Philippines Elections 2020 Part II
The end of 2020 in the heated climate of anti-communism
Contemplative, even happy Christmas time? Nothing of the sort this year, although the Philippines is the stronghold of Roman Catholicism in Southeast Asia, and Christmas time there usually starts in early September. Unlike in previous years, there was no agreed ceasefire this time between the armed forces (AFP) and the fighters of the New People’s Army (NPA), the guerrilla organization of the Communist Party (CPP). Both are part of the political underground alliance of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), to which a total of 18 mostly sectoral organizations currently belong.
At the beginning of his term in office in the summer of 2016, the new President Rodrigo R. Duterte had full-bodied announced that he would resume negotiations with the NDFP and seek to sign a permanent peace treaty with it. In retrospect, this presidential suggestion turned out to be a tough calculation to bind the radical left to itself and to pacify it politically. For two years, however, there has been an open war between the two parties, ever since Duterte torpedoed the peace negotiations with the NDFP, which last took place under the auspices of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry in Oslo, and now branded its members and sympathizers as “communist terrorists”. A curse that the regime last affirmed and announced on Christmas Day, Freeze accounts of NDFP-affiliated associations.
According to the constitution, Duterte wants to use the last year and a half of his term of office in the circle of the AFP and police officers around him to »eliminate communist terrorism«.
At least seven murders made headlines in the ten days before Christmas alone – including the murder of a lawyer and two unarmed people who were literally executed by a police officer in Paniqui (Tarlac province north of Manila) in front of a mobile phone camera. The two victims, mother and son, were struck down by the police officer for “noise pollution” who was already involved in two homicides but was released for lack of evidence. Time and again, officials in killings or murders not only pull themselves out of the noose of petty criminals, drug dealers or drug users by pointing out that the victims have offered extreme resistance or threatened with a weapon. A couple of doctors who fell victim to so-called red-tagging, the public defamation of people as alleged “communists”,“terrorists” or both, were also murdered.
According to hyperrestaurant, Baby Maria Concepcion Landero-Ole is now the 54th person from the legal profession to be deplored as a victim of an extrajudicial execution during Duterte’s tenure. She was shot by a stranger on a motorcycle while driving a car. The Philippines Bar Association wrote a letter dated December 17, calling on the government to
end impunity in the country immediately. “When lawyers, judges, prosecutors and members of the judiciary are murdered with impunity and with alarming regularity,” the letter reads, “nobody feels safe, our people lose trust and faith in our government and its judicial system, and so do they Unscrupulous people are encouraged to take the law into their criminal hands. ”
On Boxing Day, the 52nd founding day of the Communist Party, the CPP Central Committee also spoke out with a public message: “Duterte does not have the voluntary and unreserved support of the masses. What he claims and projects as support is actually enforced obedience and conformity, enforced through fear, with the military and police invading almost all aspects of civil life. ”
The state is divided into 18 regions – including two autonomous areas with limited self-government, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The regions are in turn divided into 81 provinces, cities and municipalities, with the Barangay (formerly Barrio) representing the lowest administrative unit and corresponding to a city or district.
With an institutional reform, the government of President Fidel V. Ramos tried in 1991 to enable the population to participate more in politics and initiated a process of decentralization and regionalization of power with the Local Government Code (LGC). The Ministry of the Interior offers access to individual Local Government Units.
The LGC institutionalized the participation of non-governmental organizations (non-governmental organizations, NGOs) and people’s organizations (People’s Organizations, POs) in local administration, planning and implementation of development programs and thus tries to lowest political levels “checks and balances” to anchor. Problems existed and existed because both the relevant authorities and the NGOs / POs were initially not prepared for such a change and the requirement of power sharing depends on factors that vary greatly from region to region.
Local Government Units (LGU)
The Local Government Units, established in accordance with the Local Government Code passed in 1991 during the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos, see themselves as a hinge between the central authorities in Manila and the local civil society groups. It is about increased political participation at local and regional level and the active involvement of such groups in the planning and decision-making processes in the implementation of planned project plans. Often it is financing problems that make it difficult for the various actors to work together smoothly and ultimately thwart the implementation of such projects.