Sara Duterte, the wannabe dictator, is no Rizal
Sara Duterte will take her oath as vice-president today after having won an impossible landslide victory with Ferdinand Marcos Jr, in the May 9 elections rigged in their favor.
Today is also the 161st birth anniversary of Jose Rizal, hero of the Filipino people who stood against Spanish colonialism and inspired people to wage revolution. Rizal was a progressive intellectual who denounced tyranny and abuses and longed for national freedom.
Sara Duterte, however, is no Rizal. Quite the opposite, in fact. She is a product of her father’s tyranny and corruption. She idolizes her father’s demagoguery and dictator-style leadership. She owes her power to her father and their family’s bureaucrat capitalist privilege and wealth. She herself is a bureaucrat capitalist who accumulated large amounts of wealth as Davao City mayor, especially in the past few years that the city’s infrastructure binge was prioritized with funds from her father’s government. A few years ago, her husband, Mans Carpio, was exposed to have been involved in the smuggling of around ₱6 billion of illegal drugs from China.
Sara Duterte is a wannabe dictator in waiting. She is not known to be particularly brilliant, neither is she sympathetic to the conditions of workers, peasants and Lumad minority people of Mindanao. She is known for her iron-fist policy against workers organizing unions or waging strikes to demand wage increases. As mayor of Davao City, she collaborated with the military and police in the relentless campaign of suppression against peasants and Lumads on the pretext of “localized peace.”
Sara Duterte is her father’s ace card to ensure that Marcos Jr will prevent the International Criminal Court to pursue its investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity filed against Duterte over his sham war on drugs.
Although Sara Duterte allowed herself to run as his vice president, Marcos Jr considers her a threat to his power. He appointed her as education secretary, when she made it categorically clear that she wanted to be defense secretary in order to control the military. Marcos Jr wants her far away from the center of power.
As education secretary, Sara Duterte will face the problem of gross low salaries of teachers, the lack of teachers, lack of classrooms, and the increasing cost of education which is why millions of young people are dropping out from school.
Her dictatorial-style won’t work in resolving the problems of teachers and students, who demand fundamental changes in the education policies and government priorities that place the interests of the military and police above all the rest.