Can Duterte stay in power beyond 2022 or pick his successor to do his bidding?
Duterte has the illusion that he can stay in power through state terrorism and charter change or choose his successor beyond the end of his term in 2022 merely because he has gained the loyalty of most military and police officers by criminalizing and corrupting them and because he controls the Comelec and the TIM-Smartmatic vote count.
Because of his power-crazed arrogance and self-satisfaction from the plunder that he and his gangmates have achieved, he does not realize that he has bankrupted the economy and the government with his extreme overspending for the military and the rampant corruption in so many ways, including stealing public funds and donations intended to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and provide food and other subsistence needs of the impoverished people.
He also does not realize that the hundreds of billions of dollars promised to him by China for his build, build, build projects are not pouring in, despite his flagrant treason in selling out Philippine sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea, because China itself is in financial trouble because of its growing economic and trade conflict with the US and the damaging effect of Covid-19. Only the Chico and Kaliwa dam projects are going on, with Chinese contractors and loans at very onerous terms.
Duterte does not realize that the Philippine economy will plunge in the remaining two years of his term because of its internal weaknesses and the certain adverse impact of the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. He does not have any solid socio-economic ground to stand on. The more he uses state terrorism to intimidate the people, the more they will be outraged and become determined to fight back and oust his wobbly regime.
Duterte seems not to know the fatal weaknesses of his position because he suffers from his psychopathic narcissism, the overweening arrogance or hubris of the tyrant, dependence on the use of state terrorism and extreme self-satisfaction from the plunder that he and his bureaucratic and military gangmates have achieved, high above the level and magnitude of corruption that they previously achieved in Davao City.
The corruption of the Duterte ruling clique is as gargantiuan as its use of state terrorism. It includes enormous amounts of overpricing the military and civil purchases by government agencies, intelligence and discretionary funds beyond COA auditing, cuts in all kinds of contracts between government and the private sector, grabbing enterprises from opponents, reclamation projects, drug smuggling and casino operations.
In proportionate terms, the evil regime of Duterte is far worse than that of Marcos because in only four years the treason, brutality and corruption perpetrated by the current regime approaches the magnitude and virulence of similar crimes perpetrated by the Marcos regime in 20 years.
The extrajudicial killing of 30,000 drug suspects surpasses the documented political murder of more than 3000 under the Marcos fascist regime. Researchers are still at work investigating and estimating Duterte loot in the possession of his family members or in the care of his well-known cronies and dummies.
Despite his grievous crimes, Duterte is highly confident of staying in power because of the supposed advice of Trump to him in 2017 that he would perpetuate himself in power if he could destroy the revolutionary movement and give to US corporations 100 ownership of land, natural resources, public utilities and all kinds of businesses. But Trump himself is now in deep political trouble. And if we remember 1986, Reagan junked his friend Marcos when he became too much of a liability than an asset to long-term US national interest.
Duterte has so grievously offended the Filipino people that that they can rise up to oust Duterte anytime before 2022. But if he rules beyond that year, the chances of the people and their revolutionary forces changing the entire semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system will grow from year to year.
That is because the revolutionary forces of the people keep on growing in strength, despite the claims of Duterte and his military minions that they have already decimated the CPP and NPA several times over.
But they unwittingly expose their big lie and desperation by pushing the Duterte bill of state terrorism supposedly to eliminate the revolutionary forces that puppet presidents have failed to destroy or contain from Marcos to Duterte.###