On May 6th, week before the midterm elections in the Philippines, the Malaya Movement called for a national day of protest in front of Philippine Consulates and phone barrages to both consulates and the Philippine Embassy to demand that the Duterte regime ensures a clean and honest elections in the Philippines this coming May 13th. The Malaya Movement also demands that the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) explain countless cases of registered overseas Filipino voters not receiving their ballots. This is an outright disenfranchisement of a significant voting population: overseas Filipinos and we fear that this is part of the Duterte regimes maneuvers to rig the 2019 midterm elections.
[Left to Right: Good Shepard Congregation – Philippine Independent Church in Chicago, IL. Youth and Students from Anakbayan Chicago,IL]
“A free and independent Senate is a key part of protecting our democracy and ensuring the Filipino people never see the dark days of dictatorship again,” stated Dr. Dante Simbulan, National Convenor of the Malaya Movement.
The Philippine Senate is the last remaining political body that Duterte currently does not have control of and if he gains control of the Senate he will have achieved his aim to consolidate power in the government. Therefore, this midterm elections is very important for the near future of the Philippines. It is more so important that Filipino overseas voters are able to vote and that every vote is counted correctly. For Filipino voters this is an opportunity to register their protest and rejection of Duterte’s policies of worsening poverty and joblessness, endless killings, and repression and to defend democracy.
Another tactic that candidates and their campaign teams have put forth are fraudulent surveys claiming their rising pole numbers, when these have not been authenticated and therefore create fake news. This has been rampant all over the internet and especially with Duterte’s paid and unpaid troll army.
Loida Nicolas Lewis, Chair of US Pinoys for Good Governance says, “The Philippine electorate must use our power of the ballot to make our voices heard, to say we don’t want a Senate of Duterte cronies but a Senate that will act critically and independently to put the president’s disrespect for the Constitution in check.”
We urge the Filipino people to reject the Duterte regime through the ballot by rejecting his hand selected candidates who are running on the platform of echoing the traitorous, anti-people, anti-women and anti-poor politics. Let us turn this upcoming midterm election into a mass protest against Duterte’s tyranny. We call on all the Filipino people to vote for candidates who have a pro-people platform and a genuine track record in serving the communities and have already vocalized their opposition to the fascist Duterte administration.