As nearly 13 million Filipinos in the greater Metropolitan Manila area are forced to endure yet another lockdown, the hashtags #dutertepalpak and #duterteresign are currently trending on social media, reflecting the rising outrage of Filipinos across the nation and throughout the world.
We in the Malaya Movement join the Filipino people in calling for Duterte’s immediate resignation. It is just and appropriate for the Filipino people to demand the immediate resignation of a failed and incompetent president. Every single day that Duterte stays in office means more suffering to the Filipino people under the same incoherent and incompetent leadership.
Despite Duterte’s big talk, Filipinos are not any safer nor closer to the resolution of the pandemic. Instead of providing effective solutions, Duterte continues to ramble with no clear plan other than a militaristic lockdown. With neighboring ASEAN countries already beginning the process to bounce back from COVID-19’s severe social and economic impacts, the Philippines remains in crisis. Last Friday, a new record-high total of 13,149 infections was reported with a daily average of almost 10,000 newly detected infections.
Despite having borrowed over a trillion pesos in the past year and adding to the National Debt burden, now at 10.1 trillion pesos, Duterte has failed to provide social amelioration programs, mass testing, contact tracing, mass vaccination and increased benefits to frontline health workers. Prioritizing instead the funding of the NTF-ELCAC and their 2022 electoral campaign funds, Duterte’s response to the pandemic has been more repression. State-sponsored attacks against human rights advocates, lawyers, indigenous people’s leaders/organizations, activists, and media practitioners have intensified with no seeming end in sight.
We call for our compatriots, their organizations, and all of our allies around the world to unite in calling for Duterte’s resignation. Now is the time to gather together and summon up our collective courage and strength. We must realize our unified power and contribute to the end of Duterte’s incompetent, fascist regime. Four years has been too long, 400 days until the 2022 election is too far ahead. Duterte must step down now!