The naughty and nice of 2020 | Inquirer Opinion
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The naughty and nice of 2020

/ 05:01 AM December 31, 2020

This has been a terrible year because of the pandemic, but there are people who made the lives of Filipinos more miserable.

The “naughtiest” is President Duterte, whose incoherent late-night speeches did nothing to ease our worries. His militarist mindset proved ineffective and counter-productive in dealing with the health crisis, aside from enabling anti-communist generals, red-taggers, and Cabinet secretaries who gifted us with “motorcycle barrier” and “dolomite” solutions.

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The police were the notorious “pasaway,” led by a “mañanita” general, while many continued to be accused of killing “nanlaban” drug suspects. The police must explain the surge in extrajudicial killings despite the imposition of strict lockdown measures in most barangays.

It is infuriating that supposedly independent institutions like Congress and the courts were complicit in allowing the Duterte administration to undermine our civil liberties. We remember how Congress voted to reject ABS-CBN’s franchise, the slow action and tone-deaf response of the Supreme Court regarding the petition for the release of elderly and pregnant political prisoners, and the controversial issuance of search warrants by a Quezon City judge which the police used to arbitrarily conduct raids and detain activists.

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Thieves grabbed headlines throughout the year, from the “pastillas” scam to the systemic corruption in PhilHealth.

But we survived the disastrous year of 2020, thanks to the heroism of our health workers, relief volunteers, and government personnel serving on the front lines. We salute all those who continue to provide for our basic needs, which also kept the economy afloat. We thank the media for standing their ground amid the nonstop assault on press freedom. We recognize the role of human rights defenders in challenging impunity.

Our biggest tragedy of the year was the death of Baby River Nasino. We continue to cry for justice, and we will greet the new year with a resolve to fight harder for her and other innocent victims of state violence.

MONG PALATINO
[email protected]

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TAGS: 2020, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, Letters to the Editor, Mong Palatino, River Nasino
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