Duterte desperately clings to the little that’s left of his weakening regime. Amid amplified calls for his ouster, the fascist state now weaponizes social media to wage a psychological war against the people. He again turns to his cheap fascist playbook—spread misinformation to sow disunity and subdue the people’s united fight. As the administration intensifies its attacks both online and on ground, all patriotic youth must also boldly resist and turn its fight into militant collective actions.
In the course of the public health crisis, the broad masses has witnessed nothing from Duterte’s regime but consistent failures and anti-people policies. Duterte has talked about nothing but empty promises and chilling threats against the people. Instead of implementing mass testing, boosting healthcare system, and providing aid, to address the pandemic, the Duterte government is hell-bent on strengthening its brutal war against the people with mass arrests, attacks on press freedom, neoliberal policies, and cash loans to support military modernization.
As a final recipe to the terrors that Duterte is cooking for the disgruntled masses, he and his cronies in Congress and in the Senate are railroading Anti-Terrorism Bill. As this law brands every Filipino as terrorists, especially those who are critical of the regime, it is also coupled with punitive policies that will highly threaten the people’s democracy and civil liberties. Duterte intentionally neglects the Filipinos’ welfare to suppress the people’s democratic fight and to railroad policies that will benefit him, his cronies, and his imperialist masters.
Duterte trembles at the massive ouster campaigns and calls to junk his martial rule in the Philippines. Militaristic lockdowns did not faze the people in collectively fighting for their rights amid the legislation of the bill. Even some of the personalities and part of the ruling class have been critical of the said bill due to its anti-democratic and anti-people objectives. Duterte then takes his social media attacks a notch higher yet, just as cheap—his desperate regime resorted to creating fake accounts from authentic users and utilized such troll accounts to send death threats to his critics. Such accounts even red-tagged members from progressive mass organizations. This is one of the fascist state’s forms of psychological war to silence the Filipinos who are vocal against his dictatorship.
Troll farms are not new under this regime. Duterte used it to spread propaganda that put himself into power. He used it to defend war on drugs and human rights violations. He used those accounts to present his crippling regime as an ideal government when in fact, the broad masses are already mobilizing for his accountability in mishandling this pandemic. It has also been used to intimidate and harass Filipinos who are simply airing out their grievances at the state. Generation and maintenance of troll farms take up millions from the government’s budget, yet the administration focused on upgrading it instead of rechanneling the funds for the healthcare system and alleviate the people’s plight.
The state creates its own enemies daily by the sheer number of peasants, workers, unionists, activists, and more that are being killed by its reactionary armed forces. The people’s urgent calls are being met instead by brutal suppression and human rights violations.
The patriotic and militant youth must expose Duterte’s cheap stunts to spread misinformation that aims to water down their legitimate calls. They must tirelessly arouse the broad masses, organize, and mobilize them to fight in every platform where unity is possible.
The patriotic and militant youth must fight alongside the basic masses. They must demand accountability from the Duterte government to provide the scientific needs in addressing the public health crisis and to junk the Anti-Terrorism Bill. More than this, the people must be relentless in demanding justice for all the lives that the fascist state has taken.
In the guise of quarantine restrictions, the youth are being pushed by the state to take the digital space as its reality—all the while gunning down disgruntled masses everyday. This is why more than ever, the youth must unite and immerse with the toiling masses that directly experience Duterte’s terrors. No amount of state propaganda can discredit the tangible conditions of the oppressed. It is with them that the youth can truly maximize its potential in contributing to the national democratic revolution. They must struggle to primarily turn the fight to the streets and to the countryside where the peasants and workers wage the people’s war for genuine land reform, national industrialization and for a better future for the Filipino people.