Philippines: A Nation sold to two imperialists, courtesy of their comprador in Malacanang
Duterte’s treachery is crystal clear.
During the election campaign, Duterte banked on the seething resentment of the Filipino people towards the territorial incursions being taken by China on the West Philippine Sea; in his bravado he exclaimed he would ride a jet-ski to plant the Philippine flag on the disputed islands. An arbitration ruling in favor of the Philippines and 4 years later there would be no flags or jet-skis: only increased Chinese military presence and the creation of artificial islands and outposts by the imperialist giant.
Four years into his presidency, it seems that Duterte intends to kowtow to his master in Beijing. Not only has he allowed China to commit territorial aggression under his nose, he willingly submits the nation to onerous loans and economic agreements in pursuit of his ambitious projects which only tightens the Asian giant’s leash on our country. When a Chinese ship rammed the fishing boat Gem-Ver in our waters, Duterte chose to be relatively mum on the issue, and up until now the Chinese have yet to give compensation. Only last month 14 people on board the vessel Liberty 5 have gone missing after colliding with another Chinese vessel off the coast of Occidental Mindoro. They are yet to be found to this day.
On the onset of the pandemic, Duterte’s fondness of China regarding the closure of borders meant that Chinese mainlanders were still able to freely travel to us. This, combined with the sloppy militaristic handling of the health crisis, has resulted to the more than 74,000 confirmed cases as of July 23. Despite many Filipinos losing their livelihood and jobs amid the pandemic, he is afraid of touching the numerous operations of numerous Chinese Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, with some even operating illegally and evading taxes.
Besides China, Duterte wants to make a fool out of the people by trying to deceive that he no longer serves the interests of the United States. In a 2016 speech in Beijing, Duterte announced cutting ties with the United States to realign himself with China. Despite this, he has repeatedly sought and received funding from the country’s former colonial master to support his murderous War on Drugs and continued use of the police and military against its people.
On top of the recent backpedaling on his withdrawal of the Visiting Forces Agreement which has allowed US troops to circumvent the expulsion of US forces back in 1991, he has allowed US troops actively participate in the Marawi Siege, a clear infraction of our sovereignty and has only left the city dead and devastated. Three years on, its residents remain refugees, still awaiting the day where they can return to their homes.
Additionally, The United States has poured around $550 million of defense aid to the Philippines, the largest in the region, supposedly for the enhancement of the country’s defense capabilities and in its anti-terrorism programs. This, however, is another lie, a total waste of funds; newly acquired warships, warplanes, arms are nowhere to be found defending our territorial sovereignty. Instead, the state uses these instruments of war to terrorize its own citizens through the murder and harassment of peasants, human rights defenders, activists, and innocent individuals, and through the forced evacuation of the indigenous and non-indigenous communities from their lands to make way for exploitative companies and mining operations – businesses essential in keeping the local elite and US-based capitalists lavishly rich, while keeping many Filipinos impoverished.
Four years into his term, Duterte’s treachery is laid bare. He has betrayed the people not only by consolidating more power for himself, but also through his willingness to serve his imperialist masters, even if it comes at the Filipinos’ expense. The youth, however, will never forget and will never forgive so easily—Duterte must be held accountable for his numerous sins. We will never falter in uniting our struggle with that of the broader masses of the peasants and workers, and only through this solid unity are we assured of a future where the rights of everyone are upheld and their needs met.