Paranoid Duterte, NTF-ELCAC fail to crack down on community pantries exposing government failure
Efforts by the Duterte regime and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to use anti-communist hysteria to crack down on community pantries have failed. These efforts by humanitarian individuals and organizations, which have reportedly ballooned to 350, continue expose government’s incompetence in the midst of the people’s worsening conditions and amass support from the broad public.
More than a year into the pandemic, the Duterte regime’s steps in controlling the infectious disease and addressing the people’s long-standing economic issues remain ill-thought, unscientific, militarist and anti-people. Leadership of government response remains in the hands of his pet generals. The public health care system, emaciated by decades-long budget cuts, is overwhelmed and headed for total collapse. Record-breaking numbers of Filipinos are losing their livelihoods and are plunged into deeper levels of poverty. Government solution to rising food prices is further liberalization of the economy, as if to sound the death knell to the livelihood of millions of local peasants.
Like a broken record, Duterte repeats to the public how his government responded to the pandemic swiftly and appropriately. But they are unconvinced. He is betrayed by the efforts of hundreds of individuals who, disillusioned by the government’s stupidity and incompetence, have taken matters into their own hands to help each other despite their limited resources. They do not deserve to be subjected to the red-tagging spree masterminded by Duterte’s fascist-minded ilk in the NTF-ELCAC.
He is further betrayed by the his P19-billion anti-communist fund, which he refuses to relinquish as aid for the poor, for mass testing, for additional vaccine procurement, and other urgent needs of the people. Meanwhile, his multi-billion war chest in the national budget is spent to sow terror for his counter-insurgency campaign in the countryside.
Lastly, Duterte is betrayed by his frenzied attack against anyone exposing his regime’s corruption, greed, tyranny and farce. The NTF-ELCAC threatened the organizers of these community pantries, just as Duterte earlier threatened the health workers who called for a medical timeout when hospitals were also overwhelmed with patients in August.
Duterte is fully aware of the people’s growing hatred towards him, which include increasingly disgruntled retired and active elements of the armed forces and police, thus resorting to violence in his desperation to cling to power.
The situation calls for the people to turn these humanitarian efforts into political action. Duterte must be immediately ousted so that the Filipino people can have a better chance at fighting the pandemic and improving their economic conditions.#