Senators to Duterte: Focus on addressing inflation and rice woes
Senators on Tuesday denounced President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest public address, saying it should focus on solving the country’s problems such as the hike in prices of basic commodities and the rice crisis.
Duterte discussed issues on the rumored destabilization plot, the drug war, and the revocation of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty during a tête-à-tête with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo at Malacañang.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros dubbed the speech as “waste of time and precious government resources” and said Duterte should tackle “concrete measures” to solve the country’s inflation and rice crisis.
“Instead of presenting concrete measures to address the country’s soaring inflation and rice crisis, President Duterte spent a good part of his “tete-a-tete” with his legal adviser trying to justify his revocation of Senator Antonio Trillanes’s amnesty, discussing his paranoia over a so-called October destabilization plot and his bloody war on drugs,” Hontiveros said in a statement on Tuesday.
“President Duterte offered to address the country’s twin rice and inflation crises, they were vague and lost in his stories of destabilization plots. Even President Duterte’s order to raid the warehouses of rice hoarders is not new, as it is a standard obligation that people expect any government to fulfill,” she added.
Senator Bam Aquino echoed Hontiveros, saying Filipinos await the suspension of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, which caused the prices basic goods and services to soar.
“Naghihintay pa rin ang taumbayan ng sagot sa krisis sa bigas at taas-presyo. Certified urgent na ng mga kababayan natin ang pagsuspindi sa excise tax ng TRAIN sa Enero (The public is waiting for the government’s action on the rice crisis and the price hike of basic commodities. Suspending the excise tax in January has been certified as urgent by our people),” Aquino said in a statement on Tuesday.
With the President ruling the country with an iron fist, Hontiveros express fears of a possible Martial Law declaration under Duterte’s rule. She urged the people to be observant on the administration.
“But beyond President Duterte’s conspiracy theories, I have deep fears that the event is a precursor to President Duterte declaring nationwide Martial Law. Its focus on destabilization plots, the so-called benefits of Martial Law and the narrative of strongman rule lay the predicate for President Duterte’s slide into full authoritarian rule. I call on all democratic forces and freedom-loving people to exercise extreme vigilance, to not allow the country to fall under dictatorial rule,” she said. /ee
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