Misunderstanding Duterte and the Philippine Left

I’m not surprised that Jacobin should publish rubbish articles on the Philippine Left given the long hold of Eurocentrism in certain traditions of the Western Left. But the utter sloppiness of the piece, its forcing together of speculations and hearsay just to fit the aim of demonizing the Philippine Left, is pathetic. It’s amazing how some people take to attacking the so-called “dogmatism” of the Left when they themselves dogmatically subscribe to the ruling ideology.

Kapirasong Kritika


There’s this fascist politician who’s a formidable candidate for the presidency in the Philippines and he’s being supported by the authoritarian Philippine Left. That, in sum, is the general impression that “Rodrigo Duterte’s One-Man Revolution,” an essay published last February 19 in Jacobinmag.com and authored by one CJ Chanco, leaves in the minds of the online publication’s international readers.

The impression violates facts and mangles the truth. And not only because the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) or any of the organizations associated with it, simply do not support the presidential candidacy of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. But because, more importantly, Chanco plainly cannot make heads or tails of Duterte as a politician and presidential candidate, of the Philippine Left, and of the relationship between the two – something the verbosity of his article cannot cover up.

On the one hand, Chanco says that Duterte has “a…

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