Hold the Duterte regime accountable for criminal incompetence vs. pandemic – Anakpawis
Manila, Philippines – As the people remain victims of uncertainty, brought about by the flawed and fruitless efforts of the Duterte government to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Anakpawis Party-list urged the people to demand accountability from the Duterte government, who from the very start denied the correct approach of medical solution, and instead carried out militarist solutions such as lockdown or quarantine, which are de facto prisons for poor communities who rely on daily work for livelihood and survival.
“Nearing 60 days of lockdown, around 1.4 million workers lost their jobs, SMEs lost at least P460 Billion of income, P275 Billion of public funds allocated, 35 health workers died and 2,000 were infected, and still there is no sight of flattening the pandemic’s curve, obviously because there is no adequate medical responses, primarily the mass testing,” Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao, Anakpawis Party-list former representative said in a press statement.
He said that at the very start, when activists group are demanding “Solusyong Medikal, Hindi Militar,” the demand for free mass testing is the very correct response that the Duterte government neglected. Instead it locked down Metro Manila and the whole Luzon, and acted virtually blind on the magnitude of the pandemic.
“We are being bombarded with countless media briefings from the IATF and weekly presidential report on the response, but the crucial questions remained unanswered such as why the curve has not flattened, aside from the obvious reason that the testing capacity is limited, and what would be the situation after May 15,” he said.
He cited that the primary question poor communities have been raising is whether workers could go their jobs under the “modified enhanced community quarantine” or MECQ. Under this scheme, people will be allowed to leave their homes for essential goods and work in industries allowed to resume by the government. But the list of these has yet to be finalized by the government. Moreover, transportation will be allowed for essential work and services.
“So could the ordinary worker really go to work under the MECQ? Or his or her family would remain to be dependent on food relief irregularly distributed by local government units? Thus, the latest pronouncements of the Duterte government clearly failed the people’s demand for certainty after May 15,” he questioned.
Finally, amid all the government blunders to respond effectively against the pandemic, its incompetence is overwhelming from its veering away from the medical approach, to shotgun approach of the lockdown, to the absence of relief and support to the affected poor population, and finally, its failure to flatten the curve. He urged poor communities to demand free mass testing in the country, to decisively conclude the crisis.
“The Filipino people has been victimized worse by the incompetent government than the COVID-19 itself, it is just and necessary to hold it accountable,” he ended. ###