“Duterte and his parrot, Roque, have had it all wrong. From the start, they have done nothing but ridicule the mass movement. This is why they will not succeed – no matter how much brute force they use against the people.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – “Power lies in the people, not with the people in power,” said Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago as she lambasted Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in his sneer at Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison.
In a report, Roque belittled Sison’s call to the youth of today to emulate the youth of the First Quarter Storm in 1970 and launch huge mass actions against the Duterte administration. He said present issues such as the railroading of the Tax Reform for Inclusion and Acceleration (TRAIN), attacks against the press and moves to amend the constitution are enough for the youth to mobilize mass actions against the government.
Read: FQS: A look back at those days of disquiet
But Roque downplayed Sison’s call to the youth.
“Duterte and his parrot, Roque, have had it all wrong. From the start, they have done nothing but ridicule the mass movement. This is why they will not succeed – no matter how much brute force they use against the people,” Elago said in a statement.
Elago said the worsening economy, increasing human rights violations and the centralization of power in a strongman are enough to spur the people to action.
“Just like during the tuition and price hikes during the First Quarter Storm and the Marcos regime, anti-people policies such as TRAIN and Charter Change continue to anger the youth and fuel their rage and clamor for change,” she said.
Elago also said that for the past year huge mass movements were held by several progressive groups criticizing the Duterte government such us the Sept. 21 Luneta Rally against tyranny.
Read: Big, broad Luneta rally delivers a resounding ‘Never again to Martial Law’
She said it is Duterte and his regime that is stuck in the 1970s and not Sison as it “tries to reenact martial law in the country and impose an era of tyranny and dictatorial rule.”
“He wants to revive the Philippine Constabulary and honor the despicable dictator. Duterte’s fake news army is the modern version of Marcos’ propaganda machine, and he’s attacking the press just like his idol did. He’s playing by the old and tried Marcos playbook,” said Elago in response to Roque who said that Sison is stuck in the 70s.
Anakbayan secretary general Einstein Recedes meanwhile said history has proven that the people’s movement could topple a tyrannical rule.
“Duterte and his lackeys like Roque might as well take a look back in the past to see how people’s organized resistance similar to the FQS movement prevailed and helped topple a dictatorship such as that he is currently trying to install. The Filipino masses’ revolutionary strength is not something to be belittled and underestimated,” Recedes said.
Recedes said a huge mobilization and walkout led by the youth is scheduled on Feb. 1 and 23 to express their dissent against Duterte administration’s anti-people neoliberal policies and to spoil the president’s fascist dictatorship.
“Duterte has intensified the crisis in our society strong enough to generate an even stronger resistance. Youth and students from across the country, together with the wider masses, will take to the streets in droves to thwart his dictatorial ambition,” Recedes said.