The far-right rises in the Philippines

Nationalism has been reborn in the Philippines, and the yellows and liberals have failed to realize what is going on.

One of my criticisms of Philippine politics has always been the lack of party principles, as all our political parties are on the center of the traditional left-right political spectrum. This is largely because the political parties have all gravitated towards the center, trying to pander to voters election in and election out.

We’re not like the United States where the Republican and Democratic parties offer different platforms, the former focusing on the free market while the latter on imposing regulations and redistribution of wealth. The same can be said for the United Kingdom, where the Tory Party and the Labour Party also offer different platforms (though one could argue that they’ve been the same as of late because of the Blair Rights in Labour). We’re not like our former colonial masters or their former colonial masters when speaking of political dynamics.

Then again, we’re also not like our Asian neighbors. Japan and China have more powerful executives compared to the Philippines, and the latter is far more authoritarian, carrying over the strongman leadership established in the time of Mao even after reforms by the Xiaoping administration. The Filipino system is quite unique compared to our more prosperous neighbors or our wealthier allies in the West.

One would notice that parties and politicians offer practically the same platform: free and cheaper healthcare, free fertilizers for farmers, dole outs for those in poverty, and free tuition for students in state universities. Such platforms seem socialist. But instead of socialism’s goal of fair redistribution, the end goal of our politicians’ platforms is to pander to people and get their votes for the next election. (Not that socialism is a good and practical system in the first place, for everywhere it was tried, it runs the country’s economy into the ground.)

In one province, Family A would rule for a few decades. They offer Platform 1. Then, Family B would eliminate Family A, sweep into power but also offer Platform 1. Passing the political dynasty bill in this case would be useless. There is only a change in the name of the ruler but not in the ruling system. In other words, our system is not broken but rather, it is inherently corrupt.

A broken system can be fixed. But an inherently corrupt system like what we’ve had cannot be fixed, it must be burned to the ground and completely eradicated. In 2010, Noynoy Aquino sold himself as a holier than thou candidate who could do no wrong and who was out to fix the system that was broken during the Arroyo administration. But the system remained in place.

Aquino simply replaced Arroyo’s corrupt personnel with his own set of corrupt personnel. His refusal to hold Budget Secretary Butch Abad liable for the DAP scandal is proof of this. The same way he refused to hold his men accountable for the botched anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015, Aquino did not fix the broken system, he simply (and clumsily) showed our people how it really works.

The early candidates for the presidency (Mar Roxas, Jejomar Binay, and Grace Poe) all ran on the same pandering platform. These candidates offered no palpable change whatsoever. As Jonathan Pie described Hillary Clinton’s offer to the American people, “Same old shit.” But then lo and behold, the unorthodox Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte declared his run for the presidency.

Duterte offered a radical platform of using force to eradicate corruption and drugs. As the campaign started, Duterte led the opinion polls outright and cruised to a victory in the presidential election last May. His message resonated with the clamor for change. Duterte vowed to take the country back from the corrupt oligarchs and prevent the Philippines from descending into what he called a “narco state” or a state run by drug money.

Sure enough, unlike most politicians, Duterte delivered on his message. In his young presidency, Duterte took on the Obama administration in the United States, supranational organizations like the United Nations and the European Union, the Roman Catholic Church, and the political and economic establishment put in place in 1986. His approval ratings are high as he took on the bodies that our typical corrupt politicians would bow down to.

And in the war on drugs, criminality, and corruption, Duterte has employed a Machiavellian “by all means necessary” approach. He has empowered the police to an extent not seen since the martial law era of Marcos. In fact, he cancelled the 2016 Barangay Election just so the Philippine National Police can focus on its war on illegal drugs. The president has not hesitated to name Mayors, Governors, Congressmen, and even a lady Senator who are involved in drugs.

Despite the so-called extrajudicial killings which has numbered over 7,000, the president remains very popular. His supporters are all over social media, they have complete control of Congress, and they recently held a show of force in Luneta in response to the politicians who tried to use the 31st anniversary of EDSA 1986 to score political points against President Duterte. Such is the Duterte effect.

Usually, support bases of politicians quiet down after the election. Not with President Duterte. As the days pass, the Duterte support base becomes even more energized. Amidst a destabilization plot by the Liberal Party, the Duterte supporters have become even more eager to defend their president and to keep the country from being taken away once more by the corrupt oligarchs.

“Tama yang kay Duterte. Hindi tayo magbabago kung hindi maubos mga kurakot at mga kriminal” a barangay official in my province told me before Christmas when we were out drinking.

A charismatic leader representing the will of his people, running the country with an iron hand, and taking the country back from the traditional elites and saving the country from destruction. Such is how the President’s strongest supporters see him. In fact, they have even pledged to support him if he places the country under martial law.

“Di bale na mag-martial law si Presidente. Mas pipiliin ko naman martial law kesa magkalat mga adik sa kalye” one taxi driver told me when I was on my way to the apartment after returning from Quezon province.

The President has not espoused any ideological leaning except that one time when he called himself a ‘socialist’. However, the activities of his allies like Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (in threatening to remove from key House positions those who voted against the death penalty bill) and most especially his supporters who continue to push for the continuity of the President’s iron-fist method show tenets of far-right politics.

The critics are wrong in labeling the Duterte supporters as fanatics. They are not. These are people who have grown tired of the corrupt system in the country. These are people that want change and want it fast. It so happens that they feel that it is President Duterte who would bring the country back to life. We are seeing not fanaticism, but nationalism reborn.

This desire to take the Philippines back is unprecedented. The President’s supporters want change, and they want it by any means necessary, even it means supporting an authoritarian way of doing things. Even with all the executions in the midst of the drug war, in the end, what matters to them is the benefit of the nation. Nationalism has been reborn, and has already likely evolved further into extreme nationalism.

Our people could not care less about ideology. But the failure of promised change three decades ago has made the rebirth of Filipino nationalism inevitable. And an inevitable consequence of this rebirth of nationalism is the birth of extreme forms of nationalism, as we have seen as of late.

The far-right has risen in the Philippines. They want change, they want their country back, they want to usher in an era of Filipino greatness, and they want it done by any means necessary.

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Post Author: Celestino Manrique II

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48 Comments on "The far-right rises in the Philippines"

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MidwayHaven
Guest

Except that (ideologically speaking) “far” means “fanaticism.”

This applies to any ideology labeled right or left.

actjaxs3000
Guest
Warning, with this sense of nationalism you have to be careful about losing logic. Example, the death penalty passed the house. Somehow murder, rape, and other significant crimes were removed from the proposed bill. The issue that no one question that people just in the possession of a drug warrants the death penalty, but people who rape and kills a babies and children for money and broadcast it on the internet is safe from the death penalty somehow? Is this really about justice or just following the popularity contest of the current president? Will it remain after he is no… Read more »
Aphersky Lasa
Guest

actjaxs3000

People have actually asked why rape and plunder were not included in the death penalty (except those that could be badly affected by their inclusion). Even the President equally asked and wondered why. What is this popularity contest that are you talking about?

Robert Haighton
Member

A president can kill whoever he wants; he can install every puppet in parliament he wants. But what a president can never achieve is to change a dysfunctional society into functional society. For that to achieve, the individual has to change.
Nationalism sounds good at first (maybe) but it will lead to catastrophy in the end. Pls read the global/worldwide history books.

salagintong bukid
Guest

if it just reimposition of the death penalty, RA NO 6869 cannot be touch. ‘all inconsistencies to this law is authomatically repealed’. that’s the reason the yellows and its LP’s don’t want it.

Section 6. Repealing Clause. – All laws, executive orders, rules and regulations, or any part thereof inconsistent herewith are deemed repealed or modified accordingly.

Section 7. Separability Clause. – If for any reason, any section or provision of this Act, or any part thereof, or the application of such section, provision, or portion is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder thereof shall not be effected by such declaration.

Toby
Guest

Incorrect. Nationalism created nations. Including your own nation, Robert. The only time nationalism can lead to catastrophe is when it goes for imperialism. Pure nationalism alone, a nation will remain a good society (a good example is Switzerland).

Robert Haighton
Member

Hi Toby,
Nationalism, patriotism, imperialism, it are all strange and weird words for me. I dont even have the dutch flag in my house, I dont know the Dutch anthem (the words), I dislike most Dutch (pop) songs/music. I eat Chinese food, I eat pastas (Italian), I eat French food and I eat typical Dutch food. So what does that make me? A stranger in my ‘own’ country? I have a Dutch passport and my primary tongue is Dutch. And no, I am not a 1st or 2nd or 3rd generation immigrant.

Robert Haighton
Member
Toby, what I do like about the Netherlands is that we have an open economy and an open culture. and I see that is it an heterogeneous culture. That we do have liberal laws. And the beauty of it is that if you dont want to use any of those liberal laws that nobody minds. It is your personal freedom to use what you like and leave what you dont like. In short, you have options to choose from. Not many countries give you options. If you want to change your religion from Islam to Christian (or maybe worse to… Read more »
Greg
Guest
Duterte will be criticized by the mainstream media because he is a nationalist. Globalist media (propaganda)outlets (like CNN) hate nationalists because they believe in a one-world government. The UN is an example of this and they have supported regimes with horrible records. The UN also has one of the world’s worst human rights violators on its commission. In the U.S. Trump also gets hammered by the media because he is the most nationalistic U.S. President in a long time. He is called racist and Hitler for trying to actually enforce U.S. law. Many Americans hate America and think illegal aliens… Read more »
Ed Watters
Guest

Since when is ending corruption and drug use, “right wing”? Since when are calls for federalism, right wing? Since when is compassion for the poor, right wing? Since when is a refusal to declare martial law, right wing?

If Duterte was indeed, right wing, he would now be enjoying the full support of Washington.

Greg
Guest

I don’t think Washington would support a right-winger because Washington prefers a globalist who they can control. Washington is not right wing so they would not want a right winger.

Ngek Ngek
Guest

To me it is not about the far ring rising or nationalism with regard to the imposition of the death penalty on heinous crimes without the plunder, rape and treason. It is about the DU30 Administration compassion towards the victims of crimes and retribution to the criminals in contrary to the RCC and the Liberal Party’s dysfunctional compassion to the criminals whererin one can reasonably conclude that among them are criminals or they tolerate the widespread criminality in the country for their own myopic interests.

Ngek Ngek
Guest

Nationalism, fascism, far right, far left, etc. are political concepts of bygone eras and no longer hold relevant to a globalized world where the net overcome boundaries set by philosophers and political scientists to serve the interests of a particular ruling elite.

voltaire
Guest
Pundits should be careful about labeling Duterte “far right”, “populist”, “extreme left”, “communist”, etc because the man really does not fit any existing definition or category. Duterte is creating his own model using his own common sense and what he believes will work or not work based on his experience as a prosecutor and mayor. I don’t agree with everything Duterte does, but I like how he’s totally comfortable with being out of the box, and he’s open to experimentation. He has leftists in his Cabinet, and he’s anti-contractualization, but at the same time, he’s very pro-foreign investment. He embraces… Read more »
klara
Guest
I’d be careful about Trump and his policies. Sure, he appears to be “anti-establishment” with his expressions and antagonism to and from the media, but you have to watch what he actually does. He appointed James Mattis as Defense Secretary-known to be extremely anti-Iran. Quite a clear signal that the US war policies are going as planned. And why exclude Saudi from the list of travel ban to the US when it’s been revealed that certain terrorists are supported by the Saudi regime ? The western gov’ts are still replete with credulous bigots whose political views are outdated and limited,… Read more »
Greg
Guest

Klara,

You are correct about Trump not being very anti-establishment. He has appointed a bunch of globalists, such as Mike Pence, to important positions. There are other countries that ought to be on the banned list; Saudi Arabia is one. I was referring to nationalist statements that he has made, which have been characterized as fascist, etc.

salagintong bukid
Guest

save hacienda luisita, it’s worth dying for. that’s an order to the LP’s.

Ponse
Guest

Anything taken to the extreme is bad. It does not matter what it is: feminisim, socialisim, nationalisim, libaralisim ,or religion. Radicalisim brings nothing good.

David Roxas
Guest
nationalism reborn? how is this possible when nationalism has never been a part of the Filipino psyche? http://philippinefailblog.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-damaged-culture.html waving flags and having Pinoy Pride in your heart and showing utter hatred for political corruption is not nationalism. Its a facade. “Because the boundaries of decent treatment are limited to the family or tribe, they exclude at least 90 percent of the people in the country. And because of this fragmentation—this lack of nationalism—people treat each other worse in the Philippines than in any other Asian country I have seen.” “For more than a hundred years certain traits have turned up… Read more »
Mark
Guest
Exactly true. Deuterte came in looking at serious SCS policing issue. Main focus, Fils fishing people. Obvious impact, colonial militarism. Can Deuterte resolve those two during a mandate that truly dwarfs existence of peoples in the Philippines? Obviously not! You are doing better than any real American peoples are doing today, thanks to geography. Who else is willing to “bless” that geography? Again, David Roxas is exactly right, those who have lived with SCS for thousands of years. From the Americas, and in the perspective of real Americans (not the occupiers’ Imperial perspective) Fils is only the Philippines peoples, plural.… Read more »
Propaganda Boy
Guest

Anti-LGBT is also meant for ultranationalism.

We are waiting for ultranationalism like Trump and Nazi Germany did.

BrokenMe
Guest

Oh look, the trollfag is back to spam on this page.

We are waiting for your next spam, trollfag, As expected from a leftist cuck.

Propaganda Boy
Guest

http://makingitfuninthephilippines.blogspot.com/2015/11/these-memes-show-how-ignorant-and.html

“These Memes Show How Ignorant And Stupid Those Ultranationalists Can Get!”

“It’s something to use social media to promote ultranationalism which is an act of hypocrisy. Face the facts – Filipinos DID NOT invent social media, the Internet, gadgets, etc. and neither are they made in the Philippines and why in the world are ultranationalists still using them? I thought they hated foreigners and only want Pinoy Pride? Oh boy, be ready for all the contradictions!”

Propaganda Boy
Guest

Do you believe in Nazism and Neo-Nazism and Holocaust Denial?

BrokenMe
Guest

Do you believe in TROLLING and SPAMMING?

Anyhow, your username suits you well, son.

Propaganda Boy
Guest

All we need is iron-grip from our president, but not an iron-fist.

We are waiting for Nazism in the future. Trump and nazi anyone?

BrokenMe
Guest

@FAGBoy:

We are waiting for your next TROLL post. Leftist cucks, anyone?

Propaganda Boy
Guest

Nazi Germany has far-right ultra-nationalist totalitarianism.

It was with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.

BrokenMe
Guest

PHOQUE Boy:

Says the actual Hillary fanboy who loves to contradict themselves. And you’re also Joseph Goebbels, son. 🙂

Propaganda Boy
Guest

Nazi doctrine, including ultranationalism, racism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, antiziganism, antisemitism, and initiating the Fourth Reich. Holocaust denial is a common feature, as is incorporation of Nazi symbols and admiration of Adolf Hitler.

BrokenMe
Guest

Nice red herring, Yellow leftist cuck. 🙂

Keep on spouting your own stupidity. You’re vehemently exposed

Propaganda Boy
Guest

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Nazism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-fascism

Filipinos are seeing the new, future Filipino Neo-Nazi party what’s left for legacy of Hitler and his mind.

BrokenMe
Guest

*sigh*

Here you go with your relentless, nonsensical shitposting you have there.

That’s why nobody takes you seriously here. That’s because you’re an actual TROLL. 🙂

I hope the mods will DELETE your nonsensical comments since it’s all SPAM.

Propaganda Boy
Guest

It would mean anti-federalism as well.