Alejano: Duterte runs country like a ‘one-man show’
Editor’s Note: Starting June 25, the Inquirer will run on its print, online, and social media platforms a series of stories, reports and commentaries on the socioeconomic impact – positive and negative – that President Duterte has made in his first year in office. The articles will focus on how the former Davao City mayor has coped with the challenges of the presidency in five major areas that Filipinos consider most important in their lives: peace and order, traffic, economy, governance and foreign policy. This evaluation of the administration’s achievements and shortcomings will take into account what Mr. Duterte had promised to do during last year’s presidential campaign, his June 30 inaugural speech and his July 25 State of the Nation Address.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, who lodged a failed impeachment bid against President Rodrigo Duterte, on Thursday said the administration has been nothing more than a “one man show” as he criticized the war on drugs and the government’s unfulfilled promises of change.
In his assessment of the one year of the Duterte administration, Alejano said the President ran the country like a “one-man show” with its lack of organization and “ill-founded” policies.
“A year of the Duterte administration proved that this is what is lacking – direction. It is marred by chaos and confusion that led to ill-founded policy decisions, unfulfilled campaign promises, and even more controversies. It is a government that has no sense of organization and unity which eventually led to many problems,” Alejano said.
Alejano said in running the country like a one-man show, the President kept in the dark his Cabinet members who are left with no choice but to justify the conflicting and controversial statements of the President.
“The President runs the country like a one man show. He does not want to share the stage with his Cabinet officials leading to confusion as to their specific role in his administration. His cabinet officials are left in the dark and are oftentimes given the hard task of explaining or justifying the statement of the President,” Alejano said.
Alejano cited the bloody war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives, the absence of a national security strategy, the setbacks in the peace talks with communist rebels despite no movement in the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, as well as the Maute group’s attack in Marawi city which indicated that anti-terrorism operations were sidelined.
“A year has passed and the promise of eradicating the proliferation of drugs and crime within 3 to 6 months has gone into the dust bin. What we have now are thousands of killings related to drugs with victims mostly coming from the poor while known drug lords are still on the loose,” Alejano said of the brutal narcotics crackdown.
Alejano also cited the country’s strained relations with the United States, European Union, and the United Nations as Duterte cozies up to China, as well as the administration’s weak assertion of its maritime rights over the West Philippine Sea in renewing ties with Beijing.
Alejano described Duterte’s administration as being too dependent on China for investments, despite the chief executive’s vow for an independent foreign policy.
“Far from having an independent foreign policy, the President has shown strong favor toward China. After upsetting strong alliance and relations with US, President Duterte has sided with China with the latter’s pledges of grants and investments to the Philippines. President Duterte has also thrown offensive pronouncements toward the United Nations and the European Union thereby affecting investment and aids that the Philippines may receive. Contrary to being independent, the Duterte brand of foreign policy is China-dependent,” Alejano said.
Alejano said the President failed to deliver on his promises of change, but he has delivered on the filing of trumped up charges against his critics, referring to Duterte’s most vocal rival Senator Leila De Lima who is detained on drug trade charges.
“During his first year, the President utterly failed to deliver on his promises. What the Duterte Presidency has delivered on the other hand is the silencing of his critics, the filing of trumped up charges using the resources of the government to persecute the opposition, and the senseless killing of our fellow Filipinos. What this administration has delivered is the gradual erosion of our institutions in government, the disregard to due process, the disrespect to the rule of law, the maligning of our basic Human Rights, and the curtailing of our democracy,” Alejano said.
Since the lower House dismissed his impeachment complaint against Duterte for lack of substance, Alejano has joined the petitioners who took up to the International Criminal Court in the Hague to hold Duterte accountable for alleged crimes against humanity.
Explore on our special anniversary site the Inquirer series of multiplatform reports and commentaries on the gains and challenges during President Duterte's first year in office. Daily content begins June 25 till July 24.
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