Finally, Trump has stepped down after he lost his reelection bid and then got impeached, twice. But not without showing the Filipinos the other side of him which Duterte obviously likes to do as well. That is, cling to power as much as possible, no matter how his means become increasingly shameless and despicable, not to mention tyrannical.
- US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte share a lot of similar traits. The two come off as brash and arrogant, chauvinistic, hawkish, and unscientific. Both have frequently been fact-checked as espousing fake claims or outright lies.
- But what Duterte doesn’t have are warm bodies coming out in droves to join violent demonstrations to proclaim support for him, even with support of police and military. Not that the Duterte ruling clique has not tried hard to organize marches and gatherings supporting his rule in the past. There were rallies by the progressives in the past which Duterte countered with their own “rallyists”. Of late his minions are even instigating parents to control their children and malign activists. But, not only did they start fewer, in time they also dwindled in number. From the start he had hordes of Dutertards and DDS. Now, what’s left praising him are his paid trolls and departments eschewing fake news, fake photos, fake NPA surrenderers.
With his clique’s epic failure of response to COVID 19 pandemic, and with the record misery of the people as his rule only worsened the chronic crisis of the semifeudal, semicolonial system, his vaunted popularity and support has become more questionable. Duterte does not have the voluntary and wholehearted support of the masses.
Filipinos are valiantly striving to withstand Duterte clique’s bid to extend his term beyond 2022 by, among others:
Opposing charter change
Duterte has tried to pass charter change since his first year in power, when he was still popular and his “federalism” was being sold as the answer to whatever questions. His efforts to pass Cha-cha repeatedly met defeat in the face of strong public criticisms. The Filipino people reject Cha-cha as it will not only further keep the Philippine economy in its backward, non-industrial and agrarian state, but also because it is a blatant move to extend the term of the current elected officials, majority of them Duterte supporters.
Upholding rights to speak and protest, call out wrongdoings, and demand changes
To conjure mass support to his rule, the US-China puppet Duterte regime has embarked on virulent red-tagging, baseless accusations of terrorism and other slander of legitimate activism, media reporting, and actions for reforms and meaningful social changes. The regime tries hard to misrepresent critics, activists, and revolutionaries as the problem to evade responsibility for causing the intensified exploitation of this country’s people and resources for the profits of a few.
The people responded with campaigns to defund and abolish their lie manufacturing machines (NTF-ELCAC, presidential communication office). The people’s campaign against red-tagging and terror-listing continues to gain support.
Defending, supporting nationalist and progressive politicians, partylist groups
In Congress the progressive party list groups under the Makabayan coalition comprise the only group with proven record at internalizing public service, transparency, and zero corruption. They call for land reform, national industrialization, people’s mining regulation, improvement of social services. They oppose pork barrel, regressive taxation, and US and Chinese military basing in the Philippines. Yet, they are continually slandered by the Duterte ruling clique, their members and campaigners harassed or gunned down. Despite these and amid indications of automated poll cheating, the people’s support to their progressive party list groups succeeded to still bring some of them in Congress.
Fighting US-Duterte regimes’ de-facto Martial Law
Duterte’s rule clearly favored his oligarchs and US and Chinese imperialist masters, exploiting and oppressing the Filipino masses who suffer worse poverty as a result. As with preceding bureaucrat capitalists, his rule inevitably veered toward meeting people’s disenchantment and disgust. As such, since 2017, the Duterte regime has tried hard to impose martial law—to continue pushing for neoliberal policies, to perpetuate his druglordship.
The Duterte War on Drugs, to push for Build, Build, Build” projects as source of corruption and, to counter “Oust Duterte” calls. The people reject martial law, though, so the regime camouflaged it under various names, sweetened with false promises or couched in “anti-terrorism” and “anti-communism” hysteria.
Embracing, supporting the national democratic revolution with socialist perspectives
The Duterte regime alternately claimed that the revolutionary movement has become irrelevant and is losing the people’s war; yet actively recruiting and gaining ground among youth and students and various classes and sectors in Philippines society. In its twisted logic, the fascist regime peddled the lie that poverty is caused by the national democratic revolution.Truth is, the worsening crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system under the US-Duterte fascist regime is generating conditions for the democratic and revolutionary resistance of the Filipino people to gather into a powerful storm, both in the sphere of street protests and in the realm of armed struggle. ###