[EDITORIAL] #AnimatED: Make 2019 a game-changer
What will 2019 be?
America and the rest of the world are now forced to confront that the “adults in the room” will not mitigate the bad policies of an unfit leader.
US voters wanted disruption, but US President Donald Trump instead delivered “destruction, debasement and sheer ignorance.” Ditto for us in the Philippines.
Despite having won some battles, we face a future where global disinformation has not abated but has grown. As a fact-checker of lies on the internet, Rappler deals with the truism that “falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after it” on a daily basis.
For the first time in 60 years, the global economy is expected to shrink, with Japan, Germany and even China experiencing slowdowns.
Here at home inflation was the defining economic issue of 2018. With the second batch of petroleum taxes underway, inflation is expected to remain above targets. And we just heard the news that our population is expected to hit 109 million by 2019. The reality: more people to feed, pricier goods.
There’s no denying it, the Philippine economy is in worse shape in the time of Duterte.
We only see the foreign policy courtship ritual that this administration likes to dance with Beijing. What we don’t see is that China’s role in the economy has palpably increased, judging by the number of Chinese on Philippine soil.
We face a 2019 where election violence may be worse than in previous polls, given the trail of blood of mayors, vice mayors, and so many more minor local players.
And like 2017 and 2018 we still face a future with Duterte’s war vs drugs in place – a campaign that official statistics say killed nearly 5,050 and human rights advocates estimate at 27,000, mostly targetting the poorest of the poor, including 54 minors.
Is 2019 a year of reckoning for the Philippines, the way it is for Trump post-Democratic victory in the House? Or business as usual?
We’d like to think, err, pray, it will be a year of awakening. It’s the start of the last 3 years of Duterte’s corrosive leadership. The midterm elections will not have Duterte's name on any ballot but it should be a referendum on his leadership.
It’s time to look back on the past 3 years and feel the magnitude of our folly in the 2016 elections: that we elected a megalomaniac, misogynist, molester, economic ignoramus of a president – one who wants to gain immortality in our political lives by rewriting the charter.
Time to awaken and start feeling in 2019. Time to put our real values front and center: empathy, community, and compassion – the ones that were supplanted by greed, myopia and tribalism. Time to be human again.
In the 2019 elections, reject false heroes and false change. Make it a game-changer year.