Yesterday, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was officially proclaimed as the duly elected 16th President of the Philippines after defeating administration candidate ex-DILG Secretary Manuel “Mar” Araneta Roxas II. This, despite the administration’s clear and obvious attempt to cheat Duterte. Vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos was not lucky enough to get through the cheating by the administration. Fortunately, Duterte’s support was too strong and his lead was too huge to overcome.
What happened? It was simply the post-Marcos administration’s failures that led the Filipino people to elect another seemingly authoritarian leader. The failures were exacerbated by the current government of Benigno Aquino III. His lack of leadership after the Luneta Hostage Crisis, the Al-Barka Massacre in 2011, and last year’s Mamasapano Massacre highlighted the impotence of his administration. Then, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, who Aquino ignored in the Mamasapano administration blew his last chance to bolt the administration in an honorable statesman fashion. Roxas chose to stay, and eventually, it cost him the election.
If you look at it, the three candidates critical of the Aquino administration –Rodrigo Duterte, Jejomar Binay, and Miriam Defensor Santiago- combined for majority of the votes cast for president. In other words, Aquino has no one but himself to blame for the Duterte victory and perhaps what is actually a Marcos victory. Duterte, a candidate running against the political and economic establishment, overwhelmingly defeated Roxas who was running for the establishment while being backed by 55 provincial governors and over 800 town and city mayors. Not to mention, Duterte won in Quezon City, which is the home turf of Roxas’ family.
Such results show the wide dissatisfaction with the establishment. As mentioned earlier, had they not failed, Duterte would not stand a chance of winning. The victory of Duterte represents a radical change in the political system in the Philippines due to huge public anger. Coincidentally, the rise of new radical leaders is not only happening in the Philippines.
In the United States, we have two. First, there is Democratic Party presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Like Duterte, Sanders is an anti-establishment candidate. When he announced his presidential run last year, most analysts said that Sanders’ campaign was dead in the water. Hardly anyone could blame them, as Sanders trailed party favorite and establishment candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton by 60 points in the national polls. Then came the primary season. Sanders would pull a tie with Clinton in Iowa. Then, he scored a blowout victory in New Hampshire. To this day the Sanders campaign, although trailing, remains standing and is looking for an improbable comeback against Clinton.
Another is Donald Trump of the Republican Party. The real estate magnate from New York is also running on an anti-establishment platform. Not to mention, his brash and politically incorrect tone is similar to Duterte’s. Trump is more fortunate than Sanders, however. Trump had recently clinched the Republican Party nomination and based on the trends of the latest national polls, is actually poised to defeat Hillary Clinton in November. The Donald ran over 16 other candidates for the Republican nomination which had a good mix of up and coming leaders like Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio and traditional neoconservatives like Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Lindsey Graham.
If Bernie Sanders manages to get the Democratic nomination, then the United States is in for a radical change regardless of who wins between him and Trump. And it is not only in the US where this is happening. Notably, it is currently occurring in Europe amid the rise of radical Islam in the region. Austria a few days ago almost elected a far-right leader to their presidency. Norbert Hofer missed out by just 31,000 votes.
Additionally, nationalist leaders are also in power in Poland and Hungary. Besides Hofer, there is France’s Marine Le Pen. In the United Kingdom, there is Boris Johnson. In Norway, you have Sylvi Listhaug, Kristian Thulesen Dahl in Denmark, and Geert Wilders of the Netherlands. These right-wing populist leaders along with Trump actually differ from Sanders in some respects because they ride on anti-Islamic sentiment. To their credit, however, tolerance has allowed massive Islamic immigration to Europe and assimilation has become difficult. Thus, many sectors of the Islamic population in Europe have called for the Islamization of the region.
All these circumstances were products of the policies of the mainstream political establishment in Europe. Like in the Philippines, the political establishment in the West has shown its failure and that it only seeks to represent the elites. This is where Sanders, Duterte, Trump and Europe’s right-wing populists agree on. It does not necessarily mean that all these people have to win. What’s important is the trends. And the trend is that all over the world, the people are shouting. The world will never accept globalism and elite rule.
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- The far-right rises in the Philippines - March 9, 2017
- MTRCB Member Mocha Uson: How and Why - January 6, 2017
- Remembering the Heroes of the Martial Law Era - September 23, 2016
- In 2011, Hermilando Mandanas was also removed from a Committee chairmanship - September 21, 2016