1. President Rodrigo Duterte wants more financial benefits to the AFP after C-130 plane crash
2. QCPD denied the request of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan to hold SONA protest along Commonwealth Ave. due to COVID-19 Delta variant
3. The Duterte administration will still not cooperate with any ICC probe despite SC ruling
4. PNP Chief Eleazar agrees with PRRD on arming anti-crime volunteers
The State of the Nation Address showed the grave socioeconomic conditions and still the unaddressed issues of the Filipino people.
Five years into the Duterte regime, the masses are resolute to face all forms of abuses brought by the war on drugs and the Anti-Terror Law. The widespread state terrorism for unarmed civilians furthered the economic struggle for the livelihood and public health sector.
The Philippine Statistics Authority Labor Force Surveys reported that since May, the unemployment of 3.73 million Filipino people, with an unemployment rate of 7.7%.
According to the annual report of the International Trade Union Confederation, the country has been included among the worst ten countries for workers in the world. From the NCR Minimum wage of PHP 466.73 in July 2016, the National Productivity and Wages Council reported that it reduced to 433.06 in June 2021.
China’s construction of artificial islands and military facilities in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone neglected the fisherfolk community and left them without any means of support from the government.
Since 2015, the American Embassy mentioned that the country has been the largest recipient of US military assistance. When the US-procured C-130 plane crashed in Patikul, Sulu, the United States immediately granted the Philippines PHP 48.5 million worth of ammunition.
Will these war weapons compensate for the extraterritorial powers given to US military forces in the country?
The administration uses the word “pandemic” to weaponize the public health crisis for state-sponsored killings, imperialist aggression, and domestic borrowings. According to the Bureau of the Treasury, since July 5, the country’s debt has boomed to PHP 11.07 trillion.
The whole fascination for producing unaccountable militias proves the need to address the political and cultural implications of both state-owned and civilian-owned firearms, as there are larger tensions and divisions brought by violence itself. The creation of “Global Coalition of Lingkod Bayan Advocacy Support Groups and Force Multipliers” shows that the patriarchal notion of safety stems from the administration’s social insecurity as the country suffers from economic decline. Justifying normalized violence to maintain the social order only means that the State sees a threat in their own integrity.
Can we really define President Rodrigo Duterte without his military and police forces?
The last SONA of Rodrigo Duterte will only further ignite the Filipino people to engage in various forms of resistance. Not only should we do community research of his criminal negligence, but we must also strengthen our call for social amelioration program, 100-peso daily wage subsidy, safe resumption of classes, mass testing, and free and accessible vaccine for all.