The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the 16.7% contraction of the Philippine economy during the second quarter is a bloodbath that is on Duterte’s hands. The CPP said the bungled management of the Covid-19 pandemic brought about by Duterte’s military- and police-centered response is directly responsible for the massacre of jobs and the slaughter of the livelihood of millions of Filipinos.
The Philippines is now officially in an economic recession following two successive quarters of economic contraction. Duterte’s managers reported a 0.7% contraction in the first quarter.
“It is the Filipino people, especially workers, peasants and other toiling people, who are suffering the brunt of the crisis brought about by Duterte’s bungling of the pandemic situation,” said Marco L. Valbuena, Information Officer of the CPP. “Not only are they suffering unprecedented levels of unemployment and loss of income, they are also the ones to shoulder the burden of the regime’s debt-driven strategy purportedly to stimulate the economy.”
“As expected, Duterte and his technocrats are falsely blaming the Covid-19 pandemic for the massive economic devastation in order to deflect attention from its direct culpability,” said Valbuena. “It cannot, however, cover up the fact that it failed to promptly and correctly respond to the pandemic.”
Valbuena said that despite having two months of warnings of the upcoming pandemic, the Duterte regime had zero plans in place by March. “There were no efforts to strengthen public hospitals and laboratories, produce or procure testing machines and protective equipment, hire new nurses, develop an efficient reporting system, and so on.”
“As a result, when infections started to increase in March and with no pandemic response plan in place, it had to resort to imposing a lockdown on the entire Luzon which in turn paralyzed the economy of the entire country,” pointed out Valbuena.
“Worse, it imposed the military and police lockdowns not to give it time to strengthen the health system and help it cope with the rising number of cases, but as THE priority measure for managing the whole pandemic and consolidating his tyrannical rule,” Valbuena added.
“Duterte’s tyrannical mindset saw only the opportunity to use the pandemic to rush his state terror law, clamp down on media, impose measures for population control and restrictions of people’s rights and freedoms, without considering the backlash on the economy and the people’s livelihood.”
“To understate the gravity of the situation, Duterte’s minions are busy claiming that the economic crisis was expected and that no country in the world can escape the impact of the pandemic,” said Valbuena. “This is a vain attempt to cover up the fact that his regime’s military and police-centric response to the pandemic has massively failed to balance health, economic and social considerations.”
“Duterte, however, cannot conceal the fact that the 16.7% second quarter contraction is not only the worst for the country since the early 1980s, but is also among the worst across the globe, certainly far worse compared to our Southeast Asian neighbors,” Valbuena pointed out.