Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Published by Bayan Metro Manila

It is sickening to watch politicians playing a petty ‘game of thrones’ over Congress speakership, pork barrel allocations, and partisan politicking ahead of the 2022 elections.

This revolting spectacle is taking place amid worsening hunger, unemployment, and poverty levels in the country caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions are scrambling for jobs and food while Duterte allies are squabbling over pork barrel projects. Politicians are oblivious to the harsh social impact of the pandemic as they continue to fight over the speakership post in the House of Representatives.

Legislators should focus on scrutinizing the 2021 budget to ensure that public funds will be efficiently used to improve the country’s COVID-19 response and revive the local economy. Instead, they are obsessed with plotting nasty schemes over the potential spoils of the speakership row.

Congress should have used its mandate to question the anti-people policies, programs, and projects of the Duterte government. But they seem inclined to resolve the leadership crisis by seeking the intervention (again) of the president. So much for Congress as an independent branch of the government.

The tragic losers here are the Filipino people. Betrayed by the incompetence of the Duterte government, abandoned by power and money-hungry legislators, and terrorized by state forces which are brutally imposing draconian measures to stifle dissent ahead of the coming election season.

To survive the pandemic, our people have no choice but to fight for better governance. Voters too will remember the politicians who promoted their self-interest instead of the public welfare.

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