On Año’s order to conduct “house-to-house” hunt for Covid-19 infected individuals — Marco Valbuena

Fascist general Eduardo Año’s order for state troopers to “go house-to-house” to hunt Covid-positive individuals and forcibly bring them to “isolation facilities” speaks of an all-encompassing military mindset devoid of any medical consideration that has marked the Duterte regime’s failed response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It further manifests how Duterte’s officials are drunk with power who act as if they are above the law. Año’s order is an outright circumvention of people’s basic civil rights, specifically the need for of court-issued search warrant before state security forces can enter and search private homes. It is violative of the basic human right to privacy, even in medical situations where doctor-patient confidentiality reign supreme.

The order is but the latest of the Inter-agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases’ militarist, incompetent, and often mindboggling and stupid response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to this, Año enjoined local government units to pass ordinances to arrest and detain “quarantine violators” to “teach them a lesson,” another fascist reaction to the people’s way of coping with the grave economic crisis brought about by their own militarist lockdown.

Another policy, ordered by the Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana himself, required motorcycle-riding couples to present “evidence” of cohabitation, alongside attaching an unwieldy and potentially dangerous plastic barrier to their vehicles. Such an invention would have been totally hilarious if it didn’t add another burden to Filipino families and provide police personnel another reason to apprehend and fine working people.

Again, and again, these generals have proven their inutility to manage the pandemic, all the while blaming the people for every setback. They have failed to conduct mass testing, trace the spread, and isolate the infected. They themselves ordered the return of locally stranded individuals without proper testing, and without raising the capacity of health systemes in the provinces.

Worse, they use the pandemic to implement their most fervent fascist dreams — from travel restrictions, checkpoints, curfews, mass arrests and detentions, and now, warrantless searches. These generals should be booted out of the country’s Covid-19 response and made to answer for the country’s health, social and economic devastation.