Ferdinand Marcos Jr. the son of the late dictator Marcos claimed victory in an anomalous May 8 Philippine elections. With the support of the tyrant Rodrigo Duterte, through his daughter and vice-presidential running mate Sara, Marcos Jr. won the presidency over his closest rival Leni Robredo running as an independent but backed by a growing people’s movement including the progressive Makabayan (Patriotic) bloc.
The Marcos victory was fraudulent from the start and was based on massive disinformation spread through social media. Red-tagging, harassment and attacks by state forces against progressive groups, activists and the broad political opposition also continued before, during and after elections.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) immediately dismissed four disqualification cases filed against Marcos Jr. The anti-fraud movement Kontra-Daya staged protest actions against the massive irregularities in the elections including vote-buying, breakdown of vote counting machines, and disenfranchisement of voters
Together with the Senatorial, Congressional and local elections, the Marcos-Duterte clique and their allies also gained a super-majority in the bicameral Congress already dominated for decades by family dynasties of landlords and capitalists. They are in a position enough to change the 1987 Constitution and alter domestic and foreign policies in their favor.
The upset marks a return of a Marcos in Malacanang Palace. Past administrations were only able to recover about $4 billion from the estimated $10 billion ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. They made a gradual comeback in 36 years. Duterte made the dictator Marcos a hero. Meanwhile, Duterte himself remains in power dodging cases before the International Criminal Court and People’s Tribunals for his own grave rights violations, drug killings and war crimes.
The electoral victory of the Marcos-Duterte clique was a product of ill-gotten wealth, fascist repression, historical revisionism and imperialist support. It was a culmination of failed neoliberal policies and liberal democracy in the Philippines. The 1986 EDSA revolution which toppled the Marcos dictatorship was turned into a counter-revolution by the exploiting classes against farmers, workers and the rest of the Filipino masses. Imperialist plunder and war ravaged the country.
The Philippines today acts as a fulcrum in the Inter-imperialist rivalry between US and China. The Marcos-Duterte win is perceived as a boon to China. Before Marcos was even officially proclaimed as president, China was quick to congratulate Marcos. The US State Department then issued a statement looking forward “to working with President-elect Marcos to strengthen the enduring alliance between the United States and the Philippines.” US President Biden himself called Marcos. Almost simultaneously, however, the US corporate giant J.P. Morgan dropped the Philippines to the bottom of an investment preference list in Southeast Asia. Imperialist interference is in play with US covert actions at hand either for support or for destabilization any which way Marcos may go.
With these recent developments, the Philippines Chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS-Phils) calls on all anti-imperialist, anti-fascist and democratic forces to expose, oppose and hold to account the Marcos-Duterte regime. International observer and fact-finding missions of governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental institutions and groups are encouraged and supported. The international community is enjoined to cut off all support for the Marcos-Duterte tyranny.
For their part, the Filipino people will remain steadfast and resolute in fighting for national and social liberation. The Filipino working-class is effectively at the forefront of a growing mass movement in the urban and rural areas nationwide to confront the ruling clique and bring about historical and fundamental change in Philippine society.
The neocolonial state is cracking up. The ruling classes can no longer rule in the old way. Soon, the masses including those deceived by populist demagoguery can no longer live in the old way. There is no way out of the crisis but to resist and fight back.