A student-led analysis forum on the Duterte Administration was held at the Multipurpose Hall 2F Community Center last Nov. 16, 2017, Activity Period.
The Union of Students for Democracy and Governance (USDAG) *** in partnership with Ateneo International Studies Students Organization (AISSO), Samahan ng Mag-aaral ng Pulitikal na Agham (SAMAPULA), and Ateneo Economics Society (ECOSOC) organized the said forum titled as, “Duterte One Year in Power”.
Former Atenews Associate Editor Ian Derf Salvaña, one of the main speakers of the forum, discussed the domestic implications of the Duterte administration.
Salvaña spoke of the government’s efforts on peace negotiations on Bangsamoro and with communists and how such failure gave rise to federalist ideas and armed resistance.
“Sa every time na ang isa ka peace process kay ma-fail, another rebellion arises. Every failed step, may act of resistance,” Salvaña said.
He then touched the topic on Duterte’s campaign for a federalist government by saying that the State is not ready for it for as long as internal issues remain unresolved.
“We cannot really push federalism if we cannot focus on socio-economic reforms, because wa ta nakabalo unsa ang type sa federalist notion ni Duterte. It is a gamble. We cannot gamble the state kung daghan pa ta problem,” Salvaña noted.
Student Council Alliance of the Philippines Chairperson Khryzza Pinzon, the other main speaker of the forum, assessed the administration in the lens of international relations.
Pinzon cited the importance of making initiatives for political education especially for the voters.
“Kay lain man pud kung atong iingon na dumb ang mga nagboto, mga bobo pero wala man lang tay mga initiatives on politically educating our people.”
Pinzon added that if people are unable to make informed votes, the state under a federalist government would end up with the same traditional politicians who do not deserve the position.
Pinzon also noted how the Duterte Administration differs from prior administrations because of its independent foreign policy.
“What makes Digong different when it comes to foreign policy it is because PNOY, GMA and Erap, whenever they say foreign policy they will just say ‘Okay the foreign policy is this.’ But si Digong, ‘The Philippines will have a independent foreign policy.’ But what does independent mean? Will we become like North Korea shut down from Western interference? It is still open for interpretation.”
She also stated how it is similar to Ferdinand Marcos’ method of having anti-United States sentiments and turning to Asian neighbors such as Russia and China.