This representation denounces the recent policy of Duterte’s Administration to conduct house-to-house searches of COVID-19 patients, whether asymptomatic or ones displaying mild symptoms. The searches are to be conducted by the Philippine National Police along with local government units to transport them to the government’s COVID-19 facilities.
“There’s no way this is helping the fight against COVID-19; this is helping the Duterte administration reinforce its hold on power, establish a police state, and normalize militarism. What
we need now is to step up efforts to support the local officials and barangay health workers in empowering the people with education and information about community-based management of COVID-1,” Kabataan Partylist Representative Sarah Elago stated.
“Encouraging people to participate in the pandemic response at the community level should be based on facts, not fear, and trust, not terror,” she ended.
The continuing lack of a scientific, health-based approach in resolving the crisis brought about by the pandemic shows the clear disregard of the Duterte Administration in addressing the primary issues. Instead, he favors a militaristic response in a public health crisis and decides to waste precious public funds on policies not intended to help solve them.
Duterte insists on bringing the PNP, a proven instrument of violence and abuses, to the comfort and privacy of our homes–the same implementors of the infamous Oplan Tokhang, which went house to house to “arrest” drug suspects, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands without due process of law. Instead of pursuing mass testing, giving ample aid to the people who need it, Duterte intertest himself in other matters not essential to solving the pandemic.
Additionally, according to a report from the Manila Times, as of July 11, a total of 1,006 policemen have already tested positive. An additional 1,252 policemen are suspected of being infected while another 651 are identified as probable. With the new policy, it is highly probable that the ones responsible for further spreading the disease would be the police themselves.
We call on the people to call out invasive policies which threaten to cause an infraction of their rights such as their right to privacy and make a stand in defending them, and amplify the calls for mass testing, security of their jobs and livelihood, socio-economic aid. Only through a scientific, health-based approach and community-driven effort can we solve the health crisis; the militaristic and fascist approach currently being taken eats away at the people’s rights under the guise of the nation’s collective security, but in truth benefits only the despotic rulers in tightening their grip on power.