His body is weak and his term in office is running out, but Duterte’s intentions to restore a system of dictatorship in the country remains strong. Continuing resistance is the only way to stop his plan while holding him responsible for the current crises resulting from his administration's incompetent and lousy pandemic response.
Four years under his brutal war on drugs, martial law experiments in Mindanao, attempts to change the constitution to make a transitional setup that makes him a dictator possible, and the militarist approach in dealing with the pandemic, were all playbooks running inside his mind. The current health and jobs crises can in fact be the administration’s playground in advancing the agenda for a second dictatorship.
We are always reminded by the fact that Marcos was only forced to lift martial law and called for a snap election when the economy was battered by a deep recession and peoples’ resistance to his dictatorship became unbearable. Yet, he remained a dictator until ousted by people power in 1986. Duterte may not have a complete machine to realize his dream, but he keeps the desire to make himself stronger than Marcos when allowed.
The pandemic may have provided him reasons to mobilize all the security forces to impose his will. But this militarist approach has only exposed the kind of leadership he is capable – violence in command.
Workers were never hungry for dictators to rule their lives. They are only starving for jobs, income support, and workplace justice. The country lost millions of jobs during this pandemic, but never will workers tolerate more draconian response like the anti-terror law, more so a restoration of a dictatorship.
We will always resist. Until the workers finally assume the capacity and the power to govern themselves.
PM is joining groups like Nagkaisa, United Workers and Movement Against the Terror Act (MATA) in a mass action at the Commission on Human Rights today. The groups will symbolically file complaints against the government for human rights violations. The activity is a prelude to a mock trial on December 10.
In Iloilo, the provincial chapter of PM is holding a joint march with the Panay People’s Coalition from Sunburst Park to the Provincial Capitol from 1:00 pm.
21 September 2020