Nothing can compensate for the loss of a husband, a father, and in some instances even a wife, a mother, and a child — or for that matter, for the years of want and deprivation inflicted by the sudden demise of a family breadwinner. Mostly unremarked except in studies by such institutions as the University of the Philippines is the humanitarian crisis that afflicts those left behind by the heads of families who, alleged to be either drug addicts or drug pushers, were systematically gunned down on the strength of what the police understood to be the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to “kill, kill, kill.”
Tags: Vantage Point
With regime change can come the restoration of the rule of law and the democratic space that have been eroded and restricted by the provincial despotism that has been despoiling this country and its people since 2016. The return of some measure of civility in politics and governance is another possibility. There are as well the increased chances of ending the pandemic and reviving the economy. And, most of all, is the likely recovery of the rights to free expression and press freedom on which true journalism thrives, and without which authentic change is next to impossible.
It should be evident from its name alone that PDP-Laban was committed to the recovery and defense of the democratic institutions martial law had destroyed, and to the people’s sovereign right to decide for themselves what government can best represent them.
That unity, however is not enough. The Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus noted in his The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt, that the man or woman opposed to the evils of the times — the individual who says “no” to “the ignorance that claims for itself the right to kill” — at the same time also implicitly says “yes” to certain values.
The Duterte administration will end in 2022, but Dutertism could still continue to afflict the country for the next six years and even beyond should any of Mr. Duterte’s lackeys, cronies, clones, and surrogates win the presidential election that year.
As the number of cases surged enough to put the Philippines ahead of other countries in Southeast Asia; as millions of workers lost their jobs; as schools and businesses ceased operations and even closed permanently; and as the economy spiraled into a recession, apparently at a loss over what to do, Mr. Duterte on a number of occasions declared that only a vaccine could stop the pandemic.
The assumption that education at the basic level should go far beyond the conventional essentials should inform the country’s return to face-to-face classes. Because not everyone can go on to college — where it is presumed that imparting a commitment to civic responsibility and respect for the Bill of Rights are part of the curricula (but often are not) — developing among the young the capacity to make informed decisions as citizens charged with deciding the future of this country should be among the fundamentals of basic education.
US intervention throughout the globe over the past 120 years in the defense and furtherance of its economic, political, and military interests has not only imbued most Americans with the arrogant presumption that they know best what’s good for everyone else on earth. It has also legitimized the use of force as the main instrument of State policy
Without the informed participation of the stakeholders in governance, the 2022 elections could make the brazen despotism, the unremitting brutality, the shameless corruption and the gross incompetence that reign in officialdom permanent.
It explains why it is abridging the people’s right to information: it is to prevent the citizenry from demanding that government truly address the roots of poverty by, among other means, curbing the dishonesty in public office that contributes to the hopelessness, hunger and despair that has led many Filipinos to take up the gun. His own regime is in that sense at cross-purposes with Mr. Duterte’s oft repeated promise to end corruption.
Both reactions provoke further criticism and even outrage not only from ordinary citizens but even from their fellow officials themselves. No one can blame those who, as a result, end up concluding that regime bureaucrats focus on non-essentials because the administration they’re serving can’t even articulate its own policies and actions.