Dear Mr. President,
I have never been fond of you. When you were but a presidential candidate, gaining fame with your apparent strongman persona, promising to clear out the nation from drugs, I wasn’t impressed. You seemed to think that governing a nation addled with intricate systemic problems is a simple task, and your words, to me, were nothing but bluffs that smelled of desperation. But win you did, and via landslide at that. Three months into your presidency, you admitted that you needed more time to solve the drug problem that you so believe to be the root of all evil in our country. It’s been four years, Sir. Drugs are still coming in and out of the country, in billions worth of shipments. The poor, on the other hand, have become mere statistics in your game. Bodies have piled up to the tens of thousands.
I could go on and on and list down every single time you let the nation down. When you bowed down to China and sold our future to them, what could a mere middle class worker like me do? When you slashed funding for education and health, and billions of pesos were allotted to your secret intel funds, I felt as if every single peso I earned and paid in taxes has been for naught. When you allowed Marcos to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, you blatantly showed that your loyalty is not to the Filipino people. Taal Volcano erupted and there was no immediate response from the national government. And now, a pandemic is threatening the lives of all Filipinos. And still, we get nothing from you.
Mr. President, with all due respect, we are all going to die if you don’t act soon.
Last night, with just a few hours in session, the cabinet voted to give you special powers. You asked for them, saying that it will help you solve the pandemic. I wonder, are these powers going to wake you up from your slumber? Are you finally going to see that the nation is in peril, and in dire need of a plan that goes beyond abiding a strict curfew? We are all afraid to go out of our houses, not only because of the virus, but also because of the guns that have so easily commanded to roam the streets.
Here are some suggestions, then, if I may be so bold as to try to draft a plan for you: channel government funding to the health and sciences sector. Pay our doctors and scientists, provide funding for the production of the test kits that our scientists from UP developed, start mass testing, map out who’s been in and out of the country, provide social assistance to the poor, waive electric and water bills, sanitize the streets. It’s been half a day since you gained your special powers. Surely, making these things happen can now be easier for you.
We are not asking for much, Sir. We only ask that you do the job that you have campaigned for. We ask that you do the barest minimum, that you focus on problem solving instead of shooting down those who do not abide by your arbitrary rules. We ask you to be the President, because that is your job. A job that we Filipinos pay you to do.
Please do not forget that ultimately, the power lies on us.