Resist the scheme to perpetuate Duterte's tyranny


Rodrigo Duterte’s desperate cling to power is a manifestation of the insoluble crisis of the ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system. It breeds the worst form of reactionary rule and exposes its rotten core. It further affirms the correctness of waging revolutionary struggle to end the rule of the reactionary classes and establish people’s democracy.

A few months prior to the 2022 national and local elections, the ruling Duterte fascist clique is now busy paving the way to perpetuate its tyrannical rule. In a Duterte-endorsed meeting of the PDP-Laban leadership, it issued the vile resolution to support his vice-presidency and to have him pick his own presidential running mate.

This is clearly a plan to circumvent the 1987 constitution’s prohibition against the reelection of a sitting president, and is an outright violation of the underlying principle against the perpetuation of dynasties and dictators.

This maneuver is turning out to be Duterte’s main tactic to legalize his stay in power beyond the end of his term in 2022. If this happens, Duterte will remain de facto president, if not actual president once his annointed president resigns to allow him to sit once more in his Malacañang throne.

Duterte’s choice to go the election route which is relatively more complicated than open imposition of fascist dictatorship to remain in power shows that he has not consolidated the ruling system in his favor. In the face of deepening factionalism within the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, Duterte is incapable of declaring martial law without fear of backfire. He fears a mutiny of pro-US officials who are against the increasing influence of China and his favoritism in the distribution of the loot of corruption and criminal activities.

Duterte’s plan to run as vice president elated his minions who have been rewarded with top bureaucratic positions, government contracts, corruption of public funds and a share in drug smuggling and other criminal activites. They expressed high praises for the dictator in the hope that they would get a bigger share in the next six years.

Duterte’s plan to cling to power beyond 2022, however, is also causing rifts among his followers and with his alliance with the Marcoses, Arroyos and other reactionary cliques, who aspire to have more power, if not sit on top of the heap. The ambitious pro-Duterte politicos have deep qualms about his vice-presidency run. They are bound to break away from the Duterte ranks.

Duterte’s allies are also gravely apprehensive over his plans. They consider plans to have his daughter Sara or factotum Bong Go run as his president as further concentrating power of the Dutertes. On the one hand, Duterte cannot be sure that an ally that he will get as president will bow to him when the time comes. On the other hand, any ally he will get to run as president will always fear Duterte’s coup or assassination plots to take back his throne. Even now, some of Duter­te’s key allies are maneuvering to prevent Duterte’s plans to remain in Malacañang. If Duterte will push his scheme, he will also be putting to risk his political alliances.

Duterte’s plans to remain in power beyond 2022 was widely denounced and repudiated. This is an expression of the people’s utter abhorrence of the Duterte tyranny and their profound aspiration to see an end to their sufferings under the evil regime.

Duterte’s cling on power shows his addiction to power and fear of taking responsibility for his sins and crimes. Over the past five years, he used Malacañang to accumulate wealth and priviledge, to betray the nation in exchange for paltry benefits from the imperialists, to seize the business of his rivals, to favor the business of some oligarchs and to take over control of the drug syndicate behind the veil of his “war on drugs” which has killed 30,000 lives. While not enough funds have been alloted to pandemic response, education and health, Duterte has poured the people’s money to the military and police in its cruel and dirty war in a desperate attempt to suppress the people’s democratic struggles and to crush the armed revolutionary movement.

Duterte’s thirst for power is matched by his contempt for the people’s national and democratic interests. In five years, he has ruled as a tyrant and used state violence to impose fear on the people. Duterte wants to remain in power until he dies to avoid being punished for corruption, treachery and terrorism.

In the face of all this, the Filipino people must manifest their militance to frustrate Duterte’s schemes and make him account and pay for all his major crimes against the people.

The situation compels all democratic forces to unite with the aim of ending Duterte’s reign in the soonest possible. The broad ranks of the people must be organized and mobilized to link their urgent demands for higher wages and subsidies with the clamor to end the anti-people regime. While some will face Duterte in the elections, the majority of forces must strengthen unions and associations in factories, communities, schools, hospitals and offices. Big assemblies must be mounted to strengthen the people’s determination to launch collective struggles in the streets and other avenues. The New People’s Army must also mount bigger tactical offensives to contribute to the overall effort to end the fascist regime.

Resist the scheme to perpetuate Duterte's tyranny