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 the Philippine Daily Inquirer

This week marks the first year since the Duterte administration imposed harsh lockdown measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The failure of the militarist approach is reflected in the surging COVID-19 cases, livelihood losses caused by unnecessary restrictions, and worsening human rights abuses.

The remorseless incompetence of the Duterte administration led to delayed testing and tracing, inadequate treatment, and failure to procure and roll out enough vaccines.

Mr. Duterte asked for more power and loans to deal with the pandemic, but squandered these with his over-reliance on the security cluster.

Instead of containing fear, he inflamed it with unscientific and incoherent remarks during his late-night televised speeches. He used the state of emergency to discourage the people from expressing criticism, persecute the opposition, and wage a brutal crackdown targeting the Left and other critics.

The past year made us realize the tragic consequences of being led by a government that equates the consolidation of power with the public good.

We have no choice but to survive the pandemic by relying on each other and resisting the tyranny of a murderous regime. Our solidarity is greater than the Fentanyl-driven inanities of Mr. Duterte and his cabal.

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