Same old, same new in next year’s reactionary elections

Over the weekend, the entire country was gripped with a new wave of predictions, plans and promises– not of how to overturn the devastation wrought by the Covid-19 public health crisis and the Duterte regime’s neglect and corruption on the face of it—but from the slew of reactionary politicians who filed their certificates of candidacy for the reactionary elections come May next year.

The buzz, however, failed to inspire either excitement or optimism among us farmers, farmworkers and Lumad, not to mention the disunity in the reactionary political opposition which will surely benefit the criminal Duterte clique. With the roster of candidates salivating over national and local posts, it is unsurprising that next year’s reactionary elections is shaping up to be the banal circus of same old, same new usual suspects.

In the provinces of Southern Mindanao, the same professional swindlers of landlords, bourgeois compradors and bureaucrat capitalists are vying for the posts their families have alternately occupied for decades. The parasitic clans of Duterte, Floirendo, del Rosario, Dayanghirang, Malanyaon, Uy, Cagas, etal still dominate the political race in the region, with their election war chest full to the brim from years and years of leeching on public coffers. The way it stands, the peasant and Lumad masses are looking at three to six more years of landgrabbing, hamletting or displacement for the expansion of banana plantations, mining, subdivisions, and infrastructure projects.

On a positive note, PKM leaders in local chapters around the region reported that, since September, a number of friendly politicians have already sent word of their intention to coordinate with authorities of organs of political power and mass organizations with regards to their campaign in the Red bases and guerilla zones. Unsurprisingly, majority of them expressed anti-Duterte and anti-AFP sentiments and are willing to unite on the basis of prompting the interests of the peasantry. These overtures are a big slap on the face of the 10th Infantry Division and the Regional Taskforce – ELCAC, which coerced politicians to “surrender” or issue persona non grata declarations against the CPP, NPA and NDFP, arrogantly usurped their civilian authority, made their towns and villages milking cows for useless and overpriced projects, and disturbed the peace and order of their communities with AFP detachments and RCSP.

We urge all PKM leaders and members to sieze this most opportune period to demand the minimum or maximum implementation of our genuine agrarian reform program and gain other victories in our economic and political campaigns. We must clinch particular programs and projects for health and education and to reverse the alarming rate of shrinking space of land for food production. We must also link with members of the Revolutionary Organization of Lumad and other organizations of indigenous people to advance their interests for self-determination and ancestral land.

The peasant masses in the region will reject the perpetuation of Duterte’s fascist military junta and whoever his factotum will be in the next year’s reactionary elections. While we have little expectation in the bourgeois elections, we nevertheless encourage all Filipino people to support nationalist and progressive individuals and organizations on the basis of defeating the Duterte ruling clique and advancing the national democratic interests of the masses.

The way we see it, if a Duterte stooge wins the reactionary presidency next year, the horrible present situation shall remain, especially the intense militarization in the countryside, sellout of our national patrimony to Chinese and US interests, negligence and corruption amid the Covid-19 crisis, and the heartless oppression and exploitation of the peasant and Lumad masses. This will drive more and more peasants to intensify all forms of resistance, particularly the revolutionary armed struggle.

If, however, the reactionary opposition prevails, no substantial change shall take over since the semi-colonial and semi-feudal order will still remain, albeit under a different puppet regime. Whatever the result, the people’s protracted war shall endure, outlasting the strongman-wannabe Duterte, just as we have said it will all along.

Same old, same new in next year's reactionary elections