President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his fifth State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 27. Bulatlat examines Duterte’s policies on the economy and foreign policy, his COVID-19 response and track record on human rights and the attacks on press freedom and expression since the lockdown.
Category: Special Reports
With the cases increasing, concerned government agencies are swamped with backlogs, particularly on validating COVID-19 cases and an overwhelmed public health system.
As COVID-19 wipes out whatever is left of the limited opportunities for Filipinos to earn a living, the Duterte administration’s lacking response, combined with an oppressive political environment, creates conditions for a perfect storm of social unrest.
Oil firms-imposed price adjustments are higher than what should be – by P 2.41 per liter for diesel and P4.76 per liter for gasoline, based on a DOE-recognized formula. The Big Three, a Duterte backer and other oil firms, rake in tens of millions of pesos daily from profiteering.
While they understand the urgency to address the COVID-19 pandemic, their hearts go to thousands of Filipinos relying on services only the likes of a government tertiary hospital can provide.
From 2016 to 2019 alone, the public health program’s total budget allocation has been reduced significantly, varying from 15-percent to 28-percent cut.
For one, the budget for Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the lead public hospital in the government’s effort to address the looming outbreak, has been slashed from P263 million in 2019 to P115 million in 2020.
“The police and military have mastered the art of preparing false documents to justify the filing of fabricated charges.”
The counterinsurgency policy is not only targeted against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) but against perceived supporters or any groups standing in the way of the administration’s political and economic interests.
With all its pretensions for peace and development, Duterte’s counterinsurgency is brutal to the core.
In other parts of Samar and Leyte, and in the provinces of Bicol and Negros island, farmers like Pajares find themselves targets of the military’s counterinsurgency operations. The three areas were cited in President Duterte’s Memorandum Order No. 32, issued exactly a year ago, and which purportedly aims to quell “lawless violence.”
The hundreds of thousands of LRT-2 commuters affected by the shutdown are at the mercy of, to the say the least, an inefficient government agency and its inept private contractors that profit millions of pesos in taxpayers’ and commuters’ money.