By Juan dela Cruz
Dear Trump Voters,
Greetings from the Philippines.
Quite a few of us are watching the election situation develop over there, and speaking from personal experience, quite a few Filipinos believe that Biden cheated his way to electoral victory. I suspect this is true for other parts of the world as well.
I watched the elections, the pause in counting, the statistical anomalies behind it and the never ending barrage of media gaslighting. I want to help your struggle in some way, and this is the only way I know how. I felt that what was happening in Burgerland now can have tremendous effects on the world, and so I wanted to share my two cents for what it’s worth.
As an outsider, I saw Trump’s administration as an attempt, sometimes clumsily, to push back against the forces that wish to create a post-national world. That said, I am a supporter of President Trump for two reasons.
Firstly, with the exception of a few bombings, Trump reduced American forces abroad. Looking at some of his deals, he was more reciprocal with his America First policy than previous American administrations.
And secondly, he was the only American President in recent years who acted as the leader of a sovereign nation rather than as a global bureaucrat. As for the rest of his policies, I would want those very same policies for my own country: economic nationalism and immigration restrictions. I would be a hypocrite if I were to expect Americans to want the opposite of that.
So as I continue to watch the events taking place over the 2020 elections, I wish to relate a somewhat similar event that took place in the Philippines more than 30 years ago: the EDSA People Power Revolution.
Contrary to what some edgy foreigners believe, Marcos was not a fascist. His and his wife’s antics did not fit the fascist archetype. He was merely the product of a corrupt society. That’s all.
When the call to throw him out of power finally came, Filipinos of all ages came together in solidarity. It was not a completely peaceful affair. There was the very real risk of a civil war exploding at that time had someone make just one false move.
The Philippines was already in a precarious state even before then. Maoist guerrillas were increasing their activities, the economy was slumping and there was anarcho-tyranny in the more urban parts of the country.
Things came to a head when someone killed President Marcos’ biggest political enemy, Benigno Aquino, when he returned from America. At that point, there was talk of rebellions, civil war and all that good stuff.
Soon, the Marcos administration was pressured by your government to hold a snap election. The outcome was similar to the 2020 American Presidential election:
Election Day. NAMFREL (National Movement for Free Elections) mobilized 400,000 volunteers to monitor voting, challenge wrongdoing, and guard against fraud. Broadcast alerts over Radio Veritas urged volunteers into troubled areas to stop ballot boxes from being stolen or tampered with.
Cory Aquino (Benigno Aquino’s widow and Marcos’ electoral opponent) took the lead in NAMFREL’s tally of precinct results. She vowed massive protests and daily street demonstrations if cheated. The government’s counting proceeded more slowly and showed Marcos leading.
Led by Linda Kapunan, 30 computer technicians manning the COMELEC tabulation machines walked out of their posts to protest alleged deliberate changing of election results (Sound familiar?). A multinational team of observers cited cases of vote-buying, intimidation, snatching of ballot boxes, tampered election returns, and the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters, especially in Metro Manila, by the ruling party.
President Marcos took a virtually irreversible lead over opposition candidate Cory Aquino in the Batasan’s official canvass of votes. This, despite efforts of opposition MPs to point out defects in almost all certificates of canvass opened by Speaker Nicanor Yniguez. Statistical improbabilities were also cited.
The Batasang Pambansa formally proclaimed Marcos winner of the February 7 elections; all 50 opposition Members of Parliament walked out in protest.
At a “victory rally,” Corazon Aquino called for coordinated strikes and the boycott of crony media, 7 banks, Rustan’s department store, and San Miguel Corporation in a civil disobedience campaign aimed at overthrowing Marcos.
The US Senate voted 85 to 9 in favor of a declaration that the snap election in the Philippines was marked by “widespread fraud.”
From February 22 to 25, a series of demonstrations called the EDSA Revolution erupted all over Manila. Eventually, Marcos was brought down and was replaced by Aquino. I won’t say things went well after that, but what mattered is that the Filipino people fought and risked much to assert their sovereignty.
That’s what matters in the end. Sovereignty – the will and courage to stand and fight no matter the battlefield – that, not democracy, is the source of freedom.
This is what you are ultimately fighting for, the sovereignty of your people not necessarily against the iron fist of a tyrant (which is the bogey man of a decaying liberal society) but against something more sinister, the artificial creation of a false reality by institutional powers.
Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that the EDSA Revolution is not completely similar to the 2020 American Presidential Election but there are similarities. Both involve a highly tense political situation that could spiral into something worse. Both involved electoral anomalies perpetrated by one side. Both involved popular uprisings against said anomalies.
Know that you are fighting for something greater than yourselves. Know that the eyes of the world are upon you.
I wish I could do more, but this letter will have to do. Mabuhay, at sana patuloy ninyong labanan ang mga katiwalian.