cpa@cpaphils.org | Post Office Box 975 Baguio City 2600 Philippines

No to emergency powers! No to dictatorship!

March 23, 2020

“Luzon-wide lockdown, curfews, mass arrests, army checkpoints and now, emergency powers... when will this government realize that the COVID19 pandemic cannot be annihilated with guns? We want medical solutions not authoritarian rule!”
- CPA Chairperson Windel Farag-ey Bolinget

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance expresses its strongest opposition to a creeping dictatorship by exploiting the present health crisis to impose de-facto martial rule in the guise of granting "emergency powers" to an abusive and incompetent president.

Even at the onset of this pandemic, we witness the callous insincerity of Malacañang in addressing the urgent health crisis. While the whole world is developing their medical capabilities, infrastructure and plan of operations for the imminent outbreak, the Duterte government continues to harbor POGO employees from the pandemic's ground zero, China. He has been absent for most of the time leaving other officials to deal with the international crisis.

When Duterte declared the state of national health emergency and the NCR-wide lockdown, he was backed by military generals that exacerbated the people's anxieties. When he expanded his declaration to the whole of Luzon and declared the enhanced community quarantine, he was talking to uniformed officials. His message is clear, he treats the COVID19 not as a medical emergency but an opportunity for authoritarian control. While the people clamors for massive testing, protective equipment and food amid the lockdown, Duterte's militaristic mindset pushes for further power to ensure his control over the population.

If Congress and Senate grant emergency powers to the President, we fear that the current health crisis will get even worse with institutionalized attacks on the people's democratic rights and civil liberties. Who shall safeguard our demand for medical help, food and services when we are all coerced into submission?

We call on the people to be vigilant against diabolical schemes by power-hungry dictators. Let us draw lessons on the indigenous peoples’ struggle for our rights to land under Marcos’ martial law regime. Suppression will only breed defiance from the people, especially when the legitimate demands remain unaddressed and ignored.

Now is the time for unity in combatting a crisis. Continue to assert our right to health, welfare and equal protection. Continue to assert our demand for mass testing for the most vulnerable sectors of society. Continue to hold our government officials liable for their incompetence and inaction. Continue to assert our democratic rights.

Solusyong medikal, hindi militar! No to Emergency Powers!
Mass testing for the poor and vulnerable sectors, PUIs and frontline
healthworkers, NOT self-serving militarist policies!
Economic relief for the people, NOT Emergency powers!

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