The victories won by the people against Duterte’s criminal negligence at protecting them from the pandemic showed how solidarity and collective action can effect meaningful changes in society.

This show of force expressed people’s unity against the regime’s repressive measures in dealing with the pandemic—suppression of information, the spread of misinformation and disinformation, red-tagging, illegal arrests and extrajudicial killings, and the sell-out of the country’s sovereignty. It was an act of defiance to the regime’s failure to institute health measures such as mass testing and prompt vaccination program and providing ayuda, specifically the Php10,000 financial aid for all those displaced from their jobs and livelihood.

Playing the resiliency card to comfort the victims, the government of the ruling elite, again, extolled and exploited the masses’ resiliency and undying hope. Yes, the masses who have had enough are relentless in the realization of their eternal hope, their aspiration to break the yoke of oppression and exploitation that have long hounded them; and to draw a plan for their social and economic emancipation as they heighten their struggle for eventual liberation.

Faced with the bankruptcy of the semicolonial and semifeudal system and its irreversible collapse, the people’s solidarity provided immediate relief and amplified the voices of those severely affected by a militarist approach and unending lockdowns—the only “solution” known to the Duterte regime. While the regime tried to prop up the collapsing social order, the people’s solidarity offered a comforting prospect of a new future.

Cutting across sectors, classes, and political persuasions, the people fought for their rights—online and on the streets, in the urban centers and in the countryside, armed and unarmed.

Covid-19 bared the rottenness of the current system and pointed to the need to uproot the evils of bureaucrat capitalism, feudalism, and imperialism. It affirmed the necessity and validity of the need for a revolutionary change. Recognizing that reforms do not last as long as the oppressive and exploitative system remains, this serves to strengthen the people’s resolve to push forward the people’s democratic revolution.

All over the world, oppressed peoples are opposing the oppressive regimes that used the pandemic to further exploit the people, especially the working class. Like the Filipino masses, they demand for jobs, economic relief, and health measures to sufficiently address the pandemic.

Greater battles lie ahead between the people and the crumbling semicolonial, semifeudal system and the bureaucrats who wield power to sustain it. But the pandemic has shown the people the path of the revolution as the only way out of the cycle of oppression and repression. The people, in unison, are using all their potentials and creativity not just to adopt to, or mitigate, the situation, but more to create a “new normal” Philippines—sovereign, independent, progressive and truly responsive to the needs of the masses. ###