POLITICS: MANILA- Joma takes new swipe at Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte is “culpable” for  aggravating all the country’s problems, the Communist Party of the Philippines said Saturday, warning Duterte his administration will be ripe for another ouster “sooner than later.”CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said the culpabilities for the soaring prices of basic goods and services would result in the deterioration of the Philippine economy.“Duterte is culpable for the aggravation of all the foregoing problems of his regime and has no solution to offer,” he said. “Therefore, the regime will stink further from month to month and will ripen for rejection in the May 2019 elections or for ouster sooner than later.”Sison contradicted Duterte’s view that the rising prices of crude oil in the global market were the cause of the increase in prices of primary commodities. “He holds the narrow and deceptive view that rising oil prices is the only cause of the rising prices of basic goods and services in the Philippines,”  Sison said. He said Duterte “absolves” himself from his culpabilities as he blamed the rise in inflation to the increasing oil prices. He said the President washed his hands of the effects of the Packages 1 and 2 of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion law which, as he argued, “cut back the taxes on corporations and the wealthy and imposed the tax burden on the consuming public in the form of excise and value-added taxes.”He also said Duterte distanced himself from the issues of corruption in the huge discretionary funds and pork barrel corruption of members of Congress. He linked several issues as Duterte’s doing like the overspending for the military, police and intelligence agencies, but underspending for social services; lack of land reform and national industrialization and discouragement and decline of food production and local manufacturing; and the drastic fall of the income from raw material exports and semi-manufactures.



The rising import costs of oil and manufactures; rising interest rates on accumulated and new foreign loans; overborrowing for infrastructure projects through Build, Build, Build and bigger debt service on the rising public debt; wider budgetary and trade deficits; and the declining peso due to inflation and worsening balance of payments problem are also under Sison’s list. “It is fine that Duterte admits lately that tough economic times are ahead for the Filipino people who are now already reeling from the inflationary conditions,” Sison said. Duterte, however, contradicted his previous declaration in Bali that the Philippine economy is running in an upward trajectory, he said. Sison also lashed out at Duterte’s personal trip to Hong Kong, stressing his sudden excursion to the known shopping capital was Duterte’s “callous show of affluence.”In a separate statement, he said Duterte showed “cruel indifference to the millions upon millions of Filipinos who are suffering from  the skyrocketing prices of rice and fuel, low wages, widespread joblessness and general deterioration of social conditions.”“With not enough money to spend for their food, transportation, electricity and other basic expenses, the workers, peasants and other toiling sectors demand Duterte to reveal how much he spent for traveling and traveling and shopping?” he added.Sison also criticized that the armed forces’ Red October plot “fairytale” was a “flop in terms of destabilizing his regime.”The President had earlier clarified to the public he only visited Hong Kong to buy clothes, dismissing rumors that he had undergone a medical checkup as there were talks about his health condition.

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