The tyrant Duterte is feeling the heat, the fear, of his impending doom. He talks of a plot, a conspiracy, to oust him. The CPP-NPA, the Liberal Party and the Magdalo group have denied this. No plot is necessary for someone who is destroying himself, for destabilizing his own regime, and for causing the unstoppable loss of his DDS (from being Duterte’s diehards, they’re now known as “Disgusted Duterte Supporters”).
The problem is the devil himself. He came to power dangling the promise of change—of wiping out crime, corruption and poverty. Within two years the devil has unmasked and revealed himself. It turns out he is a drug protector, especially where his son and cronies are involved. He is a fascist and a criminal, dismissing human rights, stirring up his security forces to kill civilians, especially the poor and marginalized, and linking opposition groups to terrorism. He is also a misogynist, to say the least.
Duterte has yet to convincingly defend himself against corruption. He has yet to sign a waiver on alleged billions of pesos he stashed in banks. His Davao group has profitted handsomely from contracts with big local or foreign investors. Also, he keeps company with the likes of the Marcoses and the Arroyos—the nation’s great plunderers.
Duterte has only himself to blame for the debacle of his economic managers. He backed them fully, even defending them, while the Filipino people suffered. He pushed for and signed the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law that resulted to prices rising sharply and unprecedentedly within ten months of implementation. His administration offers importation and smuggling in the face of the nation’s food crisis. They maintained contractualization, joblessness, land conversion, environmental devastation, theft and plunder of the nation’s resources.
The in-fighting within the Duterte regime and the ruling clique has become more evident. Members of the Cabinet have oftentimes publicly contradicted Duterte’s statements and policy pronouncements, including the shift to federalism. Discord within the military and police has emerged and could no longer be contained.
On top of these, they ended the chance to push for substantial and economic reforms that would address chronic poverty and the roots of the country’s 50 years of armed conflict in termininating the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
Increasingly, and with all the signs pointing to the establishment of a fascist dictatorship, the Filipino people want to finish off Duterte and his regime in the same manner they ousted Marcos in 1986 and Estrada in 2001. There it was, millions of people, though unarmed, rising up against tyrants, egging and encouraging a rebellion from the military’s ranks or causing key officers and soldier to distance themselves from the regime. This combination of people’s uprising and military rebellion or withdrawal of support has become a cardinal rule in toppling regimes.
No tyrant has ever recognized or given credence to the power of the people in ousting a dictator. Even Duterte would lead us to believe that only plotters and conspirators, whether real or imagined, are out to get him. He continues to demean the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) by calling it as mere plotter, The truth is, the CPP leads and promotes the broad united front of democratic and progressive forces in ousting a regime because it believes in the power of the mass movement to carry out its demands.
So is it with the armed mass movement in the countryside. The overthrow of this regime is being supported by the tactical offensives of the New People’s Army, weakening Duterte’s military machine in suppressing the people. This gives the masses in the coutryside time to strengthen and consolidate themselves not just to help out in the movement to oust the fascist regime, but to ultimately overthrow the semicolonial and semifeudal system in unity with the urban masses.
In the coming days, as the country reels further in crisis, Duterte is sure to slide down in the eyes of his supporters faster than he won in a landslide. His ouster is inevitable. No matter his physical or mental state, the gravity of his crimes is already causing his regime to crumble. In this regard, it will be so much easier for a growing, developing, and surging mass movement to see the end of Duterte. ###