April 4, 2020 (9:47 PM)

5 min read


Photo from Interaksyon.

While the nation continues to struggle from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 crisis, many netizens expressed their outrage on President Rodrigo Duterte after his order to shoot quarantine violators dead.

Last Wednesday, Duterte’s surprised televised address aired wherein he addressed the “left” following the riot allegedly instigated by Kadamay.

Senators such as Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Joel Villanueva, likewise, share the same sentiments with the masses, disapproving the use of violence and instead urging to address hunger as the primary reason for social conflicts.

Risa Hontiveros, in her twitter account @risahontiveros said:

“Ang kailangan ng taumbayan ngayon ay pagkain, ayuda at proteksyon sa mga frontliners, hinfi dahas at pagbabanta.”

Relatively, Senator Francis Pangilinan, via his twitter account, demanded the release of funds for the people.

“Our law enforcers should understand that people are agitated because there is no food on the table. Let’s address hunger, and there will be lesser social conflict,” Villanueva told the reporters.

Meanwhile, responding to concerns that the chief executive addressed the intriguing message to the left, Anakbayan noted that putting the blame towards ‘the left’ is an old tactic from the Marcos era.

“It gaslights citizens, away from the anger and disappointment at this inutile regime’s criminal handling of COVID-19. They want us to stop asking #NasaanAngAyuda,” Anakbayan’s official Twitter account @anakbayan_ph posted.

In a statement from Buklod Atenista on State Action During the Crisis of COVID-19, ‘Agere Contra’, which means ‘acting against’, it appears that the Filipinos are facing two viruses.

“It seems as though Filipinos are fighting two viruses, COVID-19 and Duterte’s Administration. We need to be reminded that this is the reality we live in, and above all, this anger and disappointment must propel us into action!” 

Buklod Atenista, the national alliance of the student governments of Jesuit higher education, condemned the government’s military-centric response to the crisis, the preferential testing of VIPs, and lack of urgency in providing welfare assistance to families affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

In addition, the alliance also condemned the blatant disrespect and disregard for the Philippine Constitution.

“Article II Section 3 states that civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military and Article III Section 4, which states that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech and expression,” they emphasized.

Buklod also posited that the people are likely to cooperate with the government and its directives if the ‘administration can ensure medical, economic, and food security for all.’

“Let us ensure the safety and welfare of the Filipino people not only from COVID-19, but also from human rights violations,” Buklod quipped.

Sustaining founding ideals, Buklod Atenista demanded the humane and just exercise of duties and upholding the rule of law, execution of free and mass testing, universalization of aid, support for frontliners, government’s apt leadership, and for the release of comprehensive plan of action of the 275B emergency fund.

“We call on the whole Philippines to stay vigilant and critical of the actions of our government, to never turn a blind eye when injustice occurs, and to act upon it with conscience.

“Let us be empathetic in recognizing the needs of the last and the least in our society. Let us see and hear the cry for help of the poor and marginalised and make ourselves an avenue to halt their hunger … Let us free ourselves from the bubbles of our privilege and strive to reach out to those who are in need,” Buklod added.

Duterte, in a speech on the evening of April 1, warned those quarantine violators following the apprehension of 21 protesters along EDSA Kilyawan, Brgy. Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City, which occurred during that day.

In a statement released by Samahan regarding the state actions during the crisis, it “strongly condemns the prevalence of political interests and abused military-based approaches” perpetuated by the government.

“Crude statements cannot be substitutes for concrete actions and solutions,” it said, pointing out the “shortcomings and lack of support” experienced by some Filipinos.

Regarding the said matter, Senator Panfilo Lacson admitted that there is nothing new with the statements of Duterte being harsh and exaggerated on shooting ‘troublemakers’ during the enhanced community quarantine dead.

Having engaged in intelligence and law enforcement work previously, Lacson suggested to authorities to probe if the ‘riot’ in Quezon City involving protesters demanding aid was a ‘valid “hunger-driven” spontaneous act of people who simply lost their patience out of exasperation’, or ‘politically instigated act of violence by sinister groups out to take advantage and destabilize the administration and duly constituted authority.’

“There is no saying however, that all protests during the ECQ should be presumed as politically instigated. Yet, it cannot be denied that there may be groups with motive to exploit the volatility of the situation to advance their own political agenda,” said Lacson in a statement released, ‘On the President’s Shoot Order and Protests During the Enhanced Community Quarantine.’

As the country is waiting for the vaccine to be created for the food to be distributed, Duterte pinpointed that “the left” should understand that they are ‘not part of the government’ and must ‘not ignite any commotion’ as he will not hesitate to order his troops to arrest, detain and even shoot them.

Furthermore, Duterte reminded that money and food will come as long as no one will cause an uproar and later warned not to challenge the government because they will just eventually lose.

End the silence of the gagged!

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