By Artchil B. Fernandez
In just three days this week, record cases of Covid-19 infection were broken thrice. The shattering of the record of highest cases of Covid-19 in a day for three consecutive days points to a dangerous trend of the pandemic rampaging in the country now on its second year.
The country was shocked when 22,366 Filipinos tested positive of the virus in August 30. Two days before, the second highest daily cases of infection was recorded at 19,441. The day before the highest cases was reported, 18,528 infections, the third highest daily cases were also recorded.
By the middle of the week, Covid-19 cases in the country breached the two-million mark with 2,003,955 Filipinos contacted Covid-19. As of this writing, 2,020,484 Filipinos had the disease and of these, 33,680 died.
Hospitals around the country are in full capacity or nearly full and are turning away new patients. The waiting lists for admission in many hospitals are getting longer. Remaining open hospitals accept only severe cases advising those with mild symptoms to seek treatment either at home or in isolation facilities provided by local government units.
The spike in cases is not only confined in Metro Manila but throughout the country. NCR (4,083) is the region with the highest daily cases followed CALABARZON (3,451) and Central Luzon (1,623). Iloilo province recorded 439 cases in a day at the end of last week while Iloilo City logged 118 cases in the middle of the week. On the average there are 200 to 400 daily cases of Covid-19 in the province of Iloilo.
What the above figures (as of this writing) reveal is the pandemic is surging all over the country. Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe of WHO announced recently that Delta is now the dominant Covid-19 variant in the Philippines. Seven out of ten cases of Covid-19 carry the more transmissible Delta variant.
Health experts warn that unless decisive and timely intervention is implemented, the country might become another India or Indonesia. Instead of addressing the dangerous trend of the pandemic, Du30 has spent the past weeks spinning political soap opera to distract the public from the worsening health crisis. Political circus is now the opium of the masses.
During his late-night shows, Du30 talks more about partisan politics than the pandemic, unveiling a new teleserye. The new political drama/circus, Budol-budol serye centers on the intramural among three characters – Du30, his faithful assistant Bong Go and daughter Sara (without H for honesty).
Last week Du30 announced he accepted the nomination of his party to run for vice-president in tandem with Bong Go. Later Du30 amended his statement, claiming he and his assistant will not run if his daughter seeks the presidency.
On cue the daughter denounced his father and his faithful servant, acting mad for being dragged into their cheap soap opera. “I respectfully advise them to stop talking about me and make me the reason for them running or not running,” she told the tandem. She urged the master-slave tandem “to own up publicly their decision to run as a tandem”adding that she “refuse to be a political punching bag for a party in complete disarray.”
After Sara Without H’s public rebuff, the great “alalay” refused his nomination as standard bearer of PDP-Laban. He also publicly renewed his loyalty to his master and his family. “My love for the father is the same love I have for the children. President Duterte knows that,” Bong Go confessed.
Political observers note that Du30 is using that same strategy he employed in 2016 with the Budol-budol serye. The strategy is to throw confusion and keep allies and opponents off-balance. Who is his candidate – the faithful assistant or the daughter? Will he run for vice-president or not keep everyone guessing including his allies.
Regardless of who Du30 will field, his daughter or his long-time aide, one thing is clear. Du30 is maneuvering to stay in power by proxy beyond 2022. He is trying to find the right combination that will ensure his still rules after his term is over.
It is plainly apparent Du30 has no intention of relinquishing power. He will use any and all means available and possible to achieve his purpose. Du30 has no qualm sacrificing even his allies (Pacquiao, Sotto, Lacson, the Marcoses, Alvarez, Gordon, Cayetano, among others) to secure the throne.
While Pacquiao, Lacson, Sotto and Alvarez had made their break, the Marcoses and Cayetano are still in political limbo. The Marcoses are in a difficult position. Will they remain Du30’s acolytes, helping him stay in power and set-aside their long-held dream to return to power? Will the Marcoses play second fiddle to the Dutertes?
Either through back-door (vice-presidency) or enthroning his daughter/slave, what preoccupies Du30 at present is how to secure Malacañang in 2022. This is the tragedy of the country today. Covid-19 pandemic is running wild, with the more contagious Delta variant infecting tens of thousands of Filipinos daily and Du30’s answer to the dangerous trend is political circus/soap opera.
In his late-night show, Du30 spends more time attacking his political opponents. Instead of providing Filipinos with a roadmap on how the country can survive the worsening pandemic, Du30 is giving them cheap entertainment, body-shaming his opponents and disparaging their haircuts.
It is now survival of the fittest in this pandemic. More Filipinos will perish as the pandemic takes a dangerous turn with Du30 abandoning his duty as president. He is busy promoting his latest political teleserye and defending his people linked to questionable deals.