Elections 2022: Grim possibilities from Duterte regime, big challenges for the people’s movement

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ON DUTERTE’S FALSE PROMISE OF CLEAN ELECTIONS IN 2022
By Jose Maria Sison

Duterte’s promise to hold clean and honest elections in 2022 is patently false as it is stlll fresh in our minds what he did to rig the 2019 mid-term elections.

The rigging of the midterm 2019 elections was most evident during the so many hours of blackout of the vote count for senatorial and party list candidates. The blackout allowed the Duterte technicians to reconfigure the voting results with the application of an electronic dagdag bawas program.

But more was done to rig the elections. Long before election day, there was already a climate of terror generated by martial law in Mindanao, de facto martial law in so-called focus areas, red-tagging of critics and the opposition and the extrajudicial killings in the name of the bogus war on drugs and the anti-communist crackdown.

The climate of terror nationwide, the vote fabrication in most of Mindanao in favor of the pro-Duterte candidates, the displacement of public school teachers by the military and police as deputized Comelec personnel, red-tagging to prevent social activists from becoming poll watchers and of course the political patronage based on pork barrel favored the pro-Duterte candidates for local executive offices and prejudiced the chances of the opposition candidates,

If the 2022 presidential elections will be held at all in accordance with the 1987 Constitution, Duterte will become more than ever determined to rig the elections in order to guarantee his protection from arrest and prosecution for his crimes against humanity and to ensure that his legacy of criminal loot and dynastic power will be passed on to his family and political successors.

But there are other possibilities along the way to 2022. He can stage bloody false-flag operations to scapegoat the revolutionaries and the opposition and use such operations of his own design as pretext for martial law and fascist dictatorship like Marcos did. Another bad possibility is that Duterte dies or is completely incapacitated mentally due to his serious illnesses and his presidential powers are usurped by his hatchetmen in the National Task Force-ELCAC under E.O. 70.

There are still other possibilities and better ones. Because of the so many crimes committed by the Duterte regime, an inciting moment can suddenly arise to generate gigantic mass protests, like those against Marcos in 1983 to 1986 and against Estrada in 2000-2001, to overthrow Duterte before 2022. 

Another benign but remote possibility is that Duterte will be persuaded to behave according to the 1987 constitution and give up his pipe dream of perpetuating dynastic and tyrannical rule because he runs the serious risk of losing all the ill-gotten wealth that he has already accumulated.

In the absence of gigantic mass protest actions comparable to those in the 1983 to 1986 or 2000-2001 in the Philippines and to those now occurring on a global scale, Duterte the coldblooded gangster and crook will never allow the legal opposition a good chance to replace him or his chosen successor through even relatively clean and honest elections. 

The national democratic movement and the legal opposition are being challenged to build a broad anti-fascist united front and generate the gigantic mass protest actions that can isolate and destroy the power of a regime that is traitorous, tyrannical, genocidal, corrupt and swindling. They must consider that several inciting moments have arisen and passed but there will be even more coming before 2022. ####

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