Deceit and fascist attacks – Duterte’s desperate measure to conceal socio-econ crisis
“The Duterte government has consistently used deceit and fascist attacks as instruments to conceal the socio-economic ills faced by the country under his leadership,” National Federation of Peasant Women (Amihan) national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.
The group joined the #DefendTogether protest led by human rights group KARAPATAN today in Liwasang Bonifacio and Mendiola in Manila in commemoration of the 71st International Human Rights Day.
“Filipino families especially farmers and fisherfolks have remaind poor and became even more impoverished under the Duterte government as it failed to implement a free land distribution program and worse, continued to implement neoliberal policies that deprived them of their rights to food, shelter and social security,” Soriano said.
“The continuing dependence of the Duterte government on food importation, especially rice, through RA 11203 or the Rice Liberalization Law resulted not only to the bankruptcy and displacement of rice farmers as well as millers, traders and workers but also puts the entire nation’s food security at risk,” Soriano added.
“Pagkatapos ng sunod-sunod na anti-magsasaka at anti-mamamayang polisiya kabilang na ang TRAIN Law, kapabayaan sa agrikultura, pagpapahintulot sa mga proyektong sumisira sa ating kalikasan at pagpapahintulot sa panghihimasok ng Tsina sa teritoryo ng bansa, heto at sasabihing bumaba ang bilang ng mahihirap na Filipino,” she exclaimed.
The Philippine Statistics Authority recently released its report showing that poverty incidence dropped from 23.3 percent in 2015 to 16.6 percent in 2018.
“The decline is just a result of a flawed statistical data driven by a desperate government who have failed to respond to the needs of its people,” the peasant leader said.
“Habang nagpupumilit magmukhang mabuti at may malasakit, pandarahas naman ang ganti ng gobyernong Duterte sa mga taong nag-iisip, kritikal at sinserong nagpapahayag ng mga mungkahi upang matugunan ang malawak na kahirapan at kagutuman,” she added.
“Duterte’s fascist attacks has been systematic as manifested in its whole-of-nation approach led by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), which has put the country into de facto Martial Law,” Soriano said.
According to Ibon Foundation, there are 73 officials from military and police in 46 agencies under the Duterte government.
“Kaya hindi nakakapagtaka na kabi-kabila ang human rights violations lalo na sa mga komunidad at pamilyang magsasaka, babae man o lalaki, bata man o matanda. Dahil mismong mga sibilyan, pangunahin na ang mga magsasakang naggigiit ng karapatan sa lupa, tumututol sa pagpasok ng mga dayuhang korporasyon at iba pang proyektong magreresulta sa kawalan ng lupa at kabuhayan ang target ng gobyernong Duterte,” Soriano added.
The group said that 32 peasant women out of more than 230 farmers have been killed under Duterte, while there are 29 elderly, 10 minors and 9 farmer couples. Rolando Egtob, 55 years old, and Josephine Egtob, 56 years old, were the most recent victims of extra-judicial killings. The husband and wife, both farmers and members of UMAN (Unyon sa mga Mag-uuma sa Caraga) a local chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), were killed on December 2, 2019 at around 3pm at their farm in Sitio San Roque, Brgy. San Mateo, Butuan City.
“While the Duterte government is wasting away billions of pesos of taxpayers’ money for fruitless military operations and modernization of the military, it could have been used for land appropriation and free distribution, to eradicate the social base of the armed conflict in the country, but it chooses otherwise, thus, it is facing the broad unrest from poor Filipino peasants,” Soriano said.
“Memo Order 32, Executive Order 70 and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) should be ended; and it should be ended now. Countless farmers and their communities are paying the price for these policies blinded by unfounded accusations and “intelligence” information while the real criminals including those among the state forces remain free and untouched by law enforcers,” Soriano ended. ###