During his run for the presidency, then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was attacked by adversaries as a Communist sympathizer. His comments regarding negotiations with leftists and appointing various members to his cabinet had his opposition painting him red in every instance. Once elected, the president has shown a genuine attempt at bringing peace with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and their violent wing, the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) – a fighter against the administration of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. When invited for a peace deal, it would seem the CPP expected the new president to be like all the others, all talk. When they reneged on a deal with the president, the president didn’t pander and walk back like others would, he turned his back as well.
The surprise resilience of the president has both parties back at the negotiating table.
What has also come forward, and not as a surprise to some, is the same people who bemoaned Duterte’s decision to sit down with the CPP are the same people who wish to promote extreme leftist ideology. The legacy that started with former President Corazon Aquino’s hasty pardon of CPP leader Jose Maria Sison has been carried on by a senator who has been steadfastly backed by former President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Liberal Party (LP), Senator Risa Hontiveros. She has made her desires very clear; she wishes to model the Philippines after one of the leading Communist nations in the world, Cuba.
The island nation that has been run by the Castro brothers for decades is the country the LP-backed senator wishes the country to become. For a party that spends every living day condemning the Marcos regime and the era of Martial Law, it seems bizarre they would endorse the customs of a country run by dictator and his brother for more than twice as long as Marcos governed over the Philippines and, in line with the LP’s standard lines of ammunition against Marcos, thousands were executed at the hands of the Castro brothers.
In her recent visit to Bacolod City, under the guise of an Anti-Zika campaign, distributing condoms throughout Barangay Alijis, she said the Philippines needs “consultorios” and “policlinicos,” like those in Cuba.
Lucia Newman, a resident of Cuba since 1997, wrote a piece for Al-Jazeera in 2012 demystifying the myths of the healthcare system that is often praised by left-wing elitists.
She explains the political elite, like Hontiveros, would most likely benefit from the Communist healthcare style due to preferential treatment, quite the position for somebody who ran the government’s healthcare system, PhilHealth.
“Many Cubans complain that top-level government and Communist Party officials have access to VIP health treatment, while ordinary people must queue from dawn for a routine test, with no guarantee that the allotted numbers will not run out before it is their turn,” she wrote. “If you do not have a contact or money to pay under the table, the waiting time for all but emergency procedures can be ridiculously long.”
She also points out the ever-heralded feature of Cuban healthcare, it’s free. However, it still comes at a cost to patients.
“The system is free, but it is neither fast nor efficient,” she explained.
According to an article by Neil Rothman on HotAir.com, he explains how a Communist system would also be detrimental to those working in the medical field.
“Cuban doctors are paid by the state an average of between $30 and $50 per month,” he wrote. That’s around P1,400 to P2,400 a month.
Christopher Sabatini, adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, debunked the idea that Cuba has a great healthcare system. He cites a report by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, stating, “[Hospitals] are generally poorly maintained and short of staff and medicines.”
“Floors are stained and surgeries and wards are not disinfected,” the report goes on to say. “Some bathrooms have no toilets or sinks, and the water supply is erratic.”
This is the model the senator wants for the country? Plus, she’s not talking about hospitals, she just wants clinics. If the hospitals in Cuba are in such disrepair, imagine how much worse the community clinics must be.
It really shouldn’t be a surprise that Hontiveros would be in support of such a plan, her party, Akbayan, openly promotes their desire to turn the Philippines into a Socialist state. The Akbayan Youth website proudly carries a banner with the slogan, “Building the Socialist Future.” What is striking is her backers, Aquino and the LP, have expressed opposition to Communism and other leftists, along with the actions of the NPA, who are just following the orders of the CPP.
How exactly do they reconcile the image of being anti-Communist, but offer full support for an outright Socialism activist – not to mention, with her dreams of a Cuba-like healthcare system, and putting her in charge of PhilHealth?
Humor the idea the LP tries to propagate, that the Aquino administration greatly reduced poverty – study after study shows while billions of pesos were thrown at social programs, while the number living in poverty were mostly stagnant – but for argument’s sake, pretend the party’s tagline has any credibility.
If Hontiveros, an LP adoptee, is granted her wish, looking through studies on the Cuban economy, the idea of this transformational government does not appear as glamorous and grand as she makes it appear.
The Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institute, right and left-wing think tanks, respectively, offered overviews of the Caribbean nation.
The Heritage Foundation ranks Cuba #177 in their Global Ranking, right behind Venezuela and ahead of North Korea – that’s some neighborhood. They report corruption, regulatory efficiency, and taxation all remain problem areas.
“Corruption remains a serious problem, with widespread illegality permeating the limited private enterprises and the vast state-controlled economy,” the report states. “Most means of production are owned by the state.”
It also pointed out the 50 percent tax rate it imposes on citizens and how state-controlled labor makes it impossible for people to make a living.
“State control of the labor market has spurred creation of a large informal sector,” the report details. “Regulatory efficiency remains poor, and private entrepreneurship is limited.”
The Brookings Institute finds a similarly undesirable view of the system.
Taking into account the high tax rate, the reported average gross national income per capita is $5,539; however, after taxes, take home pay is around $20 a month, or P960.
They also report less than five percent of Cubans have internet access; although, those who have internet, it runs at a speed around 1Mbps – not an unfamiliar scenario for locals in Bacolod City.
The rumors that Duterte would paint the country red have become a mere blip during the campaign period, as he has made his position clear on how to deal with the CPP – all of which is still ongoing. The motives of the LP and their allies have been clear since 1986, but shrouded by their own propaganda and the promoted sympathies for a widow in mourning. Their embrace of Senator Hontiveros and her agenda allows the public to see who truly carries Communist sympathies and what kind of reality that could bring to a country that is still trying to develop./WDJ
This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations.
Learn more or
post your buzz!