Thursday, August 05, 2021

Tell it to SunStar: Broken promises

WITH just two days before the security of tenure (SOT) bill would lapse into law, Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III assured the workers that President Duterte would sign the measure.

There was no doubt on the assurance made by Sec. Bello because the end of contractualization (Endo) was one of Duterte’s major election promises.

Sadly, last July 26, Duterte vetoed the very measure which he certified as “urgent.” Sec. Bello looks pathetic after he assured the workers that the SOT would be signed.

Yet, Bello should be the last person to be surprised on his boss’s violation of his promise to end contactualization. So many pre-election promises were made by Duterte to lure the gullible electorate to support his candidacy. These were his major promises:

“I will end the drug problem in three to six months.” The drug problem has aggravated despite the extrajudicial killings of more or less 30,000 suspects. On at least two occasions, drugs worth billions of pesos were found at the magnetic lifters inside the Bureau of Customs. Shabus worth millions of pesos were also seized during raids conducted by the police and the PDEA.

“I will end crimes in three to six months.” In the course of the bloody war on drugs and his counter insurgency program, countless Filipinos have been added to the growing list of victims. Lawyers Ben Ramos, Anthony Trinidad of Negros and Nicolas Gomez, Jr. of Bukidnon, and other progressive lawyers were murdered with impunity. State-sponsored killings have not abated.

This year’s ambush-slaying of the top barangay officials of San Fernando, Cebu, the ambush slaying of PDEA officials in Cebu City and Carcar City, the slaying of an assistant Cebu City prosecutor, and the murder of the former mayor of Medellin, Cebu inside a hospital, remain unsolved.

“I will end corruption in 3 to 6 months.” Three years after Duterte took power, corruption instead of being eradicated or at least reduced, has grown to alarming proportions. No less than President Duterte himself during his State of the Nation Address (Sona) admitted that corruption is everywhere, saying that ”it is both a national embarrassment and a national shame.”

When the President expressed his exasperation during the Sona on the intensity of corruption, present were his close friends, former President Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who were both accused of plunder, and Sen. Ramon Revilla, who was acquitted of the crime of plunder, courtesy of the Supreme Court. And there was Imelda Marcos, convicted of graft cases by the Sandiganbayan and has luckily escaped imprisonment.

“I will jet ski to one of the disputed islands in the West Philippine sea to protect our national sovereignty.” By allowing the Chinese to fish in our exclusive economic zone and appearing like a spokesman of the Chinese government, the President has betrayed his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.

The ancient sage and philosopher, Publilius Syrus aptly said “never promise more than you can perform.” Perhaps he was peering into the future and may have seen in his vision some of the Filipino politicians’ propensity to make lies to win elections.


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