No light at the end of the tunnel as government effort on pandemic has no direction – Anakpawis

Militarist sans medical response
No light at the end of the tunnel as government effort on pandemic has no direction – Anakpawis

Manila, Philippines – “The rising number of Filipinos infected with the COVID-19 virus, surpassing the 30,000 mark, reflects the incompetence and blunder of the Duterte regime. It continues to uphold the inappropriate militarist response, instead of the exact comprehensive medical approach, thus, it failed to flatten the curve of the pandemic. Worse, the data on which the curve is based is contaminated or controlled by the Department of Health, on its own discretion of declaring the daily number of infected, and weakness in its capacity of testing suspected patients. Apparently, the government is experimenting authoritarian measures such as lockdowns than containing the pandemic, all detrimental to the people’s welfare, and even middle class and business sector,” Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao, Anakpawis Party-list former representative said in a press statement.

He stressed that broad sectors in the country are expressing discontent to the supposedly government response measures, that failed to arrest the increasing number of infected. Thus, the government is expected to fear-mongering against dissent, such as its preposterous pushing for the enactment of the terror bill.

“They at the IATF themselves know they are big failures, thus, they are fixated on consolidating their authority against looming dissent. They commenced with lockdowns, or controlling the people’s mobility, persecuting critics and even arresting relief workers, and ultimately branding opposition as ‘terrorism,’” he added.

He also slammed the reported anomalies involving the Department of Health (DOH) on the overpriced personal protective equipments (PPE), bought from China at P1,800 per set, amid being at only P400 to P1,000 in the market. It was followed by the reported fertilizer scam involving the Department of Agriculture (DA), where urea fertilizer was bought at P1,000 per bag, amid being at only P850 in the market.

“We are actually witnessing the authoritarian stance to repress criticism against anomalies, which are immoral especially under this pandemic. These bureaucrats recognizes no pandemic or public emergencies, to protect their vested interests,” he slammed.

He added that the militarist approach totally disregarded its impact on the economy, that resulted the record-high 17.7 unemployment rate in the country last April. This reflects to 7.3 million Filipinos without sources of livelihood and household incomes.

The lockdown spilled over affecting the interests of middle class and even big business groups, that pressed them to push for the easing down of the lockdown. The gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter posted a negative 0.2% from its previous year’s of 5.6% growth. The losses for this year is estimated at P2.2 trillion.

“It is clear as crystal that the Duterte regime’s flawed response, it could be called as such, brought about the gigantic blow in the economy and households’ incomes. Its admission is given away by its declaration to downgrade the enhanced community quarantine to a general community quarantine, amid the pandemic curve showing the exact opposite measure to be carried out. We are at more than a hundred days of lockdown, but flattening the curve is still an uncertainty,” he said.

Finally, he slammed the deployment of environment secretary Roy Cimatu to Cebu, which is experiencing an outbreak.

“Again, with a military man instead of a public health expert. This is akin to the famous saying that, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ We urge the people hold the Duterte regime for its criminal incompetence, and demand genuine public health responses, such as free mass testing and strengthening of the public health system to treat the patients,” he ended. ###

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