the last one thousand days

Manila, 6 October—It’s my first time to hear of this metric, but someone on Twitter mentioned that it’s time to countdown to The Last 1,000 Days of the current administration.

Have you ever disliked anything that you actually counted down to its last 1,000 days? I remember waking up on July 1, 2016 and thinking, Oh god, what a long way to go. That despair actually did horrible things to my brain, but here we are now, just a thousand more days to go.

I can’t, however, rank all the horrible things that this administration has done to this country, though I do have some notable things just off my head:

  1. Drug war death toll. Between 5,500 to 27,000 people dead in hundreds of thousands of police operations between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2019, just before the President’s State of the Nation Address this year. The 5,500 estimate is actually government estimate. If you spread out all those deaths over three years, that would amount to at least 5 people dying every day since July 1, and for what? A drug war that has mostly been a farce, considering the sitting chief of police himself has apparently been involved in pilfering drugs? (Another issue entirely that I haven’t really been paying attention to, but ugh.)

  2. The Marcoses regaining some sort of glory. Not even six months in, and this administration managed to inter the late former strongman, under whose two-decade Martial Law rule thousands of people died, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Still hasn’t made him a hero though, but still. The midterm elections also saw Imee Marcos running under the administration slate and winning.

  3. The ouster of former Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno. Analysts called it a game-changer, as it removed Sereno on the strength of a quo warranto petition, and not an impeachment procedure. Of course, a Chief Justice who would outlast him would threaten him—Sereno was supposed to stay on until 2030. Since May 2018, Duterte has appointed two chief justices: Teresita de Castro, who served for 46 days, and Lucas Bersamin, who is retiring in two weeks. Four sitting associate justices are seen to vie for the CJ post—including one who is retiring around the May 2022 elections.

  4. This fucking Senate. For the 2019 midterm elections, the administration fielded an assortment of trapos and clowns—and they all fucking won. Including one accused of graft and plunder. Meanwhile, Sen. Leila de Lima, whose early campaign against the war on drugs got her in jail, is still in detention.

  5. Foreign policy: Yes to everything China, No to everybody else. Like something out of an abusive father’s playbook, this administration has managed to isolate us by eroding our image on the international stage, as well as our external relations with everyone else, except China—his abusive spouse of choice. So: Pogos, the weakening of our West Philippine Sea claim, our embarrassing participation in international meets. By 2020, you’ll have even have a telco that’s part-Chinese with access to communications infrastructure in key areas.

I tried to limit myself to five, as a measure of self-care. Someone else should mention the worsening mobility in urban centers, not just Metro Manila. I could go on about this anger. On the personal front, I have lost count of the people I have cutoff on social media, and real-life relationships that have taken on a muted color because of fundamental disagreements exacerbated by this administration’s knack for gaslighting the people. Now more than ever, it is so damn important to put your foot down and say, No, these things are not up for debate.

What's on your list? Share it here.

Related readings

Some palate cleansers for that horrible update.

😂 LOL: This Twitter thread about local celebrities as Mobile Legends heroes.

💪 Astig: Building a Mystery: An Oral History of Lilith Fair via Vanity Fair

✒️ ‘our fluent dipping knives’: Seamus Heaney’s Clearances

👨‍❤️‍👨 That’s Hugo Award Winner AO3 for you: McDreamy, McSteamy and McConnell: Congressional Fan Fics ftw via Real Clear Policy and Longreads

💯 Speaking of fan fic: I was thinking aloud and I accidentally made a Twitter Thread about Twitter Thread fan fiction. (So meta.)

❣️ Carly Rae Jepsen made a video for Want You In My Room, my favorite track off Dedicated.

Happy weekend,