As I write this, the worrisome images of riots in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC, and 20 other US cities flash over cable news — replacing the reportage on COVID-19 that had been the standard preoccupation of news media for two months. A week has passed since white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was captured on a viral video pressing his knee onto the neck of George Floyd (who is black) for more than eight minutes. In the video, Floyd is heard saying “Please,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Don’t kill me.” Floyd reportedly died during the incident, and Chauvin, along with other police officers present, was fired. Chauvin was later on charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
After years of debate and wrangling among legislators, workers’ associations and employer groups, the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill is now on the desk of President Rodrigo R. Duterte for signing. The bill seems sure to become law since the president himself declared it a priority based on his campaign promises.