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Dallas, TX: Filipinos protest fraud-ridden election wins of Marcos, Duterte

By staff

Dallas TX, – On Wednesday, May 11 over 30 protesters, consisting of Filipinos and allies rallied at Main Street Garden Park in downtown Dallas to protest the recent victory of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (son of U.S.-allied dictator Ferdinand Marcos) and the election of Sara Duterte (daughter of current reactionary president Rodrigo Duterte) in the Philippines presidential elections.

Chants present at the rally include “Never again, never again! Never again to martial law!” and “The people united will never be defeated!”

Nap Pempeña of Malaya Texas stated, “What we're up against in the next few years, what is imminent, is a threat to democracy, the merging of the most vile, corrupt, heinous families in Philippines society.”

Several people who lived in the Philippines in the martial law period of the Marcos dictatorship spoke about their experiences, including a clergyman whose fellow priests had been persecuted by Marcos, and a woman whose brothers were imprisoned and tortured.

Cassandra Swart of the Dallas Anti-War Committee stated, “Just as the United States had done in Indonesia in 1965, or Chile in 1973, the United States had thousands of people killed in the Philippines in the name of anti-communism which was interlinked with the interests of American corporations worldwide.”

Swart continued, “The struggle waged by the Filipino people against a Marcos-Duterte presidency is a direct fight against U.S. imperialism. The Dallas Anti-War Committee extends its solidarity to everyone here and in the Philippines opposing Marcos, Duterte and U.S. imperialism.”

Josh Rudd of the Dallas Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines gave a speech criticizing American imperialism and discussed an ongoing campaign against Lockheed Martin, which provides weapons to Duterte to persecute activists and workers. “A lot of this military aid that goes to the Philippines comes from companies that are based and headquartered here in Dallas, here in Fort Worth, here in Grand Prairie. Those bombs that go to the Philippines and bomb the island of Mindanao, some of those are produced here. Those F-35 jets that go and patrol over the Visayas are produced here in Fort Worth,” stated Rudd.

Jhad Villena of Malaya Texas discussed their experience as a Filipino American and compared the state of politics in the Philippines and United States. “So here in 2022, how many elections have been marketed to us as this is the most important election in our life. How many times? We can barely keep count, because it's not just in the United States, it's in France, it's in Brazil, it's in the Philippines. There's a broader economic structure that ties all of these conditions together. The reason why no matter how many progressive administrations or candidates are elected or come to power, why does fascism keep coming back? There's a reason for all this, and it's not just central to the Philippines, it's central to the United States, it's a shared system,” stated Villena.

The rally was called by Malaya Texas, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns Texas, the Dallas Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Texas for Leni-Kiko, with support from the Dallas Anti-War Committee, the Palestinian Youth Movement. and the Democratic Socialists of America. The protest was one of several protests going on simultaneously across Texas, including in Houston and Austin.

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