Minority solons criticize Duterte in first 100 days | Inquirer News

Minority solons criticize Duterte in first 100 days

/ 06:11 PM October 07, 2016

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Baguilat Jr.

Lawmakers in the minority bloc in Congress on Friday deplored the spate of extrajudicial killings and the alarming shift in foreign policy in the first 100 days of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a text message, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said the administration’s bloody crackdown on drugs and criminality had put the country in a negative light before the international community.


Villarin called the administration’s war against drugs antipoor.



“President Duterte’s first 100 days was both dramatic and unnerving that puts our country in the spotlight. His war against drugs became a war versus the poor characterized by impunity and rising extrajudicial killings,” Villarin said.

Villarin said the administration’s campaign against drugs would be “unsustainable” until the President realizes that substance abuse was a “health problem,” not just a matter of law enforcement.

“Unless he realizes that substance abuse is a health problem, his campaign to eradicate the drug problem is unsustainable,” Villarin said.

For his part, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, the minority leader representing the “legitimate minority” bloc in Congress, said the first 100 days of the administration was not remarkable except for the scores of the dead due to vigilante killings.

“The onus of the first 100 days of the Duterte administration is really his campaign against drugs and criminality. The arrests and the number of surrenderers tell half of the story of the drug war. The other half are the vigilante killings and the uncertain future of those who surrendered,” Baguilat said.

Villarin also lamented the shift in foreign policy from the United States to other global powers China and Russia, driven mostly by the President’s outbursts against the US.


Duterte cursed at US President Barack Obama and the European Union (EU) after both criticized the administration’s war on drugs, telling the two that the Philippines did not need foreign aid from them.

Duterte also hinted at scrapping the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement to boot out rotational US forces in the Philippines and said this year’s joint war games with the US would be the last.

READ: 2016 PH-US war games will be the last–Duterte Angry Duterte threatens to end Edca

Villarin feared that the Philippines would become an outcast in the global community due to Duterte’s outbursts.

“Our foreign policy is dictated by President Duterte’s emotional outbursts rather than sober and sound appreciation of facts and context of international relations. He is pushing us to be a pariah in a community of nations,” Villarin said.

Baguilat said what he was seeing was not an independent foreign policy but an “anti-West” and “pro-China” policy,” which he feared would negatively affect the country’s military capacity.

READ: Duterte seeks alliances with China and Russia | Duterte: American troops must leave Mindanao

“I don’t see an independent foreign policy. I see a more anti-West, pro-China foreign policy. This will have repercussions on our military capability because our current hardware and training has been US-provided,” Baguilat said.

As to the President’s plan to purchase arms from Russia and China, Baguilat said unlike the deals with the US and EU, which had “strings attached,” possible deals with China would have “ropes attached.” “That’s just how it does its business,” Baguilat said.

Villarin also lamented the Department of Finance tax proposal that lowered personal income tax offset by the imposition of additional excise taxes on fuel, and the removal of VAT exemption for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

READ: Makabayan slams DOF tax package as ‘antipoor’ | DOF tax package to remove VAT exemptions on elderly, PWDs

He also noted the negative effect of Duterte’s foul mouth on the stock market and the exchange rate of the peso.

“His fiscal policies tend to shift the tax burden to consumers while his reckless utterances send financial markets in turmoil and brought down the peso to its lowest in almost a decade,” Villarin said./rga


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TAGS: China, Drug war, Killings, Russia, Tom Villarin

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