Shake down the king of corruption and terrorism with people’s protests
The ruling Duterte regime is being rocked by crisis. This is a result of the reeking stench of Duterte’s corruption in exploiting the pandemic to pocket billions of pesos in government funds. This was exposed amid widespread joblessness, skyrocketing prices, low wages and destruction of people’s livelihood aggravated by endless lockdowns. The pandemic remains out of control as hospitals are overwhelmed by large numbers of Covid-19 patients.
Duterte is being slapped left and right by Senate investigations of corruption in the Department of Health (DOH). He was denounced for lawyering for his officials and bullying senators. Even as these investigations have not been concluded yet, another investigation is set to be initiated by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He is now internationally notorious for being a sitting president directly being indicted for crimes against humanity for masterminding the murder of thousands in his bloody and bogus “war on drugs.”
Amid the corruption, uncontrolled pandemic, depression of people’s lives and resort of the ruling regime to more cruel terrorist attacks against the people, the continuing reign of the Duterte regime will bring nothing but more hardship and suffering.
The worsening health, political and economic crisis is rousing the people in numbers. Their outrage is fueled by their ceaseless suffering from oppression and crushing burdens. The Duterte clique’s scheme to stay in power beyond 2022 is a nightmare to the people. More and more people aspire to see Duterte out before the elections that he is set to rig, and end his reign as soon as possible.
There are increasing numbers of people ready to take the path of collective action and struggle. Protect actions are sprouting to manifest the grievances of various sectors and communities. The demonstration of several thousand in late July during Duterte’s last state of the nation address (SONA) shows that people will not be cowed by fear or the pandemic.
During the past weeks, healthcare workers fervently spoke out and mounted protest actions to denounce health officials for the delay in the release of their benefits and pay and additional salaries. Young people, parents and teachers also protested against the continuing “blended learning” system and to demand the safe opening of schools for in-person classes. There were also protest actions against the proposed budget that favors increased spending for the military and infrastructure projects, against the need to prioritize the health system, education and economic support for millions who remain jobless.
There are workers protest actions to fight for wage increases, and oppose red-tagging and military harassment against their unions. There are also people’s protests against environmentally destructive projects, mining, reclamation, construction of casinos and ecotourism, especially those owned by big Chinese capitalists who are close to Duterte. There are peasant actions top oppose construction of military camps in their villages, against liberalization of rice imports and to demand higher prices for palay and their other produce.
The people urgently need these protest actions to give shape to their indignation against corruption, oppression, suppression and treachery of the US-Duterte regime. Despite being small and scattered, all these are pinpricks against the fascist regime. Above all, these protest actions mirror the objective interests and demands of the people. There should be unwavering effort to reach out to and rouse the people in their millions to bring them to the path of collective action and struggle.
Show the link between the different issues confronting various sectors and strengthen their unity. The root of people’s problems must be exposed to strengthen their determination to work together to pull it out and get rid of it completely. They must firmly support each other and bring together all their grievances. The people’s demand and actions for livelihood and welfare must be raise to the level of political calls, keen that these will not be attained as long as the anti-people and oppressive Duterte tyranny remains in power.
As the 2022 elections near and Duterte’s plans to remain in power become clearer, more political and social forces are coming out openly to stand against him, including some former allies. Some Catholic bishops have urged the people to mount rallies to manifest their opposition to the tyranny. In the face of this, the democratic united front must be further strengthened and expanded and encouraged to put an end to Duterte’s reign the soonest.
There are numerous factors that create the possibility of rapid changes in the political situation, including possible Duterte miscalculations in his desperation to suppress the people and defend his rotten regime. Opportunities to push a surge in the protest movement must be taken advantaged of in order to shake down and deal heavy blows against the Duterte tyranny.
National democratic forces must persevere in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people. Tirelessly raise the people’s militance and determination to fight. The Filipino people have twice proved that they can overthrow a ruling fascist regime. It is not impossible for them to use this power the third time.