Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo) said that the country had deteriorated since President Duterte assumed the presidency more than two years ago.
Combination Photo, File
'True state of the nation': Philippines worse since Duterte became president, says Alejano
Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) - July 20, 2018 - 2:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — An opposition congressman on Friday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte who is set to deliver an annual national address on Monday, saying the Philippines has deteriorated since he won the presidency more than two years ago.

Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, meanwhile urged the president to attend to the economic concerns especially of poor Filipinos, who have been burdened by the rising inflation in recent months.

Despite some "laudable efforts" in the past two years, Duterte's leadership is marked by worsening poverty, increasing levels of insecurity and ceding of the country's territory, according to Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo).

Alejano assailed Duterte for creating a culture of violence and impunity in the Philippines, especially in the conduct of his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs.

"He claims to be an advocate of peace and order, yet his senseless policy has allowed fear to envelop the streets. Killings have multiplied while the public’s sense of security has degraded," the Magdalo representative said.

He also hit the president's economic policy, under which the Philippines has experienced record inflation rates, plummeting value of the peso and worsening economic conditions.

Robredo said that she would like to hear the president present his plan for helping Filipinos, especially the poor, cope with rising prices and for arresting the climbing inflation.

The vice president said that Duterte's State of the Nation Address this year should enumerate the achievements and failures of the past two years.

"I think all people should be interested in what the president says in his SONA," Robredo said in an interview with reporters in Naga City.

Aquino, meanwhile, called on the chief executive to use his annual address to tell the nation what he would do to help poor Filipinos and not to pursue hiw war on drugs and plans to change the Constitution.

He also urged the president to support his pending measure at the Senate which would automatically suspend the excise tax on fuel if inflation for the past three months exceeded official targets.

"I hope the president discusses in his SONA the solution to the rising prices. Suspend the excise tax on petrol to give relief to those families drowning in high prices," the Liberal Party senator said in a statement.

Duterte has also led an assault on the country's democractic institutions and compromised the checks and balances among the branches of government, Alejano said.

He also criticized the president's vaunted anti-corruption campaign, saying this is a "farce" as he simply reappoints sacked officials accused of graft.

"Respect for the rule of law, due process and human rights have also diminished with law enforcement personnel getting involved in extrajudicial killings under the war on drugs," he said.

As he continues to hurt his fellow Filipinos, Duterte meanwhile has been very gullible in following the wishes of China and compromised the country's national security and interest, according to Alejano, a former Marine officer.

He also condemned the president for setting a bad example for the youth through his uncouth remarks and expletive-laden public pronouncements, attacks on religious beliefs and demeaning comments on women.

Alejano advised the president to start uniting and caring for Filipinos and honoring their dignity as a race.

He said that Duterte should also preserve the country's integrity, set a good example to the youth and start building a good image on the Philippines in the international community.

Duterte is set to deliver his annual SONA before a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Traditionally, presidents use this occasion to enumerate their accomplishments in the past year and enumerate their legislative priorities.

DUTERTE SONA 2018 GARY ALEJANO LENI ROBREDO PAOLO BENIGNO AQUINO IV RODRIGO DUTERTE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS
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