NEW YORK—Filipino-American community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis told members of the media why keeping the Senate independent keeps democracy in the Philippines.
"President Duterte can do everything he wants if the Senate becomes his ally," said Lewis.
Political scientist Ramon Mappala, who was among those rounded up and jailed by the Marcoses during the martial rule in the 1970s, said Duterte’s playbook looks familiar.
"It’s right out of Marcos's playbook -- control of the government and of the 3 branches of government in trying to rule as a dictator," said Mappala.
Community leaders in New York are calling on voters in the Philippine midterm elections to keep in mind the importance of a free and independent Senate to keep not only the leaders in check, but to make democracy alive in the Philippines.
“On May 13, you are going to choose between dictatorship or democracy. May 13, the Filipino people will be choosing an independent Senate that says no to dictatorial tyranny and extrajudicial killings or the other side,” Lewis said.
Community leaders said one way to do all this is to vote in the 2019 Philippine midterm elections.
Read more on Balitang America.