The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) urged the people to brace for an even worse crisis because of the government’s ineffectual response to the coronavirus (COVID) pandemic.
In a statement, the CPP said that due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s “unbridled neglect and failure of governance,” there appears to be an imminent break out of an even worse crisis in the coming months.”
The underground Party said there is a possibility that the COVID pandemic would lead to the downfall of the economy and people’s lives due to Duterte’s reliance on lockdowns and other onerous and burdensome policies.
If it happens, the Duterte regime would falter with the wearing down of the people’s patience, the group said.
Last August 6, the day the government imposed its strictest quarantine for the third time since the pandemic began last year, the Philippines has overtaken Indonesia with the most number of active COVID cases at close to 120,000 cases as compared to its neighbor’s more than 118,000 cases.
Since Saturday, August 14, the country registered upwards of 14,000 new cases daily, nearly matching the all-time high of more than 15,000 registered last April.
“[T]he continuing worsening of the pandemic is a result of Duterte’s pigheaded refusal to prioritize health measures,” the CPP said, noting that the government has no new solution to the emergent Delta variant of the virus but repeated lockdowns.
The group warned there is a strong possibility that COVID will spread more rapidly beyond the capacity of hospitals and facilities in the coming months due to the government’s lack of testing and contact-tracing capacity, in addition to its “turtle-paced vaccination” activities.
No recovery in the horizon
The CPP also said government’s assurances of an economic recovery appear empty due to the lack of investments to kick-start production and consumption.
“Based on experiences in 2020, there is the threat of unemployment shooting up within a few months and rapid rise of businesses losses and bankruptcies,” it said.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced last August 6 that 5,322 workers have lost their jobs on the first day of the current lockdown as at least 178 establishments said they were closing down or cutting their workforce.
Last March 30, DOLE said 4.2 million remained unemployed while 7.9 million workers took pay cuts from shorter working hours.
The CPP said the situation will cause the intensification of workers exploitation and further deterioration of the lives of millions in both cities and the countryside.
“People are forced to desperate straits by the rotten, failed and oppressive Duterte government. Millions of Filipinos daily suffer in long queues for food, aid and vaccines,” the group said.
All the while, government officials abuse power, politicize aid and vaccine distribution, pocket public funds, squander on counterproductive wars, or repay the ever rising government debt which did not benefit the people, the group alleged.
Resistance vs. tyranny
The CPP urged the people to act and express outrage against the Duterte government’s failed policies and response to the crisis.
“They cannot remain silent and dispersed. They cannot forever wait for aid or rely on the good-heartedness of others to avoid extreme hunger,” it said.
“The people must resist being silenced by Duterte’s shock and terror. Their silence will all the more embolden Duterte and his vassals and minions to trample on the their rights and welfare, plunder public funds, impose heavier taxes, betray and conspire with foreign powers, monopolize political power, sow terror and perpetuate themselves in Malacañang,” it added.
It also challenged its forces as well as progressive, patriotic and democratic activists to bear “the responsibility of guiding and leading the Filipino people in their fight against Duterte’s ruling tyranny.”
“The Filipino masses have been deprived of everything. They have nothing else to lose,” the CPP said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)