Resist in the face of impending break out of worse crisis
Due to Rodrigo Duterte’s unbridled neglect and failure of governance, especially in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an imminent break out of an even worse crisis in the coming months that will possibly result from one or a combination of the following factors:
the continuing worsening of the pandemic as a result of Duterte’s pigheaded refusal to prioritize health measures; the downfall of the economy and people’s lives due to reliance on lockdowns and other onerous and burdensome policies; and the tottering of the Duterte regime with the wearing down of people’s patience.
With the emergence of the Delta variant, and low level of vaccination in the country, there is a strong possibility that Covid-19 will spread more rapidly beyond the capacity of hospitals and facilities in the coming months. It is not improbable that the Duterte government will resort to repeated lockdowns due to lack of testing and contact-tracing capacity and the turtle-paced vaccination.
Assurances of “economic recovery” are empty as there have been no investment to kick-start production and consumption. Based on experiences in 2020, there is the threat of unemployment shooting up within a few months and rapid rise of businesses losses and bankruptcies. This will cause the intensification of workers exploitation, further deterioration of the lives of millions in both cities and the countryside, worsening of hunger and malnutrition, worsening of the crisis of education and learning, and aggravation of other socioeconomic problems.
A severe political crisis of the ruling Duterte regime is a strong possibility in the face of its failure to effectively manage the health and economic crisis. Duterte’s scheme to perpetuate himself in power goes on full swing as his end of term approaches, and will be marked by his resort to intensified violence and deception, to paralyze the people with fear and strike down against all dissent.
People are forced to desperate straits by the rotten, failed and oppressive Duterte government. Millions of Filipinos daily suffer in long queues for food, aid and vaccines.
Facing threats of a more severe crisis, the Filipino people must act and manifest their outrage and rejection of the burdensome policies. They cannot remain silent and dispersed. They cannot forever wait for aid or rely on the good-heartedness of others to avoid extreme hunger.
They must no longer allow themselves to be forever locked in their homes while the government does nothing to strengthen its capacity to respond to the pandemic; while officials abuse their power, politicize aid and vaccine distribution, pocket public funds, squander these on counterproductive wars, or repay the ever rising government debt which did not benefit the people. They must converge on alleys and streets, forge a united stand and demonstrate their rage against the failed government that is responsible for the severe pandemic and crisis.
The people must resist being silenced by Duterte’s shock and terror. Their silence will all the more embolden Duterte and his vassals and minions to trample on the their rights and welfare, plunder public funds, impose heavier taxes, betray and conspire with foreign powers, monopolize political power, sow terror and perpetuate themselves in Malacañang.
All revolutionary forces and progressive, patriotic and democratic activists must bear the responsibility of guiding and leading the Filipino people in their fight against Duterte’s ruling tyranny.
Amid an impending outbreak of a bigger crisis, they must exert all-out effort to use every possible means to overcome limitations and restrictions under the militaristic lockdown, in order to reach the broad masses, raise their consciousness through different forms of propaganda and education, expand their organization, build the most number of associations in the biggest number of areas, and forge their militance to express their outrage, fight for their urgent democratic demands, defend their rights and make the Duterte regime pay for its failure and negligence.
The broad masses of the Filipino people oppressed by Duterte are like tinder waiting to be kindled to become a mighty flame that will end their hardships under the oppressive and failed regime. The people’s heightening desperation–for food, aid and vaccine–must be drawn and transformed into a force of resistance, while raising their national democratic consciousness. The people must be led to the path of collective action and not segregation; to the path of struggle and not supplication.
The Filipino masses have been deprived of everything. They have nothing else to lose.