This business of offering bounties

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    `They were disappointed and enraged when they heard only motherhood statements on the government’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic…’

    MANY Filipinos, among them netizens, were glued to their TV sets on Tuesday morning, May 12, to hear President Rodrigo Duterte make an announcement on whether to extend or not the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, which ends on May 15 following its postponement twice. They were disappointed and enraged when they heard only motherhood statements on the government’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic, and that authorities will gradually ease mobility restrictions imposed on the population since the middle of March, without mentioning details.

    President Duterte left the job of announcing specific places were ECQ would be revised to become GCQ to presidential spokesman Harry Roque, which the dutiful secretary did hours later at a Palace press conference. Roque announced that the President has approved the proposal to place Metro Manila, Laguna province, and Cebu City under a modified enhanced community quarantine. It looks like the Duterte government is running out of adjectives to describe a simple thing as a lockdown.

    A disappointed netizen complained on Twitter: “Me wasting my 45 mins waiting for his announcement about ECQ, plans, and mass testing only to end up hearing some random kanto boy talk(s) and his never-ending hatred towards the New People’s Army.”

    Without mentioning a new incident, the President lashed out anew at the communist-led rebels for allegedly attacking government troops engaged in relief operations and stealing food supplies intended for families affected by the coronavirus lockdown. Duterte insisted that he does not want a repeat of this atrocity.

    A couple of weeks ago, Duterte threatened to declare martial law if the communist rebels will continue with their acts of lawlessness. He warned the armed rebels against committing violence and disrupting the government’s relief operations for people who are constrained to stay at home, leave their jobs and wait it out until the ECQ is lifted.

    Duterte has offered a P2-million reward for anybody — civilian, policeman or soldier — who would provide information leading to the capture or death of any top NPA commander. The bounty includes a piece of land and livelihood assistance to the informant which is far from his/her original location, for the government to ensure his/her safety.

    While we doubt if this will work, a stupid school teacher from Pangasinan posted on the same day through Twitter a “bounty offer of 50 million pesos for anyone who would kill Duterte.” He was arrested by the NBI and charges are being readied against him despite an apology he made.

    Will the bounty offers work? This we would like to see.

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