The 2013 elections were of no use to the people


Editorial
ANG BAYAN, 21 March 2013
May 26, 2013

The Filipino people did not benefit at all from the recently concluded elections of 2013. These polls clearly were no different from elections in the past half century or so under reactionary neocolonial rule. As in the past, the elections were dominated by big political parties funded by the big comprador bourgeoisie and landlords, representing their interests and those of foreign big business.

More that 75% of the newly elected representatives of the reactionary congress belong to traditional political families or dynasties, extending the political careers of their families. Practically none of them come from, and represent, the toiling masses.

The Filipino people did not attain any significant benefits from the 2013 elections. The polls merely created the illusion of democracy, even if this only meant the “democratic” selection by the people of representatives of the ruling classes and the election of those who would be drafting and implementing laws that would oppress and exploit them.

The recent polls only reinforced the control of the reactionary ruling classes over their government and bureaucracy. On the other hand, the widespread fraud and manipulation of election results have only further exposed the rottenness of the ruling political system and the absence of genuine democracy.

Contrary to the promise of “automated elections,” poll fraud has become more rampant, widespread and massive. The people have widespread doubts over the election, both because the technology behind the automated counting remains secret, and because equipment failures and other more blatant forms of poll fraud were rife.

Aquino boastfully claims that the 9-3 result of the senatorial elections and his majority victory in the lower house of the reactionary congress are proof that the people support his “righteous path” slogan. But no one is cheering, not even from the middle classes.

The people know full well that Team PNoy mustered huge resources from government and big businessmen supportive of Aquino to buy the loyalty and support of local politicians and launch very expensive radio and television campaigns. A massive publicity campaign alongside the manipulation of electoral results was launched by the ruling Aquino regime, leading to widespread incredulousness over, and repudiation of, the election results.

Aquino’s majority control over the senate and congress will surely be used by the ruling regime to further strengthen its oppressive and repressive rule. Most of the newly elected senators are Aquino allies whom he could count on to support the enactment of laws that would hew to the policy and program dictates of the IMF-World Bank and foreign big businessmen.

Goaded by his imperialist master and big foreign businessmen, the next three years of Aquino’s regime will focus on the further liberalization of investment and trade policies in the Philippines. The US and big business have been pushing for the removal of provisions in the reactionary 1987 constitution that ban foreign ownership of land and foreign management of key enterprises and services in the Philippines. This can be done either through a constitutional convention or commission or by enacting new laws that would abrogate these provisions, as Aquino wishes.

In accordance with his US master’s desire, Aquino has also been calling for the enactment of new laws to justify the growing and more frequent presence and basing of US military forces in the Philippines and circumvent the limitations and prohibitions stipulated in the reactionary constitution of 1987 against foreign bases and military facilities. Foreign big businesses have also been demanding the removal of a ban on electing a president for more than a single six-year term.

With his firm control over Congress, Aquino plans to push for the further liberalization of the Mining Act of 1995 to attract bigger investments in this sector, disregarding the people’s widespread opposition to the foreign plunder of the country’s patrimony and the widespread environmental destruction wrought by large-scale commercial mining, plantation and logging operations.

Aquino will also further push in Congress his budgetary program featuring austerity measures that call for budget cuts in public services and the all-out privatization of public hospitals and schools in the next few years. Aquino has likewise been emboldened to push for new taxes to raise government revenues in the face of the continuing economic crisis.

With the absence of a big opposition bloc in Congress, Aquino hopes to have new government contracts signed by his cronies, who have long been drooling over the planned LRT extension, higher fares and the privatization of the MRT and the Laguna Lake dredging project. As it was with the Daang Hari project, Aquino wants these contracts to end up with his cronies, despite the existence of other bidders offering lower costs to government.

Aquino will also have even more boldness to intensify the all-out war of suppression Oplan Bayanihan. Aquino wants the reactionary congress to help in expanding funds for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Human rights violations will become even more brutal in the next three years as Aquino desperately attempts to defeat the people’s democratic struggles and armed resistance. He likewise wants to expand funds for his deceptive “pantawid-pamilya,” Pamana and Kalahi programs, which will only be pocketed by military commanders and local bureaucrat capitalists.

The biggest problems and issues being faced by the Filipino people were ignored in the previous election. Except for the efforts made by a number of progressive parties that joined the elections, the debates and discussions during the campaign failed to focus on the people’s demand for land reform and national industrialization, higher wages, lower prices, jobs, a stop to demolition, affordable housing and other democratic demands.

Because the recently concluded elections are not expected to bring basic changes to the Filipino people, they have no other recourse but to intensify their struggles against the pro-imperialist and antipeople Aquino regime. The people must build their broad unity and isolate the US-Aquino regime. They must thoroughly push for their interests and launch ever intensifying and ever expanding mass struggles and armed resistance for their national and social liberation.