PHILIPPINES: DICTATOR DUTERTE OPENS A YEAR OF CRUEL REPRESSION
The reactionary totalitarian regime of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines marked a new, 2021 year – “the year of cleansing the country from internal enemies, for the sake of consolidating power and patriotic law-abiding people.” For the people of this country, this means a new wave of bloody, and, obviously, even more massive, repressions. R. Duterte has long been known in the world for constantly resorting to forceful suppression of dissent among the masses, from which not only those who consciously fight the regime suffer, but also peaceful unarmed representatives of student and agrarian unions. Many of the social and political activists who survived after a series of repressions who fought for the oppressed workers and peasants of the Philippines are forced to emigrate to other countries …
Among the international community, Duterte’s rule has long been “famous” for the inadequate use of the repressive state apparatus for the physical extermination of numerous opponents of the regime – the communist-Maoist formations, and with them – peaceful peasants, workers and representatives of the national indigenous minorities. In order to fall under the repressive machine. The accusation of “sympathy for the guerrilla insurgent New People’s Army of the Philippines” is enough – and the pro-government media “stick” the label of unreliable elements to any group of residents of the country, and therefore, according to the perverse logic of the regime, – the label of communists against whom it is necessary to fight – for the consolidation of power and the Filipino people. ” To combat such, and in fact – to fight against the majority of its people, in addition to law enforcement and security structures, the power elite of the Philippines uses the militants of the radical ultra-right militarist organization “Duterte Youth”, created by the dictator in 2020, – in the context of the “program for the development of youth politics of patriotism and sports”. This step by R. Duterte naturally evokes a historical association with the German-fascist Hitlerjugend, which in the “Third Reich” was also set against internal enemies. Special units “Duterte Youth” (undergoing special training at the Ilagan military training camp under the instruction of officers of the Russian PMC “Feraks”), and equipped with the latest weapons, deployed their “security corps” on the territory of student campuses. Consequently, at the beginning of the new year, 2021, representatives of student resistance movements should expect the threat of intensifying repression, from which many of them have already suffered in January of this year. Communists, socialists, youth and student and workers’ organizations, as well as the New People’s Army of the CPF, are preparing for enhanced self-defense and a new phase of the struggle against the current regime.
While Duterte certainly has his own ambitions, the “general strengthening of the Philippine state” is primarily aimed at preparing for a broader fight against the populace of the Philippines, who have recently suffered as from a pandemic, for which the authorities have little to do. undertake as well as against frequent natural disasters. All of this is taking place against the backdrop of an economic downturn, generating unemployment and increasing poverty. These factors, along with a lack of government assistance as an adequate response to emergencies, have the potential to increase frustration and anger among the masses.
Since December 2019, the Duterte regime and the Philippine military have been conducting the so-called. “A campaign against the “red labels”, accusing many of their ill-wishers of supporting the rebellious Communist Party of the Philippines, which created the New People’s Army (NNP-NNA) in the provincial hinterland of the country, which is natural, difficult to penetrate there by representatives of the security forces, locality. This gave the regime an excuse to use the new “anti-terrorism” law passed last year to suppress dissent. Many left-wing, human rights and youth organizations have been and continue to be harassed by state security officials and Duterte Youth militants on baseless charges. A striking example is the University of the Philippines (UP), which R. Duterte personally accused last November of serving as a recruiting site for the NNP-NNA.
In early January 2021, Defense Minister Dolphin Lorenzana suddenly announced the end of the UP-DND Agreement. This is a long-standing agreement between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the University of the Philippines (UP), according to which the former cannot send the police or the army to any of the 32 UP branches across the country, except in cases of hot pursuit of opponents of the regime. and – in similar emergencies, where assistance is requested by pro-government university officials. A few days later, R. Duterte personally supported this step to break the Agreement, which would finally “untie the hands” of the reactionary forces.
The UP-DND Agreement was a legally binding agreement that was negotiated in response to the media hype surrounding the abduction by the Filipino military and the wrongful conviction of UP student journalist Donato Continente, charged with the 1989 murder of an American military officer …
Students’ rights in the Philippines have been trampled by police and military forces for a long time, despite the Agreement. Now the repression of the Filipino youth will fall with renewed vigor.
The decision immediately drew backlash from UP students who have resorted to protesting on campus despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s limitations. Many teachers also joined the students. Now the hashtags #DefendUP and #StopTheAttacks have started flashing on social media, with the help of which the people of the Philippines show their solidarity with the protesters.
Regardless, the regime is ready to expand its invasion to other campuses. Days after the UP-DND agreement was terminated, Defense Secretary Lorenzana announced that a similar agreement with the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) could also be terminated. The PPP students immediately responded to the proposal with their own protests, but we were told that the protesters and demonstrators were unlawfully harassed by Duterte Youth fighters.
Outside university campuses, criticism of the regime’s overwhelming repression and human rights activists have also been targeted by government security forces. For example, on January 21, 2021, officials, without presenting documents with the right to search and arrest, threatened Alex Dandai, chairman of the Anakbayan organization, one of the largest Socialist student organizations in the country, in his own home. On the same day, indigenous rights activist and popular CPA chairman Windel Bolinget was forced to obey long-term threats from the authorities after the local police department ordered his arrest. At the same time, there was a clause in the order, according to which it was authorized to shoot to kill, if Windel Bolinget resisted.
These incidents vividly illustrate the crackdown launched last year as part of the campaign against the red labels and the new anti-terrorism law. In the name of eradicating the rebellious guerrilla Popular Front NPP-NPA, many left-wing and social activists were included in the state lists as terrorists and objects of special surveillance. Some of them have already been killed or disappeared without a trial or investigation.
This atmosphere of state terror has existed in the country since Rodrigo Duterte came to power. He immediately launched an open “war on drugs” and “terrorists”, which further encouraged the police to use violence with impunity. Last December, a police officer on duty in Tarlac shot a 52-year-old woman and her son, hitting a defenseless victim in the head, on the basis of someone’s “noise complaint.” This act of police brutality was captured on video and quickly spread on social media, sparking a storm of public outrage against state violence, and a new hashtag, #StopTheKillingsPH, was launched on the networks. Since R. Duterte came to power, and after he declared a “war against drugs and terrorists”, more than 8000 people have been killed.
In addition to attacks on the recently radicalized opposition to the regime, and government repression on university campuses and on the streets as part of the so-called “campaign against the “red labels”, R. Duterte is also trying to oust the systemic opposition from the Philippine Congress. In November 2020, the head of the regime addressed the media with accusations that “the communist rebels took advantage of the party list of the current electoral system, ostensibly to infiltrate the legislature. Thus, the President of the Philippines called on his supporters in Congress to begin large-scale action to revise the country’s Constitution. And while these actions seem far less offensive than the massive campaigns of repression long unleashed by the power elite against the Filipino people, there has also been a message that the dictator wants to completely abandon the party-list electoral system that currently exists in the Philippine legislature. … This can lead to suppression and numerous facts of repression against representatives of small political opposition parties, who received seats in the Philippine legislature on the basis of party lists.
In addition, it became known that the Duterte regime has already made a preliminary decision that from May 2021 the right of foreigners, both individuals and corporations, will enter into force – “to own land and hold controlling stakes; sectors of geological exploration of oil and gas, mining, as well as – to buy out in the form of private property the Philippine media and educational institutions. ” This political step leads to the final deprivation of the Philippines of its independence as a state, as as a result, the dependence of all economic sectors of the Philippines on the interests of TNCs will be increased. The dictator announced to the people that this step is being taken as a measure to bring the Philippines out of the economic crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The large-scale actions that have now begun in the Philippine Congress to revise the country’s Constitution are viewed by the country’s public as a way and application of R. Duterte to implement his long-standing plan to adopt a new federal Constitution in the Philippines. The dictator has long argued that the adoption of specially approved clauses in the future new Constitution will allow local governments “to break free from the stranglehold of the central state, based in Manila.” In fact, the revision of the constitution could just be his Trojan horse, which could extend his presidential term and empower his ultra-right supporters in the government.
However, in order to achieve the adoption of the New Constitution, R. Duterte would have to convince his allies in the Congress – to turn into a “Constituent Assembly”, which, in turn, will be able to lobby for constitutional changes. Although the issue is currently not fully resolved, the President of the Philippines has a significant number of allies who will support his efforts in Congress. The intensification of state repression and the officially declared struggle against the “red labels” can be used by the dictator R. Duterte as a means of suppressing opposition inside and outside Congress. Thus, in fact, the fascist regime of R. Duterte centralizes its power through a “campaign against” red labels “in order to push through measures in accordance with the will of Duterte to strengthen the regime’s power in the Philippines.
Prepared by the rebel armed forces, already together with the actively emerging youth urban opposition movement – Hour “X”; When a much more massive and widespread struggle against the people of the Philippines begins against the criminal arbitrariness of the ruling fascist dictatorship, not only of the national but also of the capitalist transnational class, which owns many of the enterprises and resources of the Philippines and whose elite is mercilessly draining the country, it is only a matter of time. Today’s class struggle, constantly latently waged on the territory of the country, tempered and trained in fire practice, will flare up brightly and revolutionary in the Philippines. But in order to put an end to the suffering of the masses under the becoming unbearable occupation of the right-wing Duterte regime and the predatory imperialist forces, a real organized programmatic leadership of the masses will be required to avoid spontaneity, and this is only capable of the Marxist-Leninist Maoist leadership of the coming processes. The people of the Philippines are increasingly realizing that this is the only chance to defeat the class enemy, since its communist army is armed with a genuine class dialectical theory, and has a unique practice of combat strategy. And, most importantly, the main threat to the inhuman regime of Duterte – the New People’s Army of the Philippines – is not isolated, but has been operating for the second year in integration and coordination with those internationalist revolutionary structures, whose support is simply obliged to play a decisive role in the victory of the Philippine people over the gang of the country’s ruling class…
comrade Sonia Licalter
with informational support of the
17th Network Staff ICSA “SOUTH-EASTERN STAR”
specially for Resistentiam.com