Demokrasya, hindi diktadura (Arkibong Bayan)
Activists hold a rally in front of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City during the 33rd anniversary of 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt. (Arkibong Bayan)

The protracted democratization process began during the reform and revolutionary periods of Philippine history, but was derailed and interrupted by both US conquest as well as by the treachery of the rural gentry that had hijacked the Revolution.

After nearly 50 years, the dynasties descended from the principalia of the Spanish period that the US trained for “self government” took over and have since monopolized political power. The same bureaucrat capitalists and their imperial patrons could not allow the demand for political, economic and social reforms in the 1960s  to complete the democratization process, thus the declaration of martial law in 1972 with US support.

Hopes that the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship  could resume the democratization process have since been dashed to pieces by the return of the Marcoses and their collaborators to power, and almost inevitably, the rise of Duterte and company.

What has made the process so protracted are fundamentally its opponents: imperialism and its local accomplices. But there is as well the human factor: the vast, uninformed majority that has been corrupted by the very same ruling elite that is responsible for their misery, but whose members, representatives and surrogates they nevertheless elect to office every three years.

Photo from Arkibong Bayan

Prof. Luis V. Teodoro is a former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, where he used to teach journalism. He writes political commentary for BusinessWorld.

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