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Misplaced priorities! Duterte deflects inflation surge by intimidating critics – solons

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Opposition lawmakers on Wednesday claimed that the Duterte administration was trying to deflect it economic woes by intimidating its critics through possible arrest.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin said “hitting the opposition hard” was Malacañang’s attempt to divert public attention away from the country’s inflation that reached a record-high 6.4 percent in August.

“Everyone is fair game under this tyrannical regime. High time that we revive people power!” said Villarin.

On Tuesday, Malacañang announced the revocation of the amnesty grant given to opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said instead of devoting his energy into finding dubious jurisprudence and concocting strategies to arrest critics and stifle opposition, Duterte and his cabinet should focus instead on measures to arrest runaway inflation.

Baguilat said the spike in the price of rice “borne by the incompetence and infighting of its officials” and the lack of social protection programs have made the poor unable to cope with hyperinflation.

“Social unrest brews. I mean malaking dahilan bakit nag spike na naman ang inflation ay dahilan sa rice shortage. At ano ang immediate na dahilan, bakit meron shortage? Away ng mga officials kaya di nakapag-import! Such incompetence and insensitivity,” said Baguilat.

Baguilat stressed that administration seems insensitive and concentrates more on fermenting more political turmoil which in turn leads to more speculation and uncertainty in the economy.

“Misplaced priorities… samantalang grabe ang pag focus njla sa pagsalanta ng critical voice,” Baguilat added.