As President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his fifth State of the Nation Address (July 27, 2020), the nation collectively braces to hear his lies of nationalism, economic development, the uplift of the impoverished, and the defeat of the Coronavirus.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle Philippines is in unity with the Filipino people who are rising up against the terrorist dictatorship of the Duterte regime. The government is preoccupied with perpetuating itself in power while neglecting the people’s welfare as the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the population.
Despite the government’s insistence that the Philippines is winning the ‘war’ against COVID, the country’s situation has worsened after 130 days of lockdown, with the steep rise of cases breaching the 70,000 mark. The healthcare system, beset with difficulties such as budget cuts and privatization prior to the pandemic, is now buckling under the surge of Coronavirus patients. Hospitals are near full capacity and are lacking medical front liners to grapple with the pandemic.
The Duterte regime has condemned the masses of Filipino people to hunger, poverty and ruin. The numbers of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos now total 20 million. The chasm of social inequity yawns wider as Duterte’s allies have grown their wealth in the four years of his presidency while the poorest families subsist with less than $2 a day, and the distribution of financial assistance for the poor remains fraught with corruption.
Instead of prioritizing the country’s healthcare system and medical solutions such as mass testing and treatment, Duterte and his allies are now scheming to realize their plans of charter change which will extend their term limits beyond 2022.
Duterte has been consolidating his political monopoly by persecuting his opponents and critics. The ill-timed closure of the country’s largest broadcasting network has been shrouded with the regime’s deceitful anti-capitalist demagogy which preys on the poor’s hatred of the plundering comprador big bourgeoisie. The regime has also floated its anti-terrorist and anti-communist rhetoric to justify the railroading of the Anti-Terror Law.
Duterte’s reactionary government is relying on fascism to subdue the Filipino people’s outrage at his betrayal of national sovereignty and interests made apparent in his subservience to the US and China as his imperial masters. He has allowed unbridled Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea, acquired high-interest loans and entered onerous trade agreements with China. A majority of his cabinet members are retired generals from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and were trained by the United States, and the AFP exemplifies US military influence over the country. US multinational and transnational corporations dominate Philippine industries and agriculture, exploiting cheap surplus labor and serving as a market for surplus products. This is made possible by the collaboration of the landlord class and the comprador big bourgeoisie, aided by bureaucrat capitalists like Duterte.
The four years of Duterte’s reign of terror have proven that his policies ensure not the people’s welfare and the country’s economic growth, but that of big business, foreign investments and his cronies. Human rights violations have gone unchecked, with around 30,000 extrajudicial killings and 220,000 arrests of suspected drug addicts under his “war on drugs” as reported by the Commission on Human Rights. Meanwhile, an estimated 120,000 quarantine violators have been nabbed during the Luzon lockdown. Activists have been threatened and harassed, with some detained as political prisoners who are languishing in unsanitary and inhumane prison cells, and some assassinated for their staunch defiance of Duterte’s neoliberal agenda.
The ILPS Philippines calls on the international community to denounce Duterte’s de facto martial law and the suppression of democratic freedoms and to unite against authoritarian regimes serving imperialist interests.
The ILPS Philippines salutes the Filipino people’s resistance to Duterte’s state terror. The ILPS Philippines calls on its member organizations to strengthen its anti-fascist united front, and to intensify the efforts of educating, mobilizing and organizing the Filipino people against the fascist plague that is the Duterte regime.
Resist state terror!
Down with imperialism!