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IN Germany and Spain, the memorials, vestiges, and artifacts of their dictators and tyrants, like Adolf Hitler and Francisco Franco, respectively, have been removed and obliterated by government edict and popular clamor.

IN my column of April 29, 2021, I underscored that the 2022 elections will be a referendum on President Rodrigo Duterte’s chaotic and feeble response to the pandemic. It will also be a crucial test of the Filipino voters’ capacity to render wise judgment on a president’s dismal failure to save lives and livelihoods from Covid-19’s controllable virulence.

Chito and I are almost a generation apart, but we have many similarities. We both went to UP Diliman and became student leaders while pursuing our law degrees. And we both pursued after graduation our advocacy for students’ rights and welfare which we separately started on the UP Campus.

THE 2022 presidential election will be squarely between President Rodrigo Duterte, who covets and designs the continuity of his leadership through his overtly anointed candidates and his covertly masquerading allies, and the authentic opposition and forthright critics of Duterte’s flawed and repressive policies.

Rappler’s CEO Maria Ressa’s winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for militantly protecting freedom of expression is a singular achievement of a Filipino even as it is another black mark on President Rodrigo Duterte who has been demonizing and derogating press freedom.