ineffective,” the petition read.
The COVID-19 active cases went up to more than 180,000 today as the Department of Health logged additional 11,429 cases. The Philippine’s total number of COVID-19 cases is now at 904,285.
The petitioners said the situation “is unforgivable as Duterte was given all the resources needed for the COVID-19 response”.
Aside from the reallocation of the government’s national budget, Duterte also acquired huge loans supposedly for its COVID-19 response.
Amid the new surge in COVID-19 cases, Senator Bong Go last week posted photos of a man he claimed to be Duterte jogging, playing golf, and riding a motorcycle. When Duterte finally decided to speak, he again attacked his political opponents.
“We do not need a leader who fuels fear or division. We need one who can unite all Filipinos of various beliefs in this one big fight to save the nation. Duterte is not this leader. He has done too much damage to our people. He will never change. He must resign,” the petition read.
The petitioners added that Duterte’s subservience to China threatens to tie the country’s vaccination program to China’s expansionist agenda in the West Philippine Sea.
“China’s stationing of over 200 maritime militia vessels at Julian Felipe Reef is an affront to our sovereignty that should not be erased by vaccine donations or notions of friendship,” they said.
They said that Filipinos deserve and demand better as the country is on the brink of disaster.
Before this, #DuterteResign trended on Twitter after the National Capital Region and its neighboring provinces were once again placed under the enhanced community quarantine on March 29.