It’s been a grim year under Duterte, says Trillanes
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.
The Philippines will go to the dogs under President Duterte’s watch.
This was how Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a fierce critic of the President, painted the country if Duterte would remain in office as he assessed the Chief Executive’s freshman year.
“Sa kangkungan talaga tayo pupulutin at the rate we’re going dahil wala talaga kaming nakikitang direksyon. Bukod dito sa pagpatay, sa war on drugs, wala nang ibang malinaw,” Trillanes said at the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel on Monday.
He said Duterte failed to fulfill the primary and most important duty of the president of any country – to protect his or her people.
When he exits from the presidency, Trillanes said Duterte would leave a legacy of death and fear brought about by his brutal drug war. More than 12,000 individuals died in summary killings since Duterte took office. The Philippine National Police (PNP) claims only 3,200 of the 12,000 died in operations related to the drug war.
“Ang legacy niya nagpapapatay siya ng libo-libong Pilipino at bilang presidente, malaking kasalanan ‘yan dahil ‘yan ang tanging role mo—pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino,” he said.
The senator said the streets have also become more dangerous with vigilantes on the loose and terrorists, particularly from the Abu Sayyaf and Maute terror groups, getting bolder and making incursions into Visayas and Metro Manila.
He also slammed Duterte for setting free the “symbols of corruption” in the country, including former President, now Pampanga lawmaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante. Now, Trillanes said the Duterte administration is also entertaining the idea of releasing the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam, Janet Lim-Napoles.
Trillanes said he was documenting Duterte’s broken promises.
The senator said Duterte failed to fulfill the campaign promise that had catapulted him to the presidency, which was to completely stamp out drugs, criminality and corruption in the country within three to six months.
“Marami nagoyo dyan. Parang “budol-budol gang” ito eh. Kaya nga binoto mo siya kasi three to six months, kaya sigurong hintayin ‘yun. Pero pag-upo na, wala. Mura mura lang,” he said.
After his sixth month in office, Duterte sought an extension of his anti-drug campaign, saying it was too late when he realized the magnitude of the drug problem he needed to solve.
Another promise Duterte did not keep, according to Trillanes, was his vow to solve the traffic and other transportation problems in 100 days.
“Sabi niya ang traffic, political will lang daw ‘yan. One hundred days tatapusin ang traffic. Eh ni isang program nga lang to solve the traffic wala silang inilunsad,” he said.
One of Duterte’s major campaign promises was to double the salary of policemen and soldiers. In his speeches, Duterte would often say that he has prioritized the salary increase of the uniformed personnel within 2016. But the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said doubling their pay will not come easily as it needs to undergo approvals from different institutions.
“Itong mga sundalo at pulis pinangakuan. “Sa August (2016) doble na sweldo niyo.” Dumating ang August, hindi pala. September na raw. Dumating September, December na raw. Dumating December, wala pa rin. Pero tuloy pa rin siya manloko,” Trillanes said.
The senator, a former military man, also noted Duterte’s failure to keep his promise of ending smuggling in three days and giving out bigger housing units to military and police personnel.
“Gano’n lang siya. He keeps on lying. He keeps on making promises. Ang mga Pilipino, kapag nakikita nila si Duterte na nagsisinungaling, parang totoo sa kanila,” he said.
In a Senate hearing in April, however, the National Housing Authority (NHA) said it has approved the increase of the lot area from 22 square meter (sqm) floor area to 44 sqm for the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines’s housing program./ac/rga
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