“Pointless and full of lies.”
The Apolinario Gatmaitan Command of the Regional Operational Command New People’s Army – Negros Island lashed out at President Duterte and at what the rebel group calls as “lies” in the fifth State of the Nation Address.
NPA spokesperson Ka Juanito Magbanua, in a statement, said that “Duterte’s government persists to be planless and inutile in dealing with the dying and declining economy of the country amid the public health crisis due to the pandemic.”
The NPA added that the worsening conditions “of every sector” have pushed people in Negros Island to stage demonstrations to vent “their rage and utterly disgusted (sic) to the burdensome, corrupt, and treacherous regime.”
Duterte’s government, the statement added, remains to be “planless and inutile” in dealing with the “dying and declining economy of the country” amid the pandemic, while his statements “have only been full of hubris and praise for his corrupt, treacherous, and fascist connives (sic) in the ruling class of landlords, bourgeois compradors, and bureaucrat capitalists.”
“The governance of Duterte reeks of its decaying despite his futile attempts to sugarcoat it. This is uncovered by the worsening conditions of the masses particularly in Negros suffering hunger and poverty where feudal and semi-feudal relations are still rampant. His failed and ignorant response to the people’s demands of a medical approach and mass testing is only adding insult to injury. Instead of addressing this, he has prioritized his personal vendetta against the opposition and the passing of death penalty.”
The NPA added that on top of the from the virus there are also “countless cases” of Locally Stranded Iindividuals who are suffering from hunger and “longing to return home”, as well as the “massive unemployment, and landlessness and workforce displacement”.
The NPA also called the President’s approach to addressing the problem “militarist”, and thus it is ironic that Duterte “surrendered to China the West Philippine Sea and the country’s sovereignty because he admitted he cannot match the prowess of the imperialist power”.
On the other hand, Bacolod and Negros Occidental top executives praised the President’s SONA, with Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia calling the address “comprehensive”.
“It was the first SONA delivered against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis. It gave us a picture of the challenges the government and the nation had to face and how our people were tested to balance health and the economy. And indeed we’ve passed the test of resiliency,” Leonardia said.
Calling the SONA “informative and inspirational”, the mayor lauded the President’s efforts for Bayanihan Act Part 2 with its intent of increased testing capacity nationwide, the millions who have availed of government assistance, the Malasakit Centers that to cater to the needy, the direction towards digitalization and elimination of physical queueing in government offices and many others.
The mayor also mentioned Duterte’s “serious intention to make telecoms improve their service”, calling saying it was “like a light at the end of the tunnel”.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson also agreed with Duterte’s call for telecommunications companies to improve services “given that technology and connectivity will be among the controlling and dominant elements under the new normal”.
Improving the telecom infrastructure is crucial for the operations of the Alternative Learning System that includes Online Learning for students this coming academic year.
Lacson also lauded the President’s directives to Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to “retool our OFWs” and directives for government financial institutions to assist displaced OFWs.
“I agree with… his appeal to lessors to be more considerate and compassionate with their tenants, and his request for Banko Sentral [ng Pilipinas] to provide regulatory relief to MSMEs. We all need these interventions to prevent the collapse of the economy,” the governor added.
The request of the President of the passage of the Bayanihan 2, he said, is also pivotal given the health and economic crisis we are facing now.