A Call to Defend Democracy and the Will of the Filipino People

The Presidential elections we had in May 2016 where Duterte won as President by landslide is an expression of the Filipino people’s mandate reposed upon his shoulders to serve as President of the Republic for six years in accordance with the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Such mandate is morally reinforced by that well-settled latin maxim “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” – the voice of the people is the voice of God. Therefore, any demonic attempt of removing Duterte from the Presidency, thus, abbreviating his term of office is an act of trampling upon the will of the Filipino people, thereby disrespecting the decision of the majority who elected him to serve them. It is tyrannical, undemocratic, unconstitutional and immoral.
President Rodrigo Duterte / Photo from The New York Times

The current political landscape of our country threatens the core principles of democracy for which Philippines, as a sovereign state was built upon with the blood of our freedom-loving ancestors. The threats are coming from various interest groups who are now congregating as “coalition of demons” seeking to remove Duterte from the Presidency by perpetually demonizing his administration to advance their own political interests and agenda. Foremost of these threats are those posed by the Reds or from the CPP/NPA/NDF and all its legal fronts masquerading as political organizations and NGOs as well as those party- list groups lurking in the halls of congress trying to suck every ounce of the country’s resources which they have been using in attempting to topple down our government. We are seeing their treacherous maneuvering by launching heightened offensives of the NPAs in the countryside through ambuscades of our soldiers and law enforcers who are busy battling the ISIS inspired terrorists in Mindanao defending the Philippine flag. These pests want to tear down our flag and replace it with their own Communist emblem. Complementing these attacks is the recent move by Makabayan block in the House of representatives who bolted from the Super Majority, declaring themselves as independent block who are now launching their own version of parliamentary offensives, attacking and criticizing the policies of the government without offering any alternatives at all.

And what appears to be a symphonic attack played like an orchestra, militant organizations allied with the Communists were all in the Mendiola bridge during the 21 September Marcos Martial law anniversary celebration where they burned the effigy of Duterte portraying him as a fascist leader like Marcos – a hard sell black propaganda and pure idiotic political grandstanding. Sanamagan!

While the threats from the Reds are for real and more serious one being a well organized machinery, these groups alone cannot succeed without the support of other interest groups within the country’s political spectrum. Hence, they forged this tactical alliance with the Yellows, composed mainly of Liberal Party members and its allies from the opposition like the Magdalo Group, the newly formed political group called TINDIG, the oligarchs particularly those who owned mainstream media companies and other organizations opposed to the Duterte administration, particularly the religious groups. The yellow’s mode of attacks are on different fronts but focusing primarily on the issue on Duterte’s bank accounts and corruption issues as well as those of the alleged Extra Judicial Killings (EJKs). Trillanes and other members of the minority in the Senate acted as the mouthpiece in launching these attacks while the mainstream media serve as the medium in ensuring that the opposition’s offensives against the government are all in the papers and on the news, thereby eclipsing all other important information on nation-building on daily basis. 

Have you been watching ABS-CBN, GMA, News5, etc. lately? Or have you been reading broadsheets or on line news like Inquirer and Rappler? It is utterly disgusting to see these media outlets maliciously flooding their screens and on line spaces with anything derogatory to the Duterte government which certainly destroys the moral fabric of journalism as a profession in particular and the media industry in general. Equally disturbing of all is the recent discovery that an army of trolls has been organized by the opposition to typhoon the social media (twitter and facebook) with fake news and disinformation to dissuade the public from supporting our government’s programs and policies.

Ousting Duterte from the presidency is the only common denominator for the Reds and the Yellows and which also serves as their main basis of alliance for now. The Reds are well organized and are operating based on their ideology and fixed program of government which they have been fighting for several decades now to implement once in power. On the other hand, the yellows operate as a loose organization of groups and individuals with varied interests and are therefore likely to disintegrate once struggle for power from within comes into play. This begs the question. What will be the scenario should they succeed to take down the Duterte government? This is the question which both the Reds and the yellows should have a ready answer.

There are different modes on how to oust Duterte from the Presidency. The first one is through impeachment which is impossible in the current scenario knowing that Digong controls both houses in Congress and it takes almost a miracle to change that set up. Moreover, the issues raised against him by Trillanes on his alleged bank accounts as well as the Davao death squad happened before his presidency and are not therefore valid grounds for him to be impeached. The second practical scenario is to take him down by assassination. This mode certainly favors the yellows as they can invoke the constitutional law on succession and VP Robredo can take over the reins of the government. But this scenario will be challenged by two forces.

One is the fact that the Reds cannot allow that LP’s and the Oligarchs to seize power once again having despised the previous administration for its crimes against the Filipino people. As a principled organization, this is something they cannot compromise and will therefore insist that they should have the major role in running the government, thereby shoving aside the Liberal Party in governance. Having lost its previous influence as a political party, LP is not in the position to dictate the terms of their tactical alliance with the Reds.

They will certainly be devoured in whole by such as well-organized communist machinery. The second force they have to contend with is the reaction from the military, the police and the majority of the Filipino people who supported Duterte who may harbor such perception as any assassination attempt on Duterte will only be hatched by the Yellows (being the ultimate beneficiary) or drug cartels sympathetic to them. These groups will logically stage a people-backed military coup de-etat to prevent VP Robredo from assuming the post and install either Senate President Pimentel as head of state or interestingly, Bongbong Marcos knowing the progress of the electoral recount he filed against VP Robredo in the elections protest. Under a military coup-de etat, a Military Junta runs the affairs of the government and eventually return it when there is order and install someone with its backing and the people’s support under a revolutionary government, as the constitution has ceased operation by then. Given the unity of our military and police forces and the support they enjoy from the Dutertards, both the Reds and yellows cannot muster the required strength to prevent the coup de-etat from happening and the eventual setting up of the Revolutionary government. This mode therefore will put both the Reds and the yellows in a much more difficult bind should they push harder – It’s a check mate.

The last mode of unseating Duterte is via people power. Such mode however, is of the remotest possibility considering the inability of both colors to gain the sympathy and support of majority of the Filipino people. While the opposition has rejoiced over the results of the recent SWS survey which bannered the sharp drop of Duterte’s net approval rating, the fact remains that majority of the Filipino people do still support Duterte. While it is true that there are a few who recently disagreed with him on his drug war program and policies based on the surveys, this however does not translate a shift of support to the opposition, much less to the Reds. Hence, both the reds and yellows remain powerless in staging a people power to remove Duterte from the Presidency.

Ah, here’s the third mode which is Duterte’s conviction before the International Criminal Court (ICC) which the opposition continues to hallucinate on for such to see the light of day soon. Assuming without admitting that it does happen, Duterte cannot be arrested within our soil and will be able to continue to function as President like the case of President Omar al Bashir of Sudan who was convicted by ICC and yet continued to serve as President of Sudan up to now and has traveled abroad without being arrested in view of the ICC’s lack of power to handcuff any convicted head of state brought before its sala. This mode will never hurt therefore, the Duterte presidency.

Check this out.

Moreover, considering the stringent requirements on the ICC procedures, it will take substantial amount time to get a conviction which may possibly come only when Duterte’s term is finished or worst, the country will have a new Vice President by then in the person of Bongbong Marcos whose electoral protest may be completed next year. This exercise therefore renders everything useless for the reds and yellows as they cannot stomach BM Marcos becoming our new President should they succeed in removing Digong via ICC intervention. In all these malicious moves, they shall be only setting up a blank wall before themselves.

In the ultimate analysis, unseating Duterte from the Presidency will never turn the tide of the country’s political landscape in favor of the reds or the yellows. Looking at every angle on all the scenarios of a successful ouster move, we expect both colors to be shoved around in the struggle for power for the obvious reason that they do not have the required number and credibility to win the respect and support of the Filipino masses. Both the yellows and the reds should realize the fact that they can never multiply their numbers by destroying the Duterte government alone. Loyalty is non transferrable and Filipinos are no fools anymore. Their loyalty to Duterte transcends his persona.

Detertism is now an ideology for which most Filipinos willingly identify themselves with and embraced the ideals and aspirations which he espoused for the country and shared by many Filipinos. You may one day succeed in easing him out of power, but the ideology he leaves behind will live through many of us and we shall continue with the struggle for the realization of all these ideals, particularly in finally liberating this country from the clutches of deception, oppression and the reign of the oligarchs and their allies who brought this country to its knees.

The yellows and reds are therefore urged to exercise prudence in dealing with the realities of our country’s present day politics. More importantly, allowing this country to move towards progress should be everyone’s primordial concern regardless of ideological color. Such however requires respect to the mandate of the majority of the Filipino people which has been expressed through the ballots in an elections conducted fair and square in May 2016. Hence, Duterte should be allowed to perform his duties as President of the Republic for 6 years sans any evil attempt of abbreviating the same in the interest of fairness, deference to that mandate of the people and in respect to the ideals of democracy which we all profess and swear to defend. In trying to prove that Dutertards are wrong, you have the remaining 5 years to work in vindicating yourselves by seizing the reins of power in 2022.

In the meantime, and in the spirit of the democratic space that we now enjoy, we have the remaining 5 years to prove that we are right in our decision. And the ultimate judgment day will be the results of the 2022 Presidential Elections. You have to respect that span of time for us to savor the victory we so deserved. That’s what democracy is as embedded in our constitution. Any shortcut to that will be unconstitutional and an undemocratic act which deserves the strongest level of people’s condemnation.

For the Dutertards, you are called upon to defend the mandate you reposed on the shoulders of your President. Doing your fair share in protecting that mandate from any threats thereof can make a big difference. Defending the Duterte presidency is tantamount to fighting for and defending democracy in this country. We may be fierce in standing on our ground, but in deference to the democratic principles and ideals that we hold so dearly, we have to respect dissent and allow opposition to thrive for checks and balance and in ensuring better governance in this administration. We may come from different colors, varied and even conflicting ideological persuasions and beliefs but we are bound together by the principles and ideals of democracy and no one can stop us from marching together as a people in one direction sans any dictate from foreign forces. We may fight along the way but for as long as we exercise tolerance and observe respect and rule of law, there is no doubt that we all can bring this country to the gates of progress and development which we all dreamed and worked for under this government. This is the true spirit of Dutertism – bravery, resilience and tolerance. - JA

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A Call to Defend Democracy and the Will of the Filipino People A Call to Defend Democracy and the Will of the Filipino People Reviewed by Nathan Singson on March 12, 2019 Rating: 5

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