From the May-June 2018 issue of News & Letters
Manila, the Philippines—The Left in the Philippines is fragmented: from the groupings around the Maoist-inspired Communist Party of the Philippines and its allies, to the so-called yellow Social Democrats Akbayan that allied with the capitalist Liberal Democrats of the past Benigno Aquino III administration, to the Socialist Laban ng Masa coalition of socialist and democratic left groups and social movements. Though practicing diverse tactics in dealing with, addressing and engaging sociopolitical issues here in the Philippines, all have the same analysis and strategic campaigns against the fascist Rodrigo Duterte government.
The human rights community here all have memberships and affiliations in those three Left groupings, so even human rights advocates are divided when it comes to political beliefs and persuasions.
During my college days, I experienced the life of a Maoist radical. Never have I tried the road of the Social Democrats for I know how discredited they are in most urban and rural poor communities for their collaborative style of politics with capitalist politicians. As an advocate of Marxist Humanism here, the crowd around the Socialist Laban ng Masa presents spaces for political pluralism and constructive dialogue with different Marxist traditions. That’s why I opted with this movement.
It is an uphill battle for us when it comes to fighting and resisting the authoritarian and fascist regime of Duterte. His so-called populist, nationalist and even self-proclaimed socialist affiliations all but resound a Nazi overtone of terror as can be seen in his War on Drugs campaign in liquidating and killing his targeted four million so-called drug addicts.
And now his guns are pointed even at those critics of his government, which includes the human rights community. Even if we surpassed Duterte, his fascist regime has eroded the values of the dignity of life and the essence of democracy. It will be a tremendous task for all of us in rebuilding and renewing human rights values in our citizens that have been blinded by a Nazi dictator, namely Duterte.