In the first part of this series, we showed how the weakening of democratic institutions in the country can be traced to the establishment of neoliberal economic policies, which have given rise to a populist backlash.
The Philippine debt driven, crony capitalist growth of the 1970s under Pres. Marcos led to the IMF prescribed austerity measures of the 1980s under Pres. Cory Aquino and the globalist trend of the 1990s under Pres. Fidel Ramos. The Philippine state and its economy was too weak for the state to say no to the imposition of policies from external lenders.
This led to a populist backlash from the left in 1998, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis. The election of Pres. Joseph Erap Estrada was a response to the austerity under which the government had to spend more on debt service than education contrary to our constitutional provisions. It was also based on Erap’s charisma and cult of personality.