Militant labor center, Kilusang Mayo Uno – Metro Manila aired disappointment over President Rodrigo Duterte’s live nationwide address to the Filipino people on Thursday evening concerning the rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country and the announced Metro Manila lockdown, with the military and police handling peace and order during the said lockdown.
In statement on Friday, Ed Cubelo, KMU Metro Manila chairperson, pointed out that the statements of Duterte bereft medical and scientific details and social protection.
“Militaristic solutions such as the military lockdown of the country’s capital region will never cure the fear and anxiety of the people over the massive outbreak of COVID-19,” said Cubelo.
“Putting more stress on population control by police and military control will only create more problems than solutions,” he also said.
Cubelo also said that the measures being laid down by the Palace addresses nothing and will only worsen the problem of the coronavirus spread. The group said that instead of giving answers to the questions of the people, more questions were left unanswered.
“We heard nothing beneficial from the president in regards with the realignment of budget for health services, ways of combatting the virus in terms of medical science, procurements of test kits, ways in making medical services accessible to the people, support for contractual workers and the like,” said Cubelo.
Cubelo also slammed the lack of plans of the government for the welfare of Filipino workers.
Cubelo cited that mere suggestions for private companies in terms of the welfare of the working people was mentioned by Duterte instead of decisively taking full responsibility to mandate employers in the private sector to prioritize the security of employment and health of workers amid the COVID-19 threats.
KMU Metro Manila said that watching and listening to the president’s address is such “a waste of time,” as his marching orders were vague and were obviously aimed to curtail the basic rights of Filipino workers and people.
KMU Metro Manila vows to be keen in monitoring every actions of the Duterte government in its campaign in combatting COVID-19.
They warned Duterte to stop its evil plans of using the virus issue and the lockdown of Metro Manila to impose draconian measures that will violate the fundamental socio-economic rights of Filipino workers and people and their basic freedom and civil liberties./Stacy Ang