By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
May 28, 2018
There is really a high potential for huge mass protests or even people´uprisings on a nationwide scale if the Duterte regime cannot stop the rapid and relentless rise of the prices of basic consumer goods and services.
The soaring prices are the result of the TRAIN law which cut back the taxes on corporations and wealthy people but impose huge taxes on consumer goods and services at the expense of the overwhelming majority of the people.
Passing on the tax burden to the impoverished people is supposed to assure the government of revenues to pay for the rapidly excalating costs of military, police and intelligence operations, budgetary and trade deficits and servicing of the local public debt and foreign loans.
Remember how the Marcos fascist regime wobbled in the long run due to costlly government operations and excessive foreign borrowing. Or more relevantly remember how in the short run the Estrada regime caused a huge budgetary deficit by attacking the MILF and this became connected with other major issues by which the mass movement demanded the resignation or ouster of the Estrada regime.
Currently, the chain of financial irresponsibility, the imposition of a high tax burden on the ordinary people and the soaring prices of basic goods and services easily connects with other incendiary issues, such as the mounting threat of dictatorship under the guise of federalism, the rampant human rights violations, corruption, persistence of the drug problem and the treasonous sell-out of the sovereign rights of the people in the West Philippine Sea.
The soaring prices of basic goods and services can ignite an unprecedented revolutionary upsurge due to a wide range of issues that motivate the mass movement and broad united front for the resignation or ouster of Duterte. The deteriorating economic conditions can also motivate s significant group of military officers in the AFP to withdraw support from the regime.
You have a cocktail of incendiary issues far more explosive than those that confronted Estrada. Estrada considered himself so popular that he could fight any one, any organization or institution. But Duterte is far more pugnacious and provocative than Estrada ever was.
His foul-mouthed attacks on a far wider range of enemies are now bringing to his head an avalanche of strongly-worded repudiation and condemnation. Just consider that usually soft-spoken Archbishop Villegas has found justification in calling Duterte regime as the reign of mass murder and vulgarity. ###