34th anniversary of People Power: militant groups lambaste Duterte gov’t as ‘demolition crew of democratic pillars’


As the country marks the 34th anniversary of the 1986 People Power that ousted the Marcos dictatorship, Anakpawis Party-list branded the Duterte government  as a “demolition crew” of democratic pillars, which the historical event aspired to establish in the country.  

Anakpawis  added that President Rodrigo Duterte himself is averse of the “People Power” as it serves as an inspiration against his authoritarian rule.

“Duterte is allergic of human rights, national sovereignty, democratic interests of the majority of the population, press freedom, due process and rule of law. These are all ideals on his mandate but he chose to execute his pleasures at the cost of oppressing and further marginalizing poor sectors in the country,” Ariel Casilao, Anakpawis Party-list former representative said in a press statement and joined, together with members of his group, the protest at Mendiola bridge, Manila.  

Casilao  cited that the early stage of the Duterte regime’s attempted to broaden its support from the peasants and workers, by promising genuine agrarian reform and ending contractualization of labor, as well as pursuing the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), who has crafted the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER).  

“It was visible that he was afraid of an angry worker and peasant sector, thus, he waged his collosal mass deception campaign. Years later, he is now on a mass killing campaign against activists who are demanding fundamental reforms of ‘land, wage, jobs, shelter and democratic rights,’” the former lawmaker said.  

He added that the slogan “free distribution of land,” as the regime used it, was all propaganda, based on an agrarian and agricultural program that intends to worsen the export-orientation of the country’s agricultural sector.

“Our major sectors in agriculture, rice, fisheries, sugar, coconut and other crops are all threatened, as the government banks on the weak tenurial rights of poor peasants, who could be easily displaced, as facilitation to the entry of plantations for oil palm, aquaculture and other cash crops and products demanded by the world market,” he said.  

He added that Duterte’s agricultural blabber of “paradigm shift” is nothing but disregarding national food security and self-sufficiency, peasant’s rights to land, rural and national development, but all to galvanizing the chain of exploitation of the country to the monopoly world economies.  

“Duterte’s agrarian and agricultural policies are crises generators, that drive the broad peasant sector into unrest, and is now facing reprisal from the government’s armed forces. More than 240 peasants were killed under his watch, amid their calls are to uphold rights to land and livelihood,” he said.  

Moreover, Duterte has exposed himself as “anti-worker” when he broke his own promise to end contractualization of labor, making him as big fraud. His Executive Order 51 in 2018 is garbage and a redundance of existing labor laws. He even vetoed the watered-down Security of Tenure bill, which is a lip-service proposal for the working sector in the country. Also, his blabber of “no demolition, if there is no relocation,” for the urban poor sector is bogus and anti-people, when relocation sites are usually “no man’s land” or of no sources of livelihood. 

“Duterte represents the opposite of the class interests of poor sectors in the country, the peasants and workers. He is the champion of big landlords and oligarchs, preserving their giant profits and plunder of agriculture and labor. He is the opposite of the democratic interests of the Filipino people,” he slammed.  

The former lawmaker added that Duterte is at the stage of assaulting the middle sectors and even the oligarch section in the country who resist to be his crony. It is national knowledge that Duterte allied himself with Dennis Uy, who bagged the telecommunications contract for Ditto (formerly Mislatel) amid dominance of Smart and Globe in the sector, engaged in water utilities in some parts of the country and began entry to the mass media sector; with the bureaucrat capitalist family Villar, who dominates the real estate sector and now taking over water districts in the country through their Prime Water; with San Miguel Corporation’s President Ramon Ang who is pushing his grandiose and speculative Aerotropolis project in Bulacan  

“All of Duterte’s blabber against Manila Water, Maynilad, ABS-CBN and other big companies who refuse his despotism are fair game to the regime. The people should learn that he is not upholding the interest of the majority, but only intends to put his cronies into the dominant position. In the process, he violates press freedom, due process, and rule of law, exposing himself.  

“All of Duterte’s blabber against Manila Water, Maynilad, ABS-CBN and other big companies who refuse his despotism are fair game to the regime. The people should learn that he is not upholding the interest of the majority, but only intends to put his cronies into the dominant position. In the process, he violates press freedom, due process, and rule of law, exposing himself at the national and international stage as imprudent tyrant,” he said.  

Even at the early stage of the Duterte regime, it pushed through with its appeasement or surrender policy to the imperialist China, which as result the latter taking control of the exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. The surrender is essentially the exchange for tapping around USD 9 billion of loans for his “Build, Build, Build” program. In the process, Duterte chose to violate provisions in the constitution on national sovereignty and existing national laws on the country’s territorial integrity and patrimony.

“There is a continuing violation by the Chinese imperialists on our constitution, on our EEZ, on Archipelagic Baselines, and even Fisheries Code and its amendments. Duterte is hammering Filipinos, as reprisal for asserting our national sovereignty, but it is soft cotton against China. He is an insult to the Filipino legacy and history that are rich testaments of fighting for freedom against foreign aggressors,” he said.  

He summarized that in brief characterization, the Duterte regime upholds as economic policies: land monopoly of big landlords and compradors, or worsening landlessness of poor peasants; liberalization of agriculture or export-orientation of the sector; attacks on press freedom and due process in the name of cronyism; and being a client regime to an imperialist power such as China.  

Casilao bared that various people’s organizations are demanding the ouster of Duterte, due to his anti-people and anti-Filipino policies. For his part, his call is for the president to resign immediately, prior to his total isolation from the majority of the country’s population.  

“It would be wise for President Duterte to resign, to avoid the total disapproval of poor sectors in the country. He has already lost the support of the peasants, workers, urban poor, fisherfolk, indigenous people, and other poor sectors, who fell victims to his detrimental policies. All he has now is the military, as it obvious that he pampered them as his private armed group, who is ignorant of the rule of law, that they should be upholding the people’s interest and not of one individual; his cronies who are actually opportunists and are only existing for their self-interests; the imperialist China, which Filipino see as an aggressor. Duterte has lost the moral high ground to be as president, he should resign asap,” he ended./Stacy Ang

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