On May 13th the Philippines conducted its midterm elections filling the highly coveted 12 open Senate seats with more Duterte loyalists. Poll watchdog groups and independent sources reported numerous issues such as: over 315 technical issues with the Vote Counting Machines (VCM), more than 1000 SD cards issues affecting the VCMs including the count of overseas votes, voters posting on social media incorrect vote registration, reports of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and officers of Philippine National Police (PNP) at voting sites intimidating voters and spreading flyers red-baiting progressive candidates and partylists, voter buyouts, overspending of government funds towards Duterte backed candidates, and problems with the transparency server that was supposed to post votes “in real time” for news agencies and the like. In the United States, there were additional reports of Filipino overseas voters never receiving their ballots, and with more than 1.8 million overseas voters, this poses a major impact on results.
For many disenfranchised Filipino voters, both in the Philippines and in the United States the aforementioned litany of election anomalies spurred them to take to the streets and protest the election results touting a victory for Duterte. Members and organizations from the Malaya Movement led a national day of action on May 17th in Los Angeles and San Francisco California, Portland Oregon, Seattle Washington, Chicago Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Boston Massachusetts, and Washington D.C.
“The just-concluded Duterte administration-rigged elections continue to pave the perpetuation of the dynasty power structure in the Philippines. It couldn’t have been more blatant!” stated Roger Rigor, Malaya Movement National Convener.
These fraudulent results do not affirm President Duterte’s drug war, his tyranny and violent fascist rule, it does, however, confirm that the President will resort to corruption in order to achieve his goal of seizing all forms of government power in order to stream roll his dictatorship agenda forward. Now that he has secured the Senate, he will push for Charter Change towards federalism, eliminating term limits, giving himself dictatorial powers by presidential decrees. Further, it would eliminate restrictions on 100% foreign ownership, opening the Philippine lands and much needed resources to be owned by foreign corporations who already exploit the people and the land.
“We must not take these midterm elections lightly. These are the moments in history that have brought Filipinos together to fight against a dictator to the point where he was forced to flee the Philippines. Now his daughter is one of the ‘elected’ Senators, along with Bato who orchestrated the killings of more than 30,000 people in the Drug War. This is our time to rise up, once again to take back our democratic rights and rid the country of this tyrant!” continued Rigor.
The Malaya Movement is determined to continue to raise its outrage against the Duterte administration and has called for national days of action for Philippine Independence Day June 12th and a United People’s State of the Nation Address in anticipation of Duterte’s SONA on July 22nd.