Between Advocacy and Opposition: The Popular Movements Two Years after the Philippine February

Alexander R. Magno


Two years after the popular uprising of February 1988, an elite-dominated liberal democratic regime form has been effectively instituted. Its populist rhetoric notwithstanding, the new regime form has tended to exhibit conservative characteristics, filtering the demands from the grassroots through the institutions of formal representation and bureaucratic procedures that tend to restrict the political influence of grassroots movements and non-governmental popular initiatives. These characteristics of the new regime present the organized forces with distinct dilemmas. In a twilight zone between advocacy and opposition, the popular movements have suffered from a lack of clear perspective on their political role in the medium term. Divided on the various issues, the mass movements have failed to consolidate a unified political from representing various progressive demands for sweeping social reform.

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