DILG’s ‘no mercy’ on poor violating quarantine due to hunger, will backfire on Duterte government – Anakpawis

Anakpawis Party-list Former Representative Ka Ayik Casilao at a relief mission for farmers affected by lockdown in Bulacan. Photo by Sagip Kanayunan.

DILG’s ‘no mercy’ on poor violating quarantine due to hunger, will backfire on Duterte government – Anakpawis

Manila, Philippines – Former Anakpawis party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao today slammed DILG Sec. Eduardo Ańo as the official pressed for locking up of 21 urban poor residents of Sitio San Roque who were arrested after seeking food aid two days ago.

Ańo’s no mercy order against those violating the enhanced community quarantine not only backfire to the Duterte government but will also fan the growing public anger on the slow government action in providing relief to affected communities.

“This is the problem when you put militarist-minded officials in a medical and humanitarian crisis situation. They always put premium to curtailing the rights of the people instead of giving timely aid like food packs. Ańo’s statement against the starving poor basically reflects Duterte’s tyranny that is bound to fail. A lockdown without food and social aid to the poor will bring about wider dissent,” the former solon added.

Casilao questioned the government on the snail-pace delivery of food and aid to affected communities. The slow delivery of government assistance results to hunger and desperation of poor residents, like what happened in San Roque. Now, Secretary Ańo, acting on behalf of President Duterte, wants to imprison the poor people who are only asking for food.

The former solon said that the Duterte government’s “shoot them dead” order will fan the discontent of broad sectors including those in the middle class. Several media personalities and social media influencers have expressed their disgust over the violent dispersal in San Roque and Duterte’s live public address. Many sectors are also seeking for transparency on the P275-bilion fund.

“Locking up people for asserting their right to food is wrong in many ways. Even under the ECQ, the rights and welfare of the people should be always respected. Duterte and Ańo are incapable of sympathizing with the poor. All they know is how to press for punishment, and threatening those whom they regard as ‘reklamadors, matitigas ang ulo, ayaw sumunod.’ We are calling on ordinary people, professionals, artists and other sectors to continue voicing out their concerns on the government’s lackluster action in responding to the pandemic. Let us continue to press for better action in confronting the Covid 19 as well as fair and just treatment of the poor and marginalized”, Casilao ended ###

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