De Lima’s New Year prediction: PHL will suffer and a lot of people were going to die in 2018


Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday expressed fears that 2018 might be the year the Philippines, under the Duterte administration, will shift from a democracy to a “constitutional authoritarianism.”

In a statement, De Lima said Philippine democracy seemed to be dying as President Rodrigo Duterte and his “lackeys” prepare to replace the current system with an authoritarian one through charter change.

“I would like to be optimistic about the new year. But I cannot, since 2018 appears to be the year when our constitutional democracy is replaced with constitutional authoritarianism, a throwback to 1972 when Ferdinand Marcos legitimized dictatorship in the Philippines through a new constitution,” she said in a statement.

“Duterte seems bent on keeping himself and his allies in power indefinitely, beyond the present constitutional limits,” she said.

De Lima cited the current impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and the planned impeachment of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales as anti-democratic actions that are supposedly part of the groundwork for the administration’s “authoritarian project.”

De Lima further criticized how the government seemed to be “experimenting” on Mindanao with the extension of martial law in the area by another year.

“At the same time, despite martial law and the constitutional authoritarianism project, revolutionary government continues to be floated as an option, and an open invitation remains for the military to support Duterte as the absolute power in this so-called revolution,” De Lima said.

Mindanao was placed under military rule in May after terrorist groups laid waste to the southern Philippine city of Marawi. Initially imposed for several months, martial law has since been extended in the region to 2018.

“Obviously, this is just another sophomoric forgery of Marcos’s ‘revolution from the center’. After all, Duterte has never been known for originality, except in the methods of murder and manipulation,” she added.

Faeldon, Sandra Cam

De Lima also slammed the appointment of what she described as a “discredited ally,” former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon to the Office of Civil Defense, and “shady character” such as Sandra Cam to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

“All these indicate the regime’s bravura that it will never be held accountable because it intends to be in power forever. To assure this, Duterte and his lackeys are preparing to replace our democratic system with an authoritarian one,” De Lima said.

“We are living in perilous times. Philippine society has never been so polarized. Our democracy is dying,” she added.

As for herself, De Lima said she doesn’t see herself being released from detention anytime soon.

“I am now resigned to the fact that for as long as this vindictive President remains in power, freedom from this most unjust detention is an impossibility,” De Lima said in a statement.

De Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame since February last year over drug-related charges.

“I hope and pray that I am wrong, but we must do more than hope and pray. We must act. It is only then that we can make a ‘Happy New Year’ a reality, and not merely a desperate wish,” De Lima added.

She said Filipinos should make 2018 a “sad year for the forces of evil that still rule over our land.” — MDM, GMA News

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