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‘Social unrest is growing:’ Bayan Muna party-list slams violent dispersal of ‘starving’ QC residents

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Ferdinand Gaite has condemned the violent dispersal and arrest of residents of Sitio San Roque in North Triangle, Quezon City who gathered to demand relief and assistance.

“Bayan Muna demands for the immediate release of those arrested this morning,” he said.

“Social unrest is growing and erupting as the government’s crisis response remains wanting,” he said.

“This is what we get when a government confronts a health crisis as a peace and order issue, we get military men at the helm of the government’s action plan, and we get brutal response to legitimate demands. Not food, not cash, not assistance,” he said.

The lawmaker noted that it has been a week since President Rodrigo Duterte was given emergency powers and access to more than P200-billion funds, and “yet the government has not stepped up its efforts.”

“Humingi ang Pangulo ng emergency power pero tila mas marami siyang oras ngayon sa loob ng kulambo, imbis na sa pagbubuo at pagpapatupad ng plano para tugunan ang krisis at tulungan ang taumbayan,” said Gaite.

According to Gaite, it seems that the President and his men “lack all sense of urgency, contrary to their bluster about how the military men-led national action plan would be efficient.”

“If the government does not speed up its efforts, then we would probably see more of these incidents in the coming days,” Gaite warned.

Gaite called out Malacañang for immediate action on the people’s request for food and financial assistance.

“We demand the immediate release of the P8,000 cash assistance to the poor, the implementation of the P1,000 hike in SSS pension, and other social amelioration measures that were mandated by Republic Act 11469,” he said.

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