Bikolano ruling classes’ support of Marcos-Duterte, escalation of destitution and deaths for Bikolanos
Despite the Bikolano public’s disavowal of Marcos and Duterte’s bid to reclaim Malacañang, Bikol political dynasties especially those which have benefited massively under Duterte, have been underhandedly maneuvering to ensure Bongbong and Sara’s victory in the region. Along with the military, they have abandoned the people’s interests in exchange with perpetuating their hold on the public coffers. With the local campaigns commencing, the Bikolano masses must prevent all attempts by these big regional political dynasties to seat the Marcos-Duterte alliance in power and to rob them of their long-sought for meaningful change.
These powerful clans’ backing of Bongbong and Sara is frighteningly predictable. The Kho dynasty in Masbate will further profit from the large expanse of Marcos’ lands and his cronies in the province. The Tallados of Camarines Norte seek to expand their mining ventures. Meanwhile, billions of Villafuerte’s plundered wealth from his infrastructure projects will be in a precarious situation once the Dutertes lose their hold on power. The Cuas of Catanduanes wishes to fortify their bureaucratic domination with the blessing of their master Marcos. By endorsing Sara, Joey Salceda of Albay wants to remain as chief architect of neoliberal destruction. Nine mayors from Camarines Sur also supports the Marcos-Duterte tandem in exchange of the assurance that the EO 70-National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict will remain as their personal cornucopia of corruption. Each of these political chameleons have their own machinations to support these candidates while dodging public disapproval.
These dynasties have sold their souls to the Joint Task Force Bicolandia to intensify militarization and ensure that the election results in the region will be in favor of the Marcos-Duterte tandem. The Bicol Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and the Regional Peace and Order Council deployed additional military troops, especially in Masbate, to pressure local officials and the masses to support and vote the dictators’ heirs.
If the Marcos-Duterte camp succeed, with the help of Bikol’s local ruling class, their reign will spell an even rapid economic decline and aggrandizement of crises both in the region and the whole country. Destructive projects will flood Bikol, landgrabbing will worsen, agriculture will further falter and more jobs will be lost. This, along with massive killings, aerial bombings and violence against civilians.
NDF-Bikol calls on all the Bikolano masses to utilize the opportunities provided by the reactionary elections to advance their democratic interests and their struggle for life, land and rights. Whatever the outcome of the reactionary elections be, they will certainly have the wisdom and need of mounting a people’s democratic revolution to attain genuine societal change.