Frustrate the Duterte-Marcos collusion in the 2022 elections

This article is available in Pilipino

Although the final array of candidates remain pending, the horrid image of the 2022 elections has started to emerge. In particular, it is becoming crystal clear how it will be used to perpetuate the Duterte clique in power and pave the way for the Marcoses’ return to Malacañang.

The 2022 elections will be held under the fascist tyranny of Duterte who is desperate to remain in power to continue their dynasty’s bureaucrat capitalist reign.

Duterte is now using his power to ensure support for his chosen candidates. Hundreds of billions of pesos in the gargantuan 2022 budget are allotted to infrastructure projects set to be granted to favored politicians in exchange for their loyalty.

Duterte is also using the military and police to the hilt to serve his political agenda. On the pretext of waging “war on drugs” and “counterinsurgency,” Duterte has ordered the suppression of politicians who refuse to bow to his power. The inflated budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) is being used to favor politicians who cooperate with the military and police. It is campaigning all-out against progressive party-list groups which despite being a minority in parliament have served as strong voices of the people. The NTF-ELCAC is also in full support of its parties supportive of the AFP’s fascism.

Duterte controls the Comelec, majority of whose officials are his appointees. It gave the contract for the delivery of ballots to a company owned by Dennis Uy, a known Duterte crony. This is a glimpse to how election results will surely be manipulated. Duterte’s threat before politicians of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that he will use the military if there is “trouble” is an unequivocal order to ensure votes for his party.

Contrary to earlier declarations that he will run as vice-president, Duterte did not file his candidacy and declared he will “retire” from politics (an empty promise he also made in 2015). Instead, his loyal minion Bong Go filed as vice-presidential candidate of PDP-Laban. At the same time, Duterte declared her daughter to be Go’s standard bearer.

It is likely that negotiations on power sharing are ongoing under the scenario that Duterte finally supports Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., who registered as presidential candidate of the “Federal Party of the Philippines,” which was formed by politicians who are Duterte officials. According to Marcos, although he planned to partner with Duterte as vice-presidential candidate, he remains open to tandem with Bong Go, or any substitute for the Duterte clique.

The candidacy of Bongbong Marcos as president must be thoroughly denounced and repudiated as an attempt to have the family of the fascist dictator fully restored to power. It would be thoroughly unfortunate to mark the 50th year of the dark days of martial law under another Marcos.

The possibility of a Marcos-Duterte tandem form part of their continuing collusion, together with the Arroyo clique, over the past six year. Under Duterte, the Marcoses were favored with the dictator honored as a “hero” while his wife Imelda was allowed to elude arrest and imprisonment. The Duterte-Marcos-Arroyo collusion is the vilest symbol of fascism, corruption and abuse in the Philippines.

Over the past 35 years, the Marcoses used their hundreds of billions of illegally acquired wealth to make their way back to the different branches of government, revise the people’s historic judgement of the dictatorship, and aim to return to the apex of power.

The threat of Duterte and his minions extending their power, and the return of the Marcoses, adds fuel to the raging anger of the Filipino people. Nothing can contain their wrath against the two fascists whose reigns are marked by suppression, plunder and oppression.

The scheme of the Dutertes and Marcoses to expand and perpetuate their power is bound to generate a major political struggle in the coming months. “Never again!” is the united clamor and pledge of the broad democratic forces to fight the return of the Marcoses and the power perpetuation of the Dutertes.

The broadest and largest possible united front must be brought together to frustrate the devious scheme of the Dutertes and Marcoses to place the country under their dual reign. All anti-Duterte parties must help each other and agree to unite for the benefit of all sides and the entire people. The Filipino people, especially the youth, must act to voice out their united outrage against the threat of fascism and dictatorship under the Dutertes and Marcoses.

The Duterte-Marcos collusion in the 2022 elections manifests the further deterioration of the Philippine ruling system. It shows that the political rule of the reactionary classes in the country is becoming ever more oppressive and serves the interests of a few.

It is correct for the people to use the upcoming elections as a battleground to fight the Duterte tyranny and the return of the Marcoses. During this time, workers, peasants and other democratic sectors must intensify their struggles to advance their welfare amid the crisis and pandemic.

Because the oppressive and exploitative system in the country remains, the upcoming elections will be no different fundamentally from all past elections serving as contest for the representatives of the ruling classes. Thus, even as they wage resistance during the elections, the Filipino people must continue to persevere along the path of revolutionary struggle to put an end to the rotten ruling system.

Frustrate the Duterte-Marcos collusion in the 2022 elections