I wonder what former Bayan Muna House Representative Teddy Casiño is describing as President Rodrigo Duterte’s “brand of authoritarianism” when what he has been ordering implemented is within the context of the 1987 Constitution. The rise of populism was fueled by neoliberal ideology to deliver on its promised gains in developed countries. The template is not applicable to Asia as it has been proven that “democratic” authoritarian regimes are the norm. Communism itself is only a label Vietnam and China both use. In effect, what has been adopted and modified is the Singapore template put forth by Lee Kuan Yew.
Casiño asserts that Duterte “exploited” the weaknesses of the “EDSA Republic” postulated by political observer Doy Santos in a previous tweet supposedly to implement that authoritarian state Casiño imagines is in effect today. He further asserts in a subsequent tweet…
After failing in his efforts to impose a “revolutionary government,” declare martial law nationwide, or prolong his rule via charter change, he is now down to his last card – running for VP and ensuring the win of his daughter Sara or aide Bong Go in the 2022 elections.
Not so fast, Teddy. Duterte’s toying with the idea of running for Vice-President is not prohibited, either expressly or implicitly, in the Constitution. It cannot also be prohibited in the context of political optics or tradition because Duterte is not one to conform to the same. In fact, he is a disruptor. Those who are preparing to challenge the administration in 2022 still don’t get this. If they don’t put forth a disruptive platform then they will most likely lose. Just as much as Casiño fails to step back and regard the big picture, Santos also remains fixated on historical frames that no longer apply today.
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In response to Casiño, Santos suggests that “[the] EDSA republic’s neoliberal fixation on markets as the mode for social transformation obscured its founder’s/Ninoy’s original vision of Christian socialism, which emanates from Northern Europe.” To Casiño’s shrill theory that “the neoliberal agenda hijacked whatever progressive spirit there was in EDSA”, Santos adds his quaint lament that “[neoliberal] and progressive agendas inspire backlashes from the right due to the nihilistic materialism and break with the past they produce or advocate.”
Ok, let’s step back from that interesting pillow talk between the two members of the liberals’ brains trust. Be reminded that this administration is the only post-EDSA government which hasn’t been wracked by major corruption scandals. Cabinet secretaries have been fired early in its term. It had to contend with destabilization attempts from the Opposition in Congress and Islamic fundamentalists allied with drug lords in Marawi. It has increased spending on infrastructure development and social social services without plunging the country into debt. It continues to maintain a consistent fiscal policy even under the pandemic environment. What the two in the thread — Casiño and Santos — are missing is the transition that will take place if the administration candidate wins. The Yellows and Reds begin their descent into oblivion and the strongest among the challengers becomes the new opposition, which hopefully, will be a partner in nation-building while effectively fiscalizing the administration.
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