July 11, 2019 (5:01 PM)

3 min read


CONVERSATION. University administrators and students convene in the 1st Tindig Tinyo: a student-led Pakighinabi Discussion on the midterm performance of the Duterte Administration. The forum commenced at the Pakighinabi Room, 3F Ricci Hall, CCFC Building with lead discussant Mr. Mark Paul Samante.

Photo by Maxine Andrea Lumbera

To assess the Duterte administration’s midterm performance, representatives from various clusters and offices convened for Tindig Tinyo, the first student-led forum organized by Ateneo de Davao University student council SAMAHAN, Monday at Pakighinabi Dialogue Room 3F CCFC Bldg.

Ram Manlatican of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) cluster said while he agrees that President Duterte has his own political identity in his administration, the consistency of his political will should be put into question.

He recounted Duterte’s bold campaign promise ‘to ride a jet ski’ to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea and observed the president currently is “not that adamant” against China over the recent Reed Bank incident.

Campus Club Organization (CCO) chairperson and International Studies student Trixy Macaraeg expressed that she understands Duterte’s careful foreign policy towards China.

She likened international relations to a ‘toxic romantic relationship.’

“I really don’t get people. It’s easy for them to say ‘Why is Duterte not waging war? Why is he very apathetic with our fishermen? When in fact the truth is still there that China is a rising superpower and that we are very weak in terms of military,” she said.

“I relate with Duterte’s sentiments that he cannot sacrifice the people for that because we are not yet ready,” she added.

Drug war

On the government’s war on drugs, Manlatican said it is a representation of how the administration refuses to acknowledge and defend fundamental human rights—the right to life, among others.

“This is problematic because the end does not justify the means. Nasabi na natin na: ‘We have this drug war, and the intention is very good so we must support the administration,’ but we also have to question the means. Ang daming collateral damage and ‘di natin ma-reduce na those [victims] are collateral damage because they are—they were once breathing,” he stated.

Renz Lacorte, SAMAHAN Secretary-General, affirmed Manlatican’s views.

“If we are only to focus on statistics, we are really not more humanistic about it. We don’t see the killings and all,” he said.

Adrian Almonte of PIGLASAPAT noted while there is no perfect government, the people are aiming for a “suitable government.”

He added the administration prioritized national issues such as anti-corruption campaign and war on drugs, but opined Duterte “might have forgotten due process stipulated in the constitution.”

Manlatican concluded that intangible progress, such as the promotion of human rights, is not appreciated enough in progress.

“We all have these tangible developments, meron tayong Build, Build, Build, but we must think para kanino itong development,” he said.

The forum began with a presentation of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey from December 16-19, 2018, presenting 74% of Filipino adults were satisfied with Duterte’s performance.

Later that day, Rappler reported a more recent SWS survey, with 80% of Filipinos happy with the administration’s performance, ending the first half of Duterte’s term with the highest satisfaction rating.

End the silence of the gagged!

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