The third State of the Nation Address Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte is a 16-page document of plain rhetorics which will consist of lies especially his poor attempt to conceal his grave violations against the Filipino people.
Two years under his tyrannical regime, he has waged wars of suppression that resulted in a violent bloodbath and a well-planned fascist attacks to establish his dictatorial ambitions. And while on a killing spree, he has continuously bowed and aggravated the country’s subservience to imperialist countries like the United States and China.
Incessant fascist attacks
To fulfill his dictatorial ambitions, it is necessary for Duterte to go on a murderous campaign to silence all political forces hindering his vile plans. Thousands have already been killed under his bloody war on drugs and counterinsurgency Oplan Kapayapaan. He further justified militarization and attacks by declaring martial law in Mindanao. He fooled the Filipino people with his campaigns and is even using it against them.
He is now scurrying the amendment of the Human Security Act of 2007 and the passage of the National Identification System to bring crackdown against dissenters, progressives and activists to a whole new level. In fact this July, 34 activists and progressives were illegally arrested and more than four farmers have been killed. Combined with the hastening of a shift to a federal government, Duterte is doing everything to ensure limitless control over the state.
Duterte also emboldened the state’s police force with Oplan Tanggal-Tambay. In the three weeks of its implementation, more than 28,000 have been illegally arrested and claimed the life of 22-year old Genesis Argoncillo.
The Philippine press is also under attack by the rabid spreading of fake propaganda by the state through its pseudo-journalists, trolls, fake news and manipulation of public opinion. Twelve journalists have already been killed under the Duterte regime along with other violations against the media. The campus press is also under attack and some student publications are under surveillance both by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Last December 2017, Duterte’s minions in Congress rushed the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion. Packaged alongside his “Build, Build, Build” program, their successful amendment to the National Revenue Code has already resulted in a rapid surge in prices of basic commodities and charges for public utilities.
Duterte is also expected to boast the passage of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education. He is taking credit for the decade-long militant struggle of the youth in fighting for their right for a free and quality education.
Currently, this law did not fully alleviate the burden of the Filipino youth. In various State Universities and Local Universities and Colleges, there is still a collection of tuition and other school fees. There are blatant maneuvers implemented by the regime to take away the rights of the Filipino youth to a free education. Worse, Duterte plays a vital role in ensuring profits of big capitalist-educators.
Meanwhile, the livelihood of Filipino workers has flunked to an unimaginable level especially that this June the country’s inflation rate peaked at 5.2%, the highest in five years. According to IBON Foundation, the gap between the minimum wage and the family living wage is widening in gap. The worsening job crisis has resulted in various strikes and pickets by Filipino workers across the country. Duterte is an evil who collaborated with capitalists to employ a two-tiered wage system and a bogus anti-contractualization directive order for the aim of pressing down wages.
Duterte has also formally ended the peace negotiations at a time when the peace panel was already discussing the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, the core of the talks seeking land distribution and national industrialization. He is continuously sabotaging the talks because he cannot leave behind the interest of his landlords and capitalist enchiladas, especially his big comprador friends.
Currently, the fascist regime is spreading lies and copying the old narrative of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. They are fabricating a story that this October,the Communist Party of the Philippines along with the Church will oust him in power.
Let’s call a spade a spade. Duterte is a fascist and murderous tyrant. He uses his iron fist against the Filipino people but he kneels down like a whore to his imperialist bosses. While our country has been long subservient to the United States, he is besmirching the country’s sovereignty by playing uncertain cards with China.
Duterte may be thinking that he is coming within an ace of achieving a dictatorship. True enough, he may be a step forward to his dictatorial ambitions. But what he is doing is plainly digging his own grave. His regime is a house of cards that will be knocked down by the intensifying mass movement of the Filipino people.