Saturday, 8 October 2022
The first 100 days of President Marcos Jr.’s administration spelled 100 days of failed governance as inflation continues to wreak havoc on the people’s income. Reaching the highest at almost seven percent in four years, and even at double digit figures in some regions, inflation meant that the most basic food items such as rice, sugar and salt are disappearing from the dining table of the poorest populations. Rising prices in fuel, electricity, water and other utilities have also affected major goods and services. Increasing numbers of Filipinos say their quality of life has worsened, as the unemployment rate goes up and job quality declined.
Facing these price increases at the heels of typhoon Karding’s devastation multiplies the burden on Filipinos, who are already desperate amidst unabated pandemic-borne crises. Yet there are no clear plans from the government on how to address the surge in prices, nor how to help the poorest families survive.
What is clearly planned though, are the proposed 4.5 billion confidential and intelligence funds for the Office of the President; 500 million confidential funds for the Office of the Vice President; and 12 billion budget for the red tagger NTF-ELCAC. If any, these budget proposals indicate the direction of the Marcos-Duterte administration for the next six years- not for economic recovery but for the security of their political ambitions.
President BBM has failed to protect lives as extrajudicial killings continue to be perpetrated under the war on drugs and the war on dissent. Broadcaster Percival Mabasa, a known critic of Duterte and Marcos, is the second media practitioner to be killed under the Marcos Jr. administration, and counts among the nearly 200 victims of EJKs since 1986, according to NUJP.
Victims of the war on drugs and their families remain fearful for their lives and their future without concrete commitment by the President to ensure justice for their loved ones. Their plight signals a bigger threat of a growing culture of impunity, which emboldens criminals to perpetrate increasingly violent crimes and human rights violations.
Human rights defenders continue to be red tagged, harassed, threatened, surveilled, intimidated and vilified by the government, in the guise of implementing the Anti-Terrorism Law. While a UN Joint Programme on Human Rights is being conducted for its remaining two years, government has failed to make substantial progress on many of its targets.
The Supreme Court’s response to Lorraine Badoy’s threats against a judge can be seen as the gasping breaths of our democratic system’s last standing institutions. The pushback must be supported to encourage more people to stand up and defend the country’s other critical institutions such as the free press, academic freedom, civil society.
Today, in commemorating Marcos Jr’s first hundred days in office, iDefend is taking action on the streets to remind our people that the failure of governance dooms us all. We have our rights, we only have to have the courage to claim them and keep them, by taking responsibility for our collective future, through active vigilance, raising our voices and demanding accountability from the authorities.