Duterte failed to eliminate corruption, assert PH sovereign rights–opposition senators

Published July 26, 2021, 8:24 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Opposition senators on Monday, July 26 summarized President Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) as a run-down of his failure to keep his campaign promises in 2016.

Senator Risa Hontiveros said that in the end, despite his promise to defend the country’s territorial sovereignty against foreign powers, Duterte again showed his overwhelming gratitude to his “special friend” China.

Hontiveros also said the President’s final SONA did not address his administration’s selective, inconsistent policies against corruption.

“In summary, the President seems to be unwilling and unable to lead the country in reducing corruption, alleviating poverty, healing us from this pandemic, asserting our national sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea and attending to other major concerns of Filipinos,” Hontiveros said when sought to comment on Duterte’s SONA.

“It is clear that we urgently need some willing and able government officials, members of the private sector and civil society leaders to step forward and work together in the next 10 months to prevent our country from going into a downward spiral,” she said.

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan also said that after five years of his term, Duterte also failed to address the country’s problem on illegal drugs.

“Why did he have to prioritize and give importance to illegal drug campaign, while the people are reeling from lack of jobs and livelihood, poverty and hunger which the people have been wanting to hear from him,” Pangilinan said.

For her part, detained Senator Leila de Lima said it is high-time for Duterte’s “reign of terror” and continued deception of the Filipino public to come to an end.

De Lima, in a statement, further stressed that Duterte was but a dictator who ignores the law to satisfy his caprices.

“And now the man who turned death, destruction and disorientation into a state policy wants to stay in power, this time, as vice president, because as he said, he will have immunity from suit,” she pointed out.

“He knows that the International Criminal Court (ICC) doesn’t recognize immunity when it comes to criminals, and he simply doesn’t care. This is one reason why his reign of terror must end,” De Lima stressed.