Good and bad.
This was how political experts and analysts described the performance of the Duterte administration, which turns a year old at the end of the month.
Political and economic analysts gathered on Thursday for a briefing titled Change Has Come at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati City. The speakers included Antonio La Viña, Social Weather Stations President Mahar Mangahas and Alvin Ang, director of the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development.
They agreed that the administration, which had a “normal honeymoon” satisfaction rating of +63 percent, has to do more to deliver on its promises to build more infrastructure, tax reform, end contractualization and achieve inclusive development.
Almost a year into office, President Rodrigo Duterte is faced with pressing issues like the rise of radical groups in Mindanao, the declaration of martial law, and the war on drugs that has been the reason for the souring of Manila’s relations with other countries.
La Viña stressed that the rise of extremist groups in Mindanao is also connected to the government’s campaign to eradicate illegal drugs and other illegal economic activities.
He cited the confiscation last week in Marawi City of P250 million worth of shabu.
La Viña also stressed the need for congress to jointly convene and discuss the proclamation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao. He said the proclamation of martial
law may be justified in Marawi but not in Mindanao and the whole country.
Martial law in Mindanao, La Viña said, will make the civilians “vulnerable.”
He called for the passing of a peace program “before we suffer deadly and long term consequences.”
La Viña said the culture of impunity spawned by the war on drugs may lead to the cutting of aid to the country and the filing of a case against Duterte at the International Criminal Court.
The campaign against illegal drugs has also compromised the Philippine National Police because of the ballooning number of drug-related deaths, he added.
Mangahas said that even with the intensified anti-drugs program, there has been no new trend in the common-crime victimization and neighborhood insecurities.
La Vina stressed the need for the justice system to be independent from politics and to be “accessible and efficient.”
“To look beyond the Duterte administration, we must support the good and learn the lessons of the bad. Never repeat the bad again,” he said.