Volume IV, Number 14. 31 July 2022.
With the concluding statement of his first State of the Nation Address, “I know this in my mind, I know it in my heart, I know it in my very soul: The state of the nation is sound,” Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reveals his utter lack of understanding of the current Philippine realities. There is nothing sound in the state of the nation!
Marcos Jr. obscures the fact that the country is in deep crisis. Even watered-down official statistics show that 26.14 million Filipinos live in absolute poverty, while 10.19 million more are at a subsistence level. Latest data available shows that the Philippines has the worst unemployment and inflation rates among Southeast Asian countries.
Under Duterte’s watch, government debt ballooned from PhP5.7 trillion (US$103B) in 2016 to PhP12.7 trillion (US$229.5B) in the first quarter of 2022! Marcos Jr. deliberately fails to mention the continuing campaign of state terrorism and gross human rights violations unleashed by the tyrant Duterte, pervasive bureaucratic corruption and military overspending.
Marcos Jr. ignores the mess left by Duterte and instead praises him generously. He is, after all, most indebted to Duterte for the automated electoral cheating that has allowed him to usurp the authority of president.
Notwithstanding the high importance that Marcos, Jr. attaches to tax collection, he keeps mum about his family’s tax obligations amounting to PhP203 billion (US$3.67B). Nullifying their felonious tax obligations are in the works!
Marcos Jr. declares his wish to leapfrog to the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’. It is beyond his comprehension that to develop industrially, the Philippines cannot skip genuine land reform, modernization of agriculture, and national industrialization. Internet connectivity alone cannot replace the prior development of producing machine tools, basic metals and chemicals. Instead of focusing on generating decent jobs in the country, Marcos plans to enhance the same bankrupt ‘labor export policy’ promoted by his father.
Professing himself a nationalist, Marcos Jr. declares that he “will not preside over any process that will abandon even one square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power”. However, he avoids denouncing China for encroaching on the country’s EEZ and taking control over shoals and reefs to use them as military bases, in violation of the UNCLOS and the final judgment of the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal in 2016! He also fails to mention the extra-territorial rights given to US troops under the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement.
In this context, the Filipino people are fully justified in continuing with ever greater resolve and militancy the new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war.