Hilbay slams Duterte admin for its ‘policy of distraction’
MANILA, Philippines — Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay has criticized the administration for distracting the people from Constitutional and economic issues through President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on his marijuana use.
Hilbay said in a text message to INQUIRER.net on Wednesday that the public should now acknowledge that the administration has adopted a “policy of distraction.”
“Yes. We now have to accept the fact that this administration engages in a policy of distraction,” he said, after being asked if he believes that Duterte’s jokes were deliberately made to hide more important issues in the government.
Duterte said in a speech last Monday inside Malacañang that he uses marijuana to stay awake and to cope with his busy schedule. During the last Asean summit in Singapore, the President reportedly missed key discussions to catch up on sleep.
Hours after, however, he dismissed the statements as merely a “joke,” intended to inject a light moment in a boring speech.
Duterte’s statements has been criticized on social media, but some Filipino netizens speculated that there is a deeper reason behind those controversial remarks.
A day after — as people were still discussing the President’s supposed use of marijuana — Duterte approved the second round of excise taxes on oil products, which will take effect by 2019.
And on the same day, the House of Representatives approved on second reading its draft federal charter, which removed term limits and opened the possibility of cancellation of the 2019 elections.
Earlier, Hilbay said that the administration has mastered the art of swaying the public’s attention from key issues that need intense discussions.
“Sa tingin ko iyon ‘yong isa sa mga na-master ngayon ng administrasyon, ‘yong pagtaliwas sa atensyon ng mamamayan, hinahati at hinahati ‘yong atensyon ng mamamayan, para maiwas don sa mga tunay na issue,” he explained.
“Katulad na lang no’ng paggamit ng marijuana, pagpugot sa ulo ng isang bishop, at kung ano-ano pang kabalbalan. Kasi parang ‘yong kabalbalan, nada-dampen niya ‘yong impact no’ng real issues na kailangang harapin ng mga mamamayan,” he added. /je
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