President Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address is nearing but there are justifiable fears that he wishes to stay in power, whether directly or by proxy, beyond the 2022 national elections. A broad range of organizations, groups, professionals, and individuals are coming together to show their discontent and call for an end to his undemocratic and anti-people governance.
The “Duterte Wakasan Na!” movement launched today, June 3, 2021, takes off from the “Save the Nation! Duterte Resign!” petition which attracted tens of thousands of signatories. It seeks to unite people from all walks of life and bring an end to his failed leadership.
The dismal COVID-19 response is only his administration’s latest debacle. Even before the pandemic, his policies and programs caused massive damage to people’s livelihoods, rights, and welfare. This was the old bad normal before the pandemic and, if he stays in power, will remain in the “new normal”.
The economy has been failing and economic growth has been slowing throughout his watch. This resulted in widespread poverty and hunger. His tax reforms, liberalization of rice imports, and other profit-biased and market-oriented economic policies have only made the poor poorer – while making the rich richer. Corruption remains rampant up to the highest levels of power.
State security forces violate human rights wantonly on the pretext of a war on drugs and against terrorism. The Anti-Terror Law, creation of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, and other tyrannical policies reinforce impunity.
Our territorial integrity is being eroded with our islands and maritime areas surrendered to China despite our win in The Hague ruling. The president’s nationalist bluster is merely a cover for his subservient foreign policy.
These and so many other issues are driving the groundswell of opposition to the president’s misogynistic, corrupt, and authoritarian governance. The “Duterte Wakasan Na!” movement is our chance to unite and work for genuine change for the better.
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