Governance policies and practices taken by the present administration that has so blatantly infringed on the inherent rights and collective rights of every Filipino, is now giving shape to a monster, an enemy to the people. However, with the lessons and experiences from the last decades of ruling regimes, from the period of martial law and the plundering leaders that followed; the numbers of conscientious and discerning people of the nation are steadily emerging from their comfort zones to help prevent or even stop that monster. The cruelty a tyrannical regime can inflict on the greater majority of citizens, on their communities and on their homes has been witnessed in several instances nationwide, and in so oftentimes.
During the elections, with promises to institute change so the people may rise from poverty and hopelessness as in putting an end to contractualization, legislating for better wages, more jobs, genuine land reform, free education, better health services, a stronger economy, stringent measures to protect and nurture the environment, defend Filipino patrimony and sovereignty, etc.. The voting public believed there was hope under his leadership, and 16 million voted for him and installed President RR Duterte in Malacanang.
Almost two years into his rule and reports reveal that as of March 2018 some 7,000 people mostly from the poor sectors of the population have fallen victims to the rising body count in the president’s bloody war against drugs. Reports indicate that most victims were not given due process or a day in court but were extra judicially killed. On top of this, was the declaration of martial law and the military bombing and bloody war in Marawi against an unknown Maute terror group displacing most of Marawi’s urban poor, peasant and indigenous peoples population, a war that has yet to be explained to the rest of the country.
Duterte now wants the Constitution changed with proposals: to extend or lengthen positions of the executive and legislative officers in government; To open the economy and allow 100% ownership of property, natural resources, utilities, services like education and health to foreign capital, to allow foreign military bases, etc. among other anti-people proposed changes. with the imposition of the TRAIN that increased taxes and made basic commodities more expensive for the poorer sectors; the abrupt Jeepney modernization project that suddenly displaces drivers and small transport operators from a traditional source of livelihood and require them to buy an expensive vehicle to be distributed and sold by big business.
The instituted check and balance powers of the legislative and the judicial branches over the executive branch seems to be coopted as shown in the railroading of the Tax Reform Law (TRAIN) in congress; the push for charter change, federalism and inclusion of anti-people proposals in the Charter, the present attempt to rush and remove the Chief Justice from her post; and the proscription petition of the Department of Justice to declare the CPP and NPA as terrorist groups by accusing more than 600 names that include some eight known prominent and respected Cordillera citizens.
The 180,000 strong military sworn to defend the Constitution, and the country’s freedom and independence, who under their Commander and chief are now relegated to guarding foreign investments from their own countrymen deprived of their farms, community mines, ancestral domains, forest reserves, watershed areas, rivers, water sources, seashores, and fishing grounds. Instead of protecting the international boundaries of the nation and the people’s sovereignty from the encroachment of imperialists or neo – colonizers who take away the common resources and livelihood of Filipino communities.
Somehow, people of this City must at least register that they are watching their officials and are united against the trampling on their rights as citizens and tax payers of the country. We are not nor can we be a CJ Sereno but we can give our moral support and voice against the trampling of every citizen’s human rights in our numbers. # nordis.net