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FACT-CHECK: Debunking 10 Myths About the Duterte Legacy

By A.Q.

PHOTO: PCOO

President Rodrigo Duterte’s legacy has now been placed under scrutiny. Filled with false claims, controversy, and mishaps, let us fact-check and debunk some myths about the Duterte shitty administration.



Myth: Duterte is the best President we have ever had


Fact: The rate and scale of human rights transgressions of the Duterte administration are “incomparable” and “higher” than previous terms, the Philippine debt is expected to catapult to a record-high P13.41 trillion by the end of 2022, failed pandemic response, the Filipino fishermen continue to face threats due to Duterte’s cowardice against China on the West Philippine Sea, and the struggling economy left 4.14 million Filipinos unemployed.



Myth: NTF-ELCAC improves the lives of people


Fact: Because of the relentless red-tagging of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the lives of many civilians, nurses, church groups, environmental defenders, farmers, activists, and indigenous leaders have been placed into jeopardy. 



Myth: Duterte supports press freedom


Fact: President Duterte has been hailed as one of the world’s press freedom predators, according to the 2021 ranking of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). This is following the shutdown of ABS-CBN, the country’s largest media network, the conviction of Rappler’s CEO Maria Ressa, and his support for vague and draconic law that comes after the government’s dissenters.



Myth: “Impressive” rehabilitation of Manila Bay


Fact: The 390 million-peso-fund allocated for the “beach nourishment, coastal restoration, and enhancement” of Manila Bay could have been added and used more wisely in the COVID-19 response. Various environmental groups lambasted this project due to its harmful effect on the natural ecosystem and coastal integrity of Manila Bay, on health, and on the national economy. 



Myth: Duterte ensures full support of the local farmers


Fact: Local farmers and agricultural groups deem Duterte as a threat and a traitor due to his Rice Tariffication Act that welcomes imported rice which lowers the market price of palay, increasing income poverty and hunger to Filipino farmers and families. Moreover, 288 local peasants, farmers, and fisherfolk have been murdered across the country since Duterte ascended to power. 



Myth: A “satisfactory” rehabilitation of Marawi City


Fact: Almost four years after the Marawi siege, Marawi City is still far from the promised rehabilitation. The delays with the rehabilitation and compensation for the damages to the livelihood and properties have been furthering the trauma and agony of the bakwits and internally displaced persons (IDP). 



Myth: Duterte administration started the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway project


Fact: The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), a bridge connecting the main industrial area of Cebu City to Mactan International Airport, was a project proposed by the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) in 2014 under the Aquino administration. While it was Duterte who led the groundbreaking ceremony of CCLEX, it is not included in the list of projects in the “Build, Build, Build” program of President Duterte.



Myth: Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is under the Duterte administration


Fact: According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) opened in October 2013 under Aquino’s term, and not under the current administration. It is also not included in the list of projects enumerated in the “Build, Build, Build” program of Duterte. 



Myth: “Build, Build, Build” program takes credit for the upgrades in Mactan-Cebu International Airport


Fact: While it was Duterte who attended the inauguration of the new passenger terminal of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in 2018, the upgrade was launched even before the Duterte administration. In fact, it is a developmental project under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) of the Aquino administration in 2015.



Myth: Kalibo Bridge III is built under the Duterte regime


Fact: Kalibo Bridge III, coined as the longest bridge in Western Visayas, started its construction in 2013 to improve the travel time of tourists who are going to Boracay Island. However, this project by the Aquino administration was pursued by President Duterte and opened in January of 2020. 



In 2022 Elections, the current administration will surely flaunt and frontline the “greatness” of its legacy to win the ballots. However, the problem is its “greatness” is nothing but a myth. That’s a fact.



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