The unraveling

THE DU30 administration is barely eight months in office yet one can see it is already unraveling. A keen observer of the national situation cannot help but notice that things are going terribly wrong with the current administration. Many of the flagship thrusts and programs of the present administration is grounding to halt or are encountering stiff difficulties and resistance.

Du30’s pet project is the war against illegal drugs. It is the thing that defines the Du30 administration. The President himself on many occasions said it is the raison d’être of his presidency. Upon assuming the presidency, Du30 launched a bloody and brutal war against illegal drugs.

“Kill, kill, kill” was the order Du3o issued to the national police. He told them to be relentless, merciless and ruthless in the campaign. Du30 promised to give the police personnel wholesale pardon should they encounter difficulties with the law in their harsh and bloody campaign to stamp out illegal drugs in the country.

But six months and more than 7,000 dead bodies later, the war on illegal drugs is suspended with no clear cut plan on its future. The main reason for its suspension is the lead agency assigned to war was found miserably wanting.

Not only the Philippine National Police (PNP) faltered in its assigned task, it was revealed that many rogue elements the organization are using the campaign against illegal drugs to fatten their bank accounts. They prey on hapless and helpless citizens and foreigners to gain huge profit using the campaign against illegal drugs as smokescreen for their illegal and unlawful activities. The kidnapping and murder of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in Camp Crame (renamed Camp Crime), the headquarters of PNP highlights the culture of impunity that haspossessed the national police.  The crime was committed using the illegal drugs war as the excuse.

The war against illegal drugs of Du30 was a disaster for the President failed to consider the factor that using an organization riddled with corruption as the main tool is doomed from the very start. The abuse of the police forced Du30 to swallow a bitter pill, halting the campaign, silently admitting that his approach to eradicate illegal drugs in the land is not working.

Another pet project of Du30 that is falling apart is the peace talk with the communist rebels. Du30 said that he will end the rebellion by being sensitive to the grievances aired by the communist insurgents.

Du30 tried to co-opt the Sison faction of the Left by giving them three Cabinet positions and releasing its top leaders to participate in the peace talks. After three rounds of talks in Europe, it is back to war.

The peace talks were cancelled by Du30 who claimed he was duped by the rebels. He also accused the communist rebels of demanding too much. Du30 declared an all-out war and ordered the arrests of the communist leaders he released earlier.

Sudden collapse of the peace talks between the Du30 administration and communist rebels is another indicator that the current leadership of the country is unraveling. It is losing grip of its own main thrust and exposed the unpreparedness of the administration is pursuing its own agenda.

While the projects Du30 brags about is heading to limbo, his administration is besieged on several fronts. A combination of political and economic catastrophe is looming on the horizon.

The value of the Philippine peso vis-avis the US dollar is going down. The exchange rate is now hovering at $1 equal to almost fifty pesos. This translated into the rising costs of living in the country. Prices of basic commodities like canned goods are increasing.  Taxes are also being hiked by the administration. Worst, salaries and wages remains stagnant.

In the coming days, Filipinos will have to deal with shrinking income while expenses are increasing. This will further erode public trust and confidence to Du30 and his administration.  Du30 promised change for the better but this early, not only he is failing to deliver on his promises but things are getting worst.

So far, Du30 has said or done nothing to assuage public fear and apprehension. Every time Du30 publicly opens his mouth, Filipinos hear nothing but cursing and cussing. No inspiring or encouraging words was heard from Du30 except negativity.

Meanwhile opposition to Du30’s pet projects is mounting. The influential Catholic Church is finally finding its voice.  Recently is issued a strong pastoral letter condemning the extra-judicial killings in the country.  The Church hierarchy is also gearing for battle in opposing the re-imposition of death penalty, another major beloved project of Du30.

Barely a year in office, the Du30 administration is stuck in a quagmire. Many of its major thrusts are either in limbo or are grounding to halt. Opposition to its many controversial programs is mounting and economic difficulties are looming on the horizon.

It will be interesting to see how Du30 and his administration will navigate in the perilous waters it ventured into. Du30 is banking on his popularity to weather the coming storm.  However, surveys show his popularity is on the decline albeit still relatively high.

Less than a year in office, the unraveling of the Du30 administration has begun. Will it be able to recover or its spiral downward trajectory is unstoppable? The coming days will provide the answer. More interesting days lie ahead.

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