‘Duterte’s SONA, a testament to his anti-poor governance’ – progressive groups

Jul. 24, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Unfazed by criticisms, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to continue his brutal war against illegal drugs during his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) before a joint session of Congress on Monday, adding that it would be “relentless and chilling.”

The 48-minute expletive-free speech of the President zeroed in on the key issues he wants to solve.

He said his drug war would be “far from over.”

“This is why the illegal drugs war will not be sidelined. Instead, it will be as relentless and chilling, if you will, as on the day it began,” he said.

Duterte even lashed at human rights defenders shouting foul against the bloody anti-drug drive.

“Your concern is human rights; mine is human lives. The lives of our youth are being wasted and families are destroyed, and all because of the chemicals called shabu, cocaine, cannabis, and heroine,” he said.

Duterte also said his fight against corruption would be unforgiving, saying that even friends would not be spared.

Just like before he also warned “irresponsible miners” from destroying the country’s natural resources. Duterte also said rice cartels should stop from committing anomalies.

He also vowed to sign the Bangsamoro Organic Law within 48 hours, saying it is needed to attain peace in Mindanao.

The President also scrapped calls to suspend the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law despite shooting inflation and surging prices of commodities.

Aside from this, Duterte urged Congress to pass a bill creating the Department of Disaster Management and to expedite the passage of the Universal Health Care Bill.

Peace talks not mentioned

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria (Joma) Sison meanwhile denounced Duterte’s non-mention of peace talks during his report.

In a statement Tuesday, Sison said Duterte “does not want to address the roots of the armed conflict through comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms in order to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.”

“It is deliberately escalating the armed conflict in order to scapegoat the revolutionaries for his vile scheme of establishing a fascist dictatorship,” Sison added.

Sison also said the true state of the nation includes inflation, mass killings, unemployment, rampant criminality, the prevalence of illegal drugs, and Duterte’s “fascist” dictatorship.

Poor, workers nothing to hope for in Duterte’s SONA

Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, for his part, said that as expected, the poor sectors, peasants, and workers have “nothing to hope for on President Duterte’s speech.”

He lamented that Duterte did not tackle agrarian reform and rural development. Instead, Duterte mentioned the “detrimental” proposed tariffication of imported rice, to scrap the quantitative restriction; and the sham plan for the coconut levy fund,” Casilao said.

Casilao stressed that Duterte failed the Filipino workers when he abandoned his promise to end contractualization of labor, saying he even made it worse by favoring institutionalizing job-contracting as provisioned by the house version of the Security of Tenure bill.

Casilao also castigated Duterte for defending the TRAIN Law.

“He had the gall to justify the TRAIN law, which poor Filipinos already know is snatching household incomes and putting the poor to an unimaginable state of poverty and misery. He justified the anti-people tax system as to fund the “Build, Build, Build” program which shall displace many poor communities in the country,” he said.

“The people’s demand for genuine social reforms – genuine agrarian reform, P750 national minimum wage, ending contractual labor, food security and other fundamental reforms – are non-existent or alien to his speech. Duterte’s speech is not a means to put cold water over fuming unrest of the people for real change, but another testament of his anti-people governance or regime,” the progressive solon added.(davaotoday.com)

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