Worsening crisis, death and destruction under Duterte regime

Communist Party of the Philippines | June 30, 2017
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The Duterte regime’s key economic, social, security and foreign relations policies are basically a continuation of past measures which perpetuate the oppressive and exploitative semicolonial and semifeudal system. The US imperialists and the ruling big bourgeois compradors, big landlord class and bureaucrat capitalists remain the dominant forces in his government.

The crisis of the ruling system continues to worsen in the first year under the Duterte regime as it fails to fulfill its promises of change. It has unleashed wars of death and destruction as it adopts ironfisted tactics and fascist methods to secure its rule and serve the interests of the ruling exploitative classes and foreign big capitalists.

The Duterte regime is proving itself to be fundamentally no different from previous regimes in terms of subservience to foreign imperialist-imposed economic and security policies. It is bound to face the Filipino people’s outrage for perpetuating foreign subservience, feudalism and fascism and refusing to heed the demand for basic social, economic and political reforms.

Failed promises of change
Rodrigo Duterte has zero to show to buttress his claims of being a Leftist and socialist. There are no serious policy reform in the social, economic and political fields. He has turned his back on his promise of sweeping changes made during the 2016 elections. He has continued the neoliberal policies of the past three decades which perpetuates the exploitation and oppression of the people.

The broad masses of workers, peasants, unemployed, students, teachers and other small professionals are increasingly disgruntled. They continue to suffer from landlessness and landgrabbing, worsening forms of feudal and semifeudal exploitation, rising costs of living, acute unemployment and job insecurity, low wages, natural and man-made disasters, epidemics and lack of affordable and quality social services. Millions of students continue to be burdened by tuition increases and rising costs of education.

To the great dismay of workers, not only has Duterte failed to fulfill his promise to end contractualization, he has even reinforced the policy by setting regulations for it. Workers’ wages remain extremely low. Workers continue to suffer from dangerous working conditions leading to fires and other accidents.

Contrary to the peasant clamor to stop land conversions, he is pushing for the conversion of thousands of hectares of land, particularly in Mindanao, to become oil palm plantations. He has given scant support to measures to distribute land at Hacienda Luisita and gave mere token support to the struggle of the Lapanday farmers to occupy their land. Declarations of support for free land distribution has served only as soundbytes. He has perpetuated the policy of rice importation to the detriment of local peasants and the general public.

The economic policies of the Duterte regime are a continuum of the neoliberal policies of the past three decades plus. These are geared at achieving superficial high growth rates by drawing in increased foreign investments. As before, the Duterte regime’s policies perpetuate the export-oriented and import-dependent semimanufacturing and backward agrarian economy.

Duterte’s 10-point economic agenda perfectly dovetails with the economic policies of the previous Aquino regime. As before, the Duterte regime’s “economic growth” is hinged on foreign investments and calls for further liberalizing investment policies by removing constitutional restrictions, building infrastructure for rapid transport lines from the ports to the labor enclaves and increasing government revenue by imposing additional tax burden on the people.

Duterte’s economic planners have announced the start of a so-called “golden age of infrastructure” anticipating large amounts of loans from China and Japan. These infrastructure projects, including the Manila-Clark and Mindanao railroads as well as land reclamations in Manila and Davao port areas, primarily aim to pave the way for rapid transport of raw materials as well as semimanufactures from labor enclaves to the international export market.

The Duterte regime has announced plans to spend $8 trillion over the next five years, funded largely by foreign loans, mostly from China. Such a plan will make the country a virtual debt slave, vulnerable to economic, political and military impositions of China. This situation will be no different from how the country was forced to comply with US-IMF-World Bank imposed conditionalities throughout the Marcos and post-Marcos regimes after levels of foreign debt soared to unprecedented heights.

Duterte’s tax reform plan, a rehash of old proposals, is set to impose additional tax burdens on rented homes, petroleum products, sweetened drinks and salt aimed to generate at least $600 billion to service the loans for the planned infrastructure binge.

Strongman rule: widespread death and destruction
Duterte has increasingly employed strongman tactics to establish and reinforce his rule. He has displayed all-out ruthlessness believing he can use his large number of electoral vote as license to attack the people.

He has abetted soldiers and police to unleash fascist violence with impunity. He has pampered the AFP and PNP with perks and benefits. He has appointed close to 60 former military and police generals and officers to key positions in his government. He relies primarily on the reactionary state’s armed forces to perpetuate his rule.

In less than a year, he has launched three wars: a so-called “war against drugs” (Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel) which is directed more against the poor; an all-out war of suppression (Oplan Kapayapaan) against the people’s national democratic cause; and a war against the Moros marked by the AFP siege and destruction of Marawi City (under the state of martial law in Mindanao).

In utter contempt of the Filipino people, Duterte has repeatedly praised the Marcos dictatorship and military rule in the vain hope of making his plans to establish himself as a Marcos-style strongman acceptable. As a political quid pro quo, he gave the Marcos family the long-desired hero’s burial for the dictator in November 2016, thus completing the Marcoses’ political rehabilitation.

Duterte’s “war against drugs” is a virtual campaign of mass murder which has resulted in the killing of more than 8,000 people, mostly poor users and street peddlers. Community social activists have also been targeted. They have been killed by police agents in supposed arrest operations; and by death squads reportedly run and financed by the police. Duterte is using the anti-drug war to make it appear that killings and fascist methods are necessary and ideal in addressing social problems which are rooted in poverty. Meanwhile, big drug lords including Peter Lim and others known to be close to Duterte remain untouched.

The Duterte regime deployed its armed units and occupied at least 500 barangays despite a GRP unilateral ceasefire from August 2016 to February 2017. Subsequent to the termination of the unilateral ceasefire declaration, defense and security officials of the Duterte regime declared an all-out war on February 7, 2017. In line with this, Duterte has ordered the AFP to “flatten the hills” through aerial bombings and shelling. Cases of human rights abuses are on the rise.

Since March, the AFP has carried out around 30 aerial bombardment campaigns in various parts of the country (outside Marawi City), destroying rice fields and forested areas near communities which the AFP suspect to be supportive of the revolutionary movement. At least 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate as a result of such bombardments. There are at more than 70 cases of extrajudicial killings (more than one a week), victimizing mostly activists and organizers among the peasants and national minorities.

Duterte has completely set aside his repeated promise of releasing all political prisoners through a general amnesty proclamation. Around four hundred remain detained. This number continues to rise as the reactionary state forces target and arrest organizers of people’s organizations in line with the Oplan Kapayapaan war of suppression.

On the pretext of a “rebellion” by armed Moro groups in Marawi City, Duterte imposed martial law on the entire Mindanao island on May 23. He whipped up Islamaphobia combined with an all-out psychological offensive to draw support for his martial law declaration from among the reactionaries as well as the conservative and politically backward sections of Philippine society.

He has practically served Marawi and Mindanao on a silver platter for the AFP. For more than a month now, the AFP has been on a rampage of rape and plunder. On Duterte’s orders, the AFP has carried out non-stop bombardment of Marawi reducing the city to dust. Duterte’s big business friends are now eyeing to cash-in on planned government infrastructure building. The AFP’s siege and destruction of Marawi has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis causing grave sufferings to hundreds of thousands of Moros. It is reigniting their widespread armed resistance even as Duterte seeks to draw the MILF and MNLF to new arrangements of “autonomous rule” under the GRP.

Duterte has repeatedly hinted of plans of imposing Marcos-style martial law nationwide. This is an overt threat against his rivals who seek to unseat him. Duterte’s political mob are calling for extending and expanding martial law to enable the ruling regime to railroad these infrastructure projects and ensure that they will bag the contracts and pocket the percentages.

Even prior to martial law, Duterte has brandished his presidential powers combined with the campaign of killings to suppress and threaten his political opponents. Eschewing all legal processes, he locked-up archrival Leila de Lima on drug charges completely disregarding her assertion that she is covered by the Sandiganbayan and not by lower criminal courts. Her detention serves as an example against other senators, congressmen and thousands of other local government, police and military officials who Duterte claims to be listed in his thick collection of drug dossiers.

His broadsides at the Aquino-allied oligarchs have merely served as a veneer to conceal the same rotten oligarchic and dynastic style of rule of his own retinue of hangers-on from among the ruling economic and political elite. Duterte has, so far, maintained supermajority control of the House of Representatives with promises of shares in the projected government contracts.

Factional conflicts within the ruling classes are bound to intensify as US imperialism maneuvers to maintain its dominance. By launching vicious attacks against his rivals among the ruling elite, Duterte has made them ever more determined to unseat him through every possible means including a US-supported coup or junta.

Duterte can counter with a palace coup through a declaration of a Marcos-style martial law. He can most effectively do so only by becoming more and more subservient to US imperialist dictates or, more remotely, by drawing in Russia or China economic and military support.

Subservience to US imperialism, while fawning to China and Russia
The implementation of the AFP’s “Oplan Kapayapaan,” the declaration of all-out war and order to “flatten the hills,” and the imposition of martial law in Mindanao all hew to US security policies and counter-insurgency doctrine. Duterte’s push to use the US-trained AFP to establish a strongman rule has made him more subservient to the security as well as economic policy dictates of the US, the dominant hegemonic power at the base of the Philippine neocolonial client-state.

Duterte launched diatribes against US abuses and intervention in the country. But he has made no more than dispirited measures to put these declarations to actual policy. The best he did was to prohibit the AFP from joining joint patrols with US naval forces in the South China Sea and downplay invasion maneuvers during joint military exercises with the US.

On the other hand, he has granted the US government the following prerogatives: (a) to maintain an unspecified number of troops in the country; (b) to build at least six US military facilities inside AFP camps under the EDCA; (c) to conduct at least 257 military exercises this year under the Mutual Defense Treaty and Visiting Forces Agreement; and (d) to sail its ships in Philippine territorial waters to conduct power projection operations and challenge China’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.

Duterte has also allowed US forces to fly their drones to carry out electronic and intelligence gathering operations (such as in Marawi) thereby allowing them to remote control the AFP’s combat operations. Fearing potential embarrassment, Duterte has chosen to ignore reports that US military forces and AFP officials planned, carried out and botched the Mamasapano-like operation to capture terror-listed Abu Sayyaf-leader Isnilon Hapilon which ignited the Moro resistance leading to the AFP siege and destruction of Marawi.

Duterte declared an independent foreign policy by launching verbal attacks against the US government, but merely to impress China and Russia as an anti-US ally with the hope of encouraging economic and military assistance in the face of the strategic decline of the US and its limited support and resources. He also aims to counter threats of a possible US-supported coup or regime change against him by rival factions of the ruling classes. Using the ISIS bogey, he has sought Russian and China military support for his imposition of martial law in Mindanao.

China responded by promising Duterte with $19 billion worth of loans for big-ticket projects. Big bourgeois compradors are drooling over these projects and are lining-up to Duterte to benefit from government contracts. In the name of supporting the “war against terror,” China also recently gave Duterte a cache of firearms. The regime also signed a number of economic and security agreements with Russia in Duterte’s recent visit.

Instead of calling for the demilitarization of the South China Sea, Duterte has allowed the US to strengthen its foothold in the Philippines while encouraging China and Russia, as well as Japan, to project their military presence in the area. He has offered these military powers the use of Philippine ports for their refuelling and stopovers bringing the Philippines closer to the eye of an inter-imperialist maelstrom in the South China Sea.

Premature demand for bilateral ceasefire disrupts peace talks
At the outset of Duterte’s term, the revolutionary forces saw peace negotiations as an opportunity to explore the possibility of forging an alliance with him on the basis of his past cordial relations with the revolutionary forces in the Southern Mindanao region while he was Davao City mayor as well as his past opposition to US intervention and promises of change.

The NDFP was encouraged by the release of 19 of its consultants, the appointment of its endorsees to head three state agencies and promises of releasing the remaining 400 political prisoners through an amnesty proclamation. In the first round of formal talks, the NDFP acceded to the proposition of the GRP for reciprocal interim unilateral ceasefire declarations in August 2016 and agreed to forge a bilateral ceasefire consequent to the promised amnesty.

The Duterte regime, however, has shown less interest in peace talks as an opportunity to resolve the roots of the raging civil war and more as a means to demand a bilateral ceasefire agreement upending the talks’ agenda. It has applied the US-AFP line of pacification, cooptation at capitulation on peace negotiations resulting in the repeated disruption of the talks.

The revolutionary forces bent over back in the second and third round of talks as the regime came up with one excuse after another to skirt its commitment to release political prisoners. Around January, Duterte’s officials made public commitments to free land distribution to landless peasants to inveigle the revolutionary forces to extend the ceasefire.

However, the Party and NPA was compelled to terminate its ceasefire declaration by February 1 after Duterte’s stubborn refusal to carry out his pledge to release all political prisoners and his blatant disregard of the spirit of the reciprocal unilateral ceasefires with the forward deployment and occupation of at least 500 barangays by AFP troops.

The revolutionary forces reiterated its willingness to continue peace negotiations under the “talking while fighting” modality. Duterte made clear, however, that he will have none of it, as he ordered the rearrest of the NDFP’s peace consultants and subsequently declared an all-out war on February 7.

Without a ceasefire, Duterte disrupted the scheduled 4th round of talks and scrapped plans forged in the third round to thresh out the agreement on socio-economic reforms. To resolve the impassé, an agreement was reached in backchannel talks to restore the unilateral ceasefire declarations together with a commitment to resolve the issues which led to its termination.

Duterte, however, refused to comply and embargoed the scheduled April 2-6 fourth round of talks to insist on forging a bilateral ceasefire agreement. The talks proceeded only after both sides agreed to forge a bilateral ceasefire agreement which the NDFP declared unequivocally will be signed after an agreement on socio-economic reforms is forged.

The fifth round of talks scheduled for May 28-June 2 was cancelled after the GRP declared its non-participation in order to again press the NDFP to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement. It demanded the Party to rescind its order for the NPA to carry out more tactical offensives to counter the AFP’s all-out war heightened by the Duterte regime’s imposition of martial law in Mindanao.

Failing to oblige the NDFP to sign a bilateral ceasefire agreement, Duterte has virtually hostaged the NDFP negotiators and consultants, threatening them with arrest upon return to the Philippines. In subsequent informal talks, the GRP negotiators assured the NDFP that JASIG remain in effect and projected resumption of formal talks in August or September. The GRP, however, will continue to issue statements which tend to disrupt upcoming talks.

Prospects for the following year
Amid the ever-worsening socio-economic crisis in the Philippines and the protracted depression of the international capitalist system, the people are left with no choice but to launch ever more vigorous armed and unarmed struggles and rely on their own efforts to advance their national and democratic cause.

They must advance the people’s movement along the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-fascist line.

They demand the Duterte regime to account for all its unfulfilled promises and put forward their urgent demands for jobs, an end to contractualization, higher wages, an end to landgrabbing, the dismantling and distribution of haciendas and corporate plantations and the free distribution of land to the landless tillers.

They demand the Duterte regime to increase subsidies to expand public hospitals, public health and free housing and end the commercialization of education, health and other public services. They oppose the planned tax reform and other additional burdensome policies.

They are determined to fight Duterte’s strongman rule. They are building a united front of all forces to demand an immediate end to martial law in Mindanao and resist any attempt to impose martial law nationwide. They also strongly oppose plans to implement a national identification system which will only serve to strengthen the police-state.

They are broadening and intensifying their fight to defend human rights. They demand justice for all victims of unwarranted and indiscriminate killings perpetrated by the police and state armed forces in the course of the “war against drugs”. They demand justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings committed by state forces under Oplan Kapayapaan. They call for the release of all political prisoners.

They demand an end to aerial bombardments and shelling and the pull-out of all military troops from civilian communities and a stop to the militarization of civilian agencies and functions.

The revolutionary forces continue to strengthen its unity with the struggling Moro people in their struggle for their right to self-determination.

The Duterte regime will be painting itself to a corner if it chooses to completely abandon the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. Duterte must realize that, within his term, the GRP is incapable of defeating nor forcing back the armed revolution through all-out war even with US support amid the worsening crisis of the ruling system.

It must drop the US counter-insurgency doctrine of pacification and cooptation of forcing the surrender of the revolutionary forces through premature ceasefire and address the key issues of social justice that are the root of the raging armed conflict. The Duterte regime must accede to the just demands of the NDFP and the Filipino people for substantive socio-economic, political and constitutional reforms and let these run ahead of any bilateral ceasefire agreement.

The Duterte regime cannot afford to fight all at the same time the nationwide revolutionary armed forces led by the CPP and the various Bangsamoro armed movements in several fronts in Mindanao.

As the Duterte regime wages all-out war against the revolutionary forces, worsened by imposition of martial law in Mindanao, the NPA has no other choice but to intensify tactical offensives nationwide. The overextension of the reactionary state armed forces works to the advantage of various guerrilla forces in their resistance to defeat the all-out war of the Duterte regime.

Since February, the Party has ordered the NPA to carry out widespread tactical offensives nationwide in order to defend the people and counter AFP abuses. The NPA has launched tactical offensives against armed personnel of the reactionary state as well as armed security of local despots and mining companies. It has seized at least 250 firearms, enough for a new battalion of NPA Red fighters.

The policies of the Duterte regime deepen and worsen the crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system. These, in turn, generate ever favorable conditions for further advancing the people’s war. To serve the people, the revolutionary forces must intensify and broaden the coverage of agrarian revolution in the countryside, further deepen and widen the revolutionary mass base and raise the level of the people’s democratic government, and carry forward widespread and intensive guerrilla warfare.

The NPA must do everything to rapidly build new platoons and companies of regular guerrilla forces and local guerrilla units to enable the people the opportunity to rise up with arms against their exploiters and oppressors. The Party enjoins the Moro people and other national minorities, especially their youth, to join the NPA in order to wage resistance against all their oppressors and defend their right for self-determination.

In the face of the Duterte regime’s all-out war, the NPA must continue to seize the initiative and carry out more and more tactical offensives nationwide in order to derail and blunt the all-out attacks of the AFP, punish the most notorious human rights abusers, defend the interests against the people and bring forward the people’s war.

The crisis of ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system under Duterte is generating a political crisis that may burst forth within the next year. His unfulfilled promises combined with the worsening socio-economic situation is resulting in widespread disenchantment and discontent, especially among the toiling masses of workers and peasants. The Duterte regime cannot escape the forward surge of the people’s struggle for national democracy.

The NDFP Stands in Firm Solidarity with the Venezuelan People and the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela led by President Nicolas Maduro

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) reiterates its firm solidarity with the heroic Venezuelan people and His Excellency, President Nicolas Maduro, as the Constitutional and elected President of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela. The Venezuelan people and government founded on the legacy and inspiration of Comandante and President Hugo Chavez, Simon Bolivar and so many other people’s heroes, have earned the solidarity of freedom-loving peoples and governments in Latin America and the Carribe and other parts of the world.

The united strength of the Venezuelan people and the Bolivarian Government led by President Nicolas Maduro, with the overall international solidarity support of other peoples and governments are firm and strong enough to repel any acts of subversion and attacks by the domestic reactionaries and counter-revolutionary foreign powers.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines vigorously condemns the terrorist attack perpetrated on June 27, 2017 against the headquarters of the Ministry of People’s Power for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace and the Supreme Court of Justice, both in Caracas, as part of a coup plot against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its institutions. We strongly support the valiant efforts of the Bolivarian Government and the Venezuelan people to defeat the domestic and foreign reactionaries behind the coup plot.

We take this occasion to also congratulate the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian Government in celebrating the 206th Anniversary of the Signing of the Act of Independence. We convey our warmest greetings of solidarity to President Nicolas Maduro and in the Philippines to H.E. Capaya Rodriguez Gonzalez, Ambassador Plenipotentiary of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela to the Republic of the Philippines.

Long live the heroice Venezuelan people and President Nicolas Maduro!
Long live the solidarity between the Filipino people and the Venezuelan people!

Luis G. Jalandoni

The US ‘counter terrorist’ ploy and Duterte’s Martial Law

Press Release | 28 June 2017 | Bisaya»

The real scourge of the people of Marawi City and Mindanao

Smoke rises from houses following airstrikes by Philippine Air Force bombers as government forces battle to retake control of Marawi city from Muslim militants who lay siege for nearly a week Saturday, May 27, 2017 in southern Philippines. AP

The NDFP-Mindanao vehemently condemns the continuing aerial bombings, shelling, strafing and other forms of harassment committed by the AFP and PNP in Marawi City and the Lanao del Sur province. In truth, the ones gravely affected by these atrocities are the very lives and livelihood of hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.

Almost non-stop airstrikes and shelling destroyed houses, and razed to the ground commercial buildings and other properties of Marawi residents. The attacks virtually killed the economy of Marawi City, including that of nearby towns in Lanao del Sur and the ARMM region.

Hundreds of thousands evacuated from their homes and sought shelter elsewhere in the country. Many among them suffered in evacuation centers where they are driven to hunger due to lack of food and other basic needs. Others sought help from relatives and friends, but continue to experience tremendous difficulty and discrimination, especially so because they are easily identified as suspected “members of a terrorist group” just for being Moro.

The destruction wrought by the AFP on Marawi City and towards its residents and the Moro people in general is unlike any other in Mindanao’s history. In one fell swoop, the general citizenry of the only Islamic city in the country was bombed, strafed, hunted down, discriminated against, and their properties looted and destroyed at the same time. Duterte’s apology and his promise to rebuild Marawi will never be enough to appease embattled and inflamed Moro masses.

It is a little over a month since Duterte declared Martial law, but the crisis in Marawi City worsened. Clearly, the military solution through Martial Law failed to resolve the existent conflict between and among some Moro clans in the area. As a result of these on-going conflict, it cannot be denied that many among the Moro have taken to arms in past years to defend themselves, some of whom, including the Maute clan, are deeply frustrated with the turn out of the recent peace negotiations between the MILF and the GRP.

Driven by self-preservation and the need for safety, the Moro people were given no other choice but to resort to armed resistance against the destructive offensives of the AFP and PNP. When many among the Moro fought back, the AFP was quick to declare that “ISIS laid siege to Marawi City to establish an Islamic State.” Let it be clear that the armed resistance of the Moro in Marawi City is a concrete manifestation of their deep-seated resentment against the continuing systemic oppression and discrimination of both the Moro and Muslims, as well as against the intent of local ruling classes and foreign capitalists to plunder their ancestral lands.

The NDFP-Mindanao condemns the presence in Marawi City of US military troops, who intervenes by allowing the full use of their military equipment, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, that provide intelligence data to the AFP. Without doubt, US intervention only aggravates the on-going rido among the Moro people. If one recalls, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Daesh in Arabic) was funded and armed by US, through its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to pave the way for taking control of nations in the service of the US’s geopolitical and economic interests.

JOURNEY TO SAFETY Residents fleeing the fighting in Marawi City queue at a government checkpoint as they make their way to Iligan City, where they will seek refuge in evacuation centers. — AFP

The imposition of Martial Law has elicited the ire of the entire people of Mindanao because of increasing violations against human rights and civil liberties, including the discrimination and profiling suffered by Moros residing outside of Marawi City and Lanao del Sur. Cases of warrantless arrests, harassments, intimidation and extra-judicial killings have been on the rise.

The ones to benefit the most from the destruction of Marawi City are the big landlords, big bourgeois comprador and imperialists, who crave to get hold of the Moro people’s ancestral lands and transform them into expansive plantations for oil palm, rubber, etc.; as well as plunder the natural gas, minerals and other natural resources. They will also be the ones who will benefit from the huge fund (mostly from foreign loans) said to be allotted for the “rehabilitation” of Marawi City.

The NDFP-Mindanao calls upon the people of Mindanao and the entire country to unite and urge the Duterte regime to put an end to the grave violations committed by state security forces against people’s rights and basic freedoms, and to immediately lift, without delay, Martial Law.

The people must vigorously push the demand for the AFP to immediately stop the airstrikes, shelling and indiscriminate firing, as well as cease the brutal military operations in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur so that the people could safely return to their homes.

The Moro people must unite to strengthen their struggle for the right to self-determination. The near-genocidal war waged against the Moro people by the reactionary state and US imperialism must be fiercely resisted. We must fight against all forms of discrimination, bigotry and oppression of the Moro people.

We call on all revolutionary forces, friends and allies, and other people’s organizations to extend financial and material aid, as well as moral encouragement, to Marawi City and Lanao del Sur residents victimized by the reactionary government’s unjust war.#

Ka Joaquin Jacinto
Spokesperson
NDFP-Mindanao


Bisaya
Sulat Pamahayag| 28 June 2017

ANG PAKANANG KONTRA-TERORISMO SA US UG MARTIAL LAW NI DUTERTE ANG TINUOD NGA KATALAGMAN SA KATAWHAN SA MARAWI CITY UG SA MINDANAO

Makusganong gikondena sa NDFP-Mindanao ang nagapadayong pagpamomba, pagpanganyon, pagpamusil ug uban pang porma sa pagpanghasi sa AFP ug PNP sa syudad sa Marawi ug probinsya sa Lanao del Sur. Sa tinuod, ang grabeng gi-igo niining kabangis, sukad pa sa unang mga panagsangka niadtong Mayo 23, mao ang gatusan ka libo ka mga ordinaryong lumulopyo sa Marawi City, lakip ang ilang panginabuhian.

Ang halos walay bugto nga mga airstrikes ug shelling grabeng miguba sa mga kabalayan, ug nagsunog ug nag-ugdaw sa mga bilding ug uban pang mga kabtangan sa katawhan. Gipatay niini ang ekonomiya sa Marawi City, lakip na ang silingang mga lungsod niini sa Lanao del Sur ug sa rehiyon sa ARMM.

Gatusan ka libo na ang mibakwit ngadto sa naglain-laing dapit sa nasud. Kadaghanan nag-antos sa mga evacuation centers kun diin nakasinati sila og kagutom tungod sa kakulang sa pagkaon ug uban pang batakang mga panginahanglan. Ang uban midangop sa ilang mga paryente o higala, apan nakasinati usab og grabeng kalisod ug pagbiay-biay, ilabina kay mahimong madudahan dayong mga “sakop sa teroristang grupo” tungod sa ilang pagka-Moro.

Sa aktwal nga nahitabo, ang AFP lang ang nakahimo og sama niining katalagman ngadto sa katawhan sa Marawi City ug Lanao del Sur pinaagi sa paturagas nga pagpamomba, pagpanganyon, pagpamusil, pagpangdakop, pagpanggukod, pagbiay-biay ug pagpanglungkab sa kabalayan sa katawhang Moro. Dili makapa-igo ang pagpangayo og pasaylo ug mga bag-ong saad ni Duterte ngadto sa katawhan sa Marawi City aron mahupay ang kayugot sa katawhang Moro.

Kapin usa ka bulan na ang milabay sukad gideklara ni Duterte ang Martial Law, apan misamot ang krisis sa Marawi City. Tataw nga wala natubag sa kabangis militar pinaagi sa Martial Law ang mga panagbangi sa han-ay sa pipila ka pamilyang Moro sa maong mga erya. Tungod sa maong panagbangi, dili ikalilong nga kaniadto pa man, nagdaghan na ang mga armadong grupo sa ilang han-ay, ug pipila niini, kun asa nahilakip ang mga Maute, nadismaya sa nahitabong panaghisgot pangkalinaw tali sa MILF ug GRP.

Nagtunhay ang rido o bangis nga panagtigi tali sa daku ug impluwesyal nga mga pamilyang Moro sa hisgutanang teritoryo, negosyo, pulitika ug uban pa. Sa Marawi City ug Lanao del Sur, naay mga dagkung pamilya nga nag-rido, sama sa pamilyang Maute batok sa pamilyang Pansar, silang Fajad Pre Umpar Salic ug Ali Solitario (duha ka ex-Mayor nga napildi sa milabayng eleksyon) batok kang Gajul Gandamra (kasamtangang Mayor sa Marawi City), ug daghan pa. Imbes nga tukmang tagdon ni Duterte ug sa mga maki-US nga heneral niini, gisugnuran hinuon kini tungod kay gi-una sa Malacañang ug AFP ang paglunsad og dakung opirisyong militar aron dakpon ang giingong ISIS lider nga si Isnilon Hapilon nga may patong nga 5 ka milyon dolyares. Gani, inay nga mobarug nga nyutral tali sa mga nag-rido nga pamilya, may gidapigan sila, nga nagpasilaob sa kagubot sa Marawi City ug Lanao del Sur.

Alang sa ilang pagtunhay ug kaluwasan, napugos ang katawhang Moro nga armadong mosukol batok sa magun-obong pagpanulong sa AFP ug PNP. Sa dihang daghan na ang misukol, gibandilyo dayon sa AFP nga “teroristang ISIS ang miilog sa Marawi City aron ipabarog ang usa ka Islamic State.” Ang armadong pagsukol sa Moro sa Marawi City kongkretong nagpamatuod sa nag-umidong kasuko sa mga Moro sa mapadayunong sistematikong pagpandaug-daog ug pagbiay-biay kanila ug sa tinguhang kawkawon sa mga nagharing hut-ong ug langyaw’ng kapitalista ang ilang yutang kabilin.

Gikondena sa NDFP-Mindanao ang presensya sa tropang militar sa US diha sa Marawi City ug ang ilang pagpanghilabot pinaagi sa pagpagamit sa ilang kahimanang militar alang sa paniktik. Tataw nga gisugnuran usab nila ang daan nang nagtunhay nga mga rido sa Moro. Kun mahinumduman, ang ISIS (kun Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) gipondohan ug giarmasan sa imperyalistang US aron pulihan ang mga rehimeng dili niya kaalyado o supak sa iyang mga interes sa Middle East. Gigamit niya ang pakanang kontra-terorismo aron makapanulong ug maka-kontrola og mga nasud alang sa iyang pulitikal ug ekonomikanhong interes.

Sa pagpahamtang sa Martial Law, misibaw ang kasuko sa katawhan sa tibuok Mindanao tungod sa grabeng pagpanglapas sa tawhanong katungod ug mga kagawasang sibil, lakip na ang pagbiay-biay ug paggukod sa mga Moro nga nanimuyo sa laing lugar. Mas nagkadaghan na ang mga kaso sa walay mandamyento nga pag-aresto, pagpanghasi, pagpanghadlok ug mga ekstra-hudisyal nga pagpamatay.

Walay laing makapahimulos sa grabeng pagguba sa Marawi City kun dili ang mga dagkung agalong yutaan, dagkung burgesyang kumprador ug mga imperyalista, nga nag-uros-uros ang kahinam nga maangkon ang yutang kabilin sa katawhang Moro aron himuon kining mga halapad nga plantasyon sa oil palm, rubber ug uban pa; ug, minahon ang natural gas, minerales ug uban pang kinaiyanhong mga rekurso. Sila usab ang makabenepisyo sa dagkung pondo nga gitagana alang sa giingong rehabilitasyon sa Marawi City.

Nag-awhag ang NDFP-Mindanao ngadto sa katawhan sa Mindanao ug sa tibuok nasud nga magkahiusa, iduso ang rehimeng Duterte ngadto sa hinanaling pagpaundang sa mga pagpanglapas sa mga batakang katungod sa katawhan ug tapuson na ang Martial Law.

Kinahanglang i-demanda sa katawhan ang hinanaling pagpaundang sa mga pagpamomba, pagpanganyon ug paturagas nga pagpamusil sa AFP ug PNP, ug undangon dayon ang brutal nga opirisyong militar sa Marawi City ug Lanao del Sur aron luwas nga makabalik ang mga lumulopyo.

Gi-awhag nga hugot nga maghiusa ang katawhang Moro aron molig-on ang ilang pakigbisog alang sa katungod sa kaugalingong paghukom. Kinahanglang hiniusang suklan ang reaksyunaryong estado ug US sa ilang pagpuo sa kaliwatang Moro. Pakigbatukan ang tanang porma sa pagbiay-biay ug pagpandaug-daug sa katawhang Moro.

Gi-awhag usab ang tanang rebolusyonaryong pwersa, mga higala ug alyado ug uban pang mga organisasyon sa katawhan nga mogahin og hinabang pinansyal, materyal ug moral ngadto sa mga lumulopyo nga nabiktima sa dili-makatarunganong gera sa Marawi City ug Lanao del Sur.#

Ka Joaquin Jacinto
Tigpamaba
NDFP-Mindanao

Peace Negotiations Between Duterte Regime and Revolutionary Forces Head for the Rocks

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
Source: TelesurTV.Net

Despite Duterte’s avowal of trying to develop an independent foreign policy, pro-U.S. die-hards have their way in sabotaging peace negotiations.

By all major indications, the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) headed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the revolutionary forces represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are heading for the rocks, despite the strong clamor for these negotiations by the public and a broad range of peace advocates and despite the patient and efficient third party role of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) as facilitator.

For more than a year, since May 16, 2016, Duterte has not fulfilled his promise to release more than 400 NDFP-listed political prisoners through general amnesty or the prosecutors’ withdrawal of the false charges of common crimes against them. The promise to release all political prisoners encouraged the NDFP to agree to an acceleration of the peace negotiations on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms in order to address the roots of the now 48 years of civil war between the GRP and NDFP.

But after four rounds of formal talks (two in Oslo in 2016, one in Rome in January 2017 and one in Noordwijk, Netherlands in April 2017), the GRP has steadily backed out of its promise to release all political prisoners and Duterte himself has publicly expressed regrets for having released from prison a mere 19 of them in August last year. These are NDFP political consultants who are protected by the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and should never have been arrested and imprisoned at all. Worst, President Duterte has twice threatened (in February and May 2017) these consultants with rearrest and shoot-to-kill orders while they were engaged in the peace negotiations abroad.

In the course of the four rounds of formal talks, the GRP negotiating panel has given the highest priority to discussions on a prolonged and indefinite bilateral ceasefire in a vain effort to obtain quickly the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and the people. The GRP has blatantly shown diminishing interest in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and in the sequenced forging of comprehensive agreements on social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and on the end of hostilities and disposition of forces.

Duterte retains in his cabinet rabid exponents of U.S.-instigated neoliberal economic policy, like Director General Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic Development Authority, Secretary Carlos Dominguez III of the Finance Department and Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management. He has allowed his “supermajority” in Congress to remove Gina Lopez from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources because of her opposition to the plundering and polluting operations of mining companies.

Duterte has shown a lack of sustained interest in genuine land reform and national industrialization proposed by the NDFP. He has demagogically used the slogan of change only to stick to the status quo and further entrench the interests of the United States and other foreign monopolies and the oligarchy of big compradors and landlords. He prefers continuing the export of raw materials, semi-manufactures, and cheap labor and taking onerous foreign loans to sustain import-dependent consumption and infrastructure building and to cover the ever growing chronic trade deficit and balance of payments.

The NDFP has offered to co-found the Federal Republic of the Philippines with the GRP, provided there are guarantees for political and economic sovereignty, people’s democracy, respect for human rights, development, social justice, patriotic culture and independent foreign policy against foreign dominance, dynasticism, warlordism and other forms of local reaction. But the Duterte regime appears convinced that it alone can proceed to establish an authoritarian regime or even a fascist rule by capitalizing on its supposed “iron hand” success against illegal drugs and by shifting now to an “anti-terrorist” campaign that paves the way for a Marcos-type nationwide martial law, adoption of a new constitution and its ratification by local assemblies run by barangay captains to be appointed by Duterte and controlled by his Kilusang Pagbabago (Movement for Change).

Despite Duterte’s avowal of trying to develop an independent foreign policy in a multipolar world, by approaching China and Russia and reducing the overwhelming U.S. hegemony over the Philippines, pro-U.S. and reactionary die-hards like defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana, national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon and armed forces chief of staff Eduardo Año have their way in perpetuating U.S. dominance over the Philippine military and in sabotaging GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by waging an all-out war policy under Oplan Kapayapaan against the revolutionary forces and people since February 2017 after deviously continuing Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.

Lorenzana, Esperon and Año are hell-bent on escalating offensive campaigns against the New People’s Army and other revolutionary forces and using the peace negotiations to obtain the capitulation and pacification of these forces under the guise of a prolonged and indefinite bilateral ceasefire agreement, which puts aside substantive negotiations and comprehensive agreements on social, economic and constitutional reforms. Such ceasefire agreement is supposed to be coupled with socio-economic dole outs from the GRP and foreign entities and prevent the basic socio-economic reforms demanded by the people.

The so-called security cluster in the Duterte cabinet has Duterte practically on the cusp of its hands on national security issues. Longtime Washington resident Defense Secretary Lorenzana has been able to put U.S. military forces at play in the air and ground surveillance and bombing of Marawi City, resulting in indiscriminate mass destruction of civilian lives and property and the displacement of more than 300,000 people in Marawi and nearby areas. The irony in the Marawi tragedy is that U.S. military intervention has been justified at the highest level of the Duterte regime by the special operations of the CIA-directed and Islamic state (Daesh)-affiliated Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups.

Duterte himself has become insecure, despite his current obeisance to the United States and his own security cluster. He himself has acknowledged that he faces threats of assassination or coup. It seems to be beneficial to Duterte that the United States and his own security cluster are egging him on to include the revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of the Philippines as among the “terrorist” targets of the reactionary state to rationalize a Mindanao-wide and then nationwide proclamation of martial law. But this will make Duterte even more vulnerable to a “soft” coup by the pro-U.S. retired and active generals around him or to a popular broad united front against his regime. When he becomes more of a liability than an asset to the United States, even the pro-U.S. officials around him are likely to turn against him and cooperate with anti-Duterte forces within and outside of the reactionary armed forces and police.

A newly-elected president in the Philippines usually obtains in his first year of office a high popularity and trust rating from the mercenary opinion poll survey firms. Subsequently, his reputation deteriorates as his promises remain unfulfilled, problems are aggravated and projects fall short of targets and are afflicted by corruption, The Duterte regime is already reeking with corruption even before it can fulfill its promise of punishing the big crooks in the previous Aquino regime. However, Duterte is now most liable for gross human rights violations for the thousands of extra-judicial killings in his Oplan Tokhang against illegal drugs and for the indiscriminate bombings and artillery fire on communities in his all-out war policy against the revolutionary forces and in his campaign against the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups in Marawi and other Bangsamoro groups elsewhere.

The socio-economic and political conditions in the Philippines and in the world are not favorable for the Duterte regime to abandon peace negotiations with the NDFP and to pursue authoritarian ambitions. Having a growth rate of the gross domestic product at around 7 per cent or even higher is not a true measure economic and social development. It merely obscures in vain how the exploiting classes appropriate for themselves the social wealth created by the working people. Poverty is widespread because of extreme forms of exploitation in an underdeveloped economy. Mass unemployment is actually rising, incomes of the working people are plunging and taxes and prices of basic commodities are soaring. The use of authoritarianism and state terrorism will only serve to inflame further the Filipino people’s resistance.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines have publicly expressed their readiness to fight and defeat the all-out war policy of the Duterte regime. At the same time, they are still willing to pursue the peace negotiations with the GRP even under conditions of the severest fighting in the civil war in order to rouse and rally the people along the patriotic and progressive line, explore further how to serve the interest of the people and forge the comprehensive agreements for a just and lasting peace against the oppressive and exploitative forces of foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

On OPAPP statement concerning NPA military actions

Information Bureau | Communist Party of the Philippines
June 25, 2017

Since yesterday, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and the Malacañang spokesperson have issued separate statements impugning the revolutionary forces’ seriousness to talk peace citing military actions of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao and elsewhere which they claim “disrupts the conducive and enabling environment” for peace talks. It denigrates as well the NDFP Negotiating Panel and questions its representation of the revolutionary forces.

Prejudicial question
In view of these Malacañang statements since yesterday, the prejudicial question must be put forward and asked of the GRP’s mouthpieces: has GRP Pres. Duterte ordered the AFP to refrain from carrying out offensives against the NPA since the June 18 statement of GRP Negotiating Panel Chief Silvestre Bello III declaring “not undertaking offensive operations” against the NPA?

If Malacañang cannot show such specific orders by Duterte, then its spokesperson must better refrain from issuing statements which castigates the NPA for carrying out actions against the AFP’s all-out war.

The GRP should remember that the recommendation of the NDF for the CPP to order the NPA to refrain from carrying out offensives in Mindanao rests on the critical precondition that the AFP will likewise refrain as well from attacking the NPA and the people in the revolutionary base areas in Mindanao. Presently, such conditions do not exist concretely.

Unabated all-out war
More than a week after Bello’s statement, the people have not seen nor heard of a Duterte order “not to undertake offensives” against the NPA. On the contrary, his defense secretary and military commanders have repeatedly declared that the AFP will conduct “pursuit” operations against the NPA. Duterte has neither rescinded his government’s “all-out war” policy and “flatten the hills” command against the NPA. The AFP’s war of suppression in Mindanao has worsened since the imposition of martial law more than a month ago.

Before claiming the right to castigate the NPA, the GRP must first account for all its unabated armed offensives and aerial bombardments across the country. These offensives have resulted in at least eight NPA casualties over the past ten days in Mindanao alone. Paramilitaries have been employed as well to attack the schools run by Lumad organizations.

Human rights abuses continue to worsen and have become more intense compared to the period prior to martial law. The number of extrajudicial killings continues to go up. At least five people have been killed by state forces in Southern Mindanao alone since martial law was declared. In addition to close to 310,000 people who have been forced to evacuate in Marawi City and nearby towns, thousands more in North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur and elsewhere are now in evacuation centers after AFP aerial bombardment targeting their communities and farms.

In Mindanao, the AFP has deployed several scores of columns to wage relentless offensives in Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, Davao City, North Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Bukidnon, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and other provinces.

Over the past few weeks, there have also been AFP offensives and attacks against civilians in Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Quirino, Camarines Norte, Sorsogon, Albay, Northern Samar, Leyte, Iloilo, Capiz, Negros Occidental and elsewhere.

The conditions under Duterte’s all-out war compel the NPA to carry-out counter-actions to defend itself and the people. It needs to launch military actions in the widest possible area to dissipate the offensives of the AFP and blunt its attacks against the people.

CPP looks forward to peace talks
The CPP and the revolutionary forces have repeatedly and unequivocally declared its support for the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. The NDFP Negotiating Panel with its Chief Fidel Agcaoili and NDFP Chief Political Consultant Jose Ma. Sison, is fully recognized by the entire CPP and NPA.

Like the GRP panel makes recommendation to Duterte, so does the NDFP Negotiating Panel make recommendations to the NDFP National Council, of which the CPP is part of, as well as to the CPP Central Committee which commands the NPA. The recommendations of the NDFP carry great weight in the decisions of the CPP and NDFP leadership.

The Party looks forward to continuation of the 5th round of NDFP-GRP peace talks in August or September. It anticipates preparations to be conducted by both sides in the interim.

The revolutionary forces continue to regard peace negotiations as an opportunity to resolve through dialogue the fundamental socio-economic issues at the root of the armed conflict, even as the people are compelled to wage ever greater resistance against the oppression, exploitation and armed suppression by the reactionary state.

The NDFP-GRP peace talks are at a historic juncture as the issues of socio-economic reforms are on the table.

Will the Duterte regime share the same determination with the NDFP to accelerate negotiations on CASER? Or will he merely continue the old US/AFP counterinsurgency policy of using peace negotiations as a tool for pacification and cooptation by insisting that the NPA silence its guns while the AFP wages all-out war and demanding the NDFP to prematurely enter into a bilateral ceasefire even before completing the agenda on socio-economic reforms and political and constitutional reforms?

Continuing talks on socio-economic reforms, not impositions of ceasefire, show sincerity in peace talks



NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio Economic Reforms
Media Release
June 23, 2017

We condemn statements made by various officials of the GRP that try to make it appear that the NPA’s tactical offensive in Maasin, Iloilo on June 18 constitute lack of sincerity towards the peace talks on the part of the NDFP.

Such pronouncements, especially coming from Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, are aimed at stalling, if not ending, the peace talks which are currently tackling the socio-economic reforms that seek to address the root causes of the armed conflict.

Lorenzana and his pro-US and militarist ilk merely want to impose an indefinite ceasefire on the NDFP and not address the root causes of the armed conflict, which lay in the widespread landlessness, joblessness, low wages and contractualization, hunger and poverty being faced by the majority of our people.

We dare say: continuing the talks on socio-economic reforms is the paramount proof of sincerity in the peace talks, not the imposition of ceasefire on the other party. It is for this reason that the NDFP has been keen on continuing the talks even as the GRP and its armed forces continue to impose its total war policy against the people through Oplan Kapayapaan, their armed offensives against the revolutionary forces, and on top of these the imposition of martial law in the whole of Mindanao with threats to impose martial law all over the country.

The armed conflict can only cease if the people’s demands pertaining to land reform, national industrialization, protection of the environment, free exercise of the people’s economic, social and cultural rights, and economic sovereignty are addressed.

Chairs of GRP and NDFP Reciprocal Working Committees on Socioeconomic Reforms exchange documents during the 4th round of formal talks in Noordwijk NL

The parties’ agreement on free land redistribution, which was arrived at in the fourth round of the peace talks, is a step in the right direction. It should be followed up with more agreements on the proposed socio-economic reforms. Such agreements should not be hampered by unreasonable demands for the NPA to end its tactical offensives without a ceasefire agreement between the GRP and the NDFP.

We have been clear in saying that talks can continue even as fighting continues. There is no ceasefire between the GRP and NDFP in the Visayas, even as there the NDFP supports the GRP in fighting the terrorists groups in Mindanao.

We say to Commission on Higher Education commissioner and member of the GRP’s Reciprocal Working Panel on Socio-Economic Reforms Prospero de Vera: these are the reasons why the NPA’s tactical offensives continue. We urge De Vera, as befits his position, to join us in calling for the continuation of talks on socio-economic reforms, and to not chorus with pro-US and militarist elements of the government who want this agenda shelved.###

REFERENCE:
Alan Jazmines
Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on Socio-Economic Reforms
Contact Number: + 63 949 137 7260

Dinggin ang sigaw ng Marawi at Mindanao

Habang nagtatagal ang pagkubkob at pagsakop ng AFP sa Marawi at ang pagpataw ng batas militar sa buong Mindanao, lalong kumakapal ang usok ng disimpormasyon at panlilinlang. Araw-araw ay naglulubid ng buhangin ang mga upisyal-militar, si Duterte at kanyang mga tagapagsalita at tagasulsol sa tangkang tabunan ang katotohanan.

CPP welcomes GRP commitment to continue talks; calls for immediate end to destruction of Marawi and Mindanao Martial Law

Communist Party of the Philippines | June 19, 2017

The Party acknowledges the June 17 statement of GRP Negotiating Panel Chief Silvestre Bello III. The commitment of the GRP expressed therein to proceed with peace negotiations with the NDFP is a welcome development and is well appreciated by the revolutionary forces.

The Party acknowledges as well the GRP’s recommitment of its adherence to all previously signed agreements including the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), a critical element in peace talks which enables NDFP negotiators and personnel to freely travel and participate in talks without threat of arrest or reprisal.

(Photo from Bulatlat.com)

The Party anticipates the fifth round of peace negotiations to resume in around two or three months providing sufficient time for preparations to be undertaken by the reciprocal groups and committees to thresh out the draft agreements, especially on socio-economic and political and constitutional reforms.

The NDFP has reiterated its declaration to stand firmly against terrorism and terrorist acts which intimidate, terrorize, harm and murder civilians solely or mainly.

To encourage the continuation of peace talks, the NDFP Negotiating Panel has recommended to the CPP to order NPA units in Mindanao to refrain from carrying out offensive operations against GRP forces provided that the GRP order the AFP and PNP to likewise refrain from carrying out offensive operations against the NPA and people’s militias, and that the rights and interests of the masses and communities are respected and promoted. Action on the NDFP recommendation can be undertaken once conditions for it exist concretely.

The Party acknowledges the GRP chief negotiator’s declaration for the GRP not to undertake offensive operations against the New People’s Army. Presently, GRP military, police and paramilitary forces in Mindanao remain on the offensive mode, carrying out reconnaisance, patrol and search and destroy operations against the NPA and the revolutionary masses.

According to the Mindanao-based commands of the NPA, AFP offensive operations against the NPA have heightened since the declaration of martial law and are currently ongoing in Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao City, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Bukidnon, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and still other Mindanao provinces.

The CPP reiterates the Filipino people’s demand for the Duterte regime to withdraw its February 2017 all out war policy order and immediately lift martial law in Mindanao. The rights of millions of people have been violated. Military and police abuses are on the rise. The people demand an end to the restrictions against their freedoms, as well as and end to all military abuses and attacks against human rights.

The Party denounces the Duterte regime and the AFP for the incessant US military-supported aerial bombardment and destruction of Marawi City which has forced almost its entire population to evacuate. Duterte is determined to flatten Marawi to the ground by dropping bombs and unleashing his dogs of war to wreak havoc and loot the people’s homes and shops for war booty.

A humanitarian crisis has ensued with more than three hundred thousand people left without homes and cramped in evacuation centers with no livelihood or resources. The Party and NPA hear the pleas of the people of Marawi and enjoin all forces to unite and extend to them all possible material support and help them stand up, amplify their voices and advance their cause.

The revolutionary forces echoes the demand of the people of Marawi for an end to AFP aerial bombardment and occupation of their homes; for the various armed groups to end attacks against civilians; for US forces to leave; for the Duterte regime to withdraw military troops in their area; and allow the processes of the Moro people to resolve the raging local conflicts.

Lorenzana and Abella are out of bounds

The statements issued by GRP DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, a publicly identified lackey of US imperialism, and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in connection with the raid of a police station in Maasin, Iloilo, by the NPA are baseless, unfair and unwarranted.

First of all, there is no ceasefire in place between the forces of the GRP and NDFP in the Visayas and elsewhere in the country. What is in place are recommendatory gestures of goodwill by both Parties to refrain from carrying out offensive operations against each other’s forces in Mindanao. And Maasin, Iloilo is not in Mindanao.

But even in Mindanao and everywhere else in the country, the GRP military and police have been aggressively pursuing the all-out war policy against the people and the revolutionary forces, intimidating and suppressing legal democratic organizations in the urban areas while using all types of destructive weapons, including aerial and artillery bombardment and mortar fire against communities and the NPA in the countryside.

The martial law proclamation in Mindanao has not only led to the indiscriminate destruction of lives and property, as well as the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Marawi City. It has also led to the suppression of democratic rights such as the dispersal of workers’ strikes, arbitrary zoning of communities, illegal searches, arrest and detention, food blockades, as well as aerial bombings and other atrocities against communities in the central and eastern parts of Mindanao.

Last Sunday, 18 June, the day of the GRP reciprocal announcement to refrain from conducting offensive operations against the NPA in Mindanao, the AFP publicly announced that their forces had killed four NPA fighters, including an alleged NPA Front Secretary, in three separate military operations conducted by the 67th Infantry Battalion, the 104th Division Reconnaissance Company and the 66th Infantry Battalion in the towns of Cateel and Banaybanay in Davao Oriental and the town of Pantukan in Compostela Valley.

As of yesterday, too, teachers and students of a Lumad school in Kapalong, Davao del Norte, another province in Mindanao, have been prevented from holding classes by the military under the Eastern Mindanao Command and the Alamara paramilitary group, who threatened to shoot them should they return to their communities to attend their school. They are accused of being members of the NPA.

These brazen violations of the GRP’s own pronouncement to refrain from offensive operations against the people and revolutionary forces in Mindanao clearly manifest the need for the GRP to put words into actual deeds and eschew public relations gimmicks in the pursuit of a just and lasting peace in the country through agreements on social, economic and political reforms.

The NDFP stands by its 17 June 2017 statement. Any suggestions to the contrary or accusations of bad faith are uncalled for, especially at this sensitive time when the two Parties are about to cooperate, in coordination with the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG), in the preparations to resume the 5th round of formal talks, which have been stalled by the martial law declaration in Mindanao. ###

Reference:
Fidel V. Agcaoili
NDFP Panel Chairperson
Contact No. +31 30 231 0431

CPP salutes Canadian champion of the working people

CONDOLENCES FROM THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES

The Communist Party of the Philippines just learned of the passing of Charles Boylan, a communist and a comrade. We send our sincerest condolences to his partner Donna Petersen, his family, and to the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.

The activism of comrade Charles was not divorced from what he did as a teacher, a broadcaster on Vancouver’s Co-Op Radio, a writer, an active union member of Local 21 Education and Training Employees Association (ETEA); he was also a friend to people’s movements and peoples’ struggles (including that of the Philippines, Cuba, Palestine, Venezuela, etc.), a fighter for social justice and human rights, a strong critic against globalization and neo-liberalism, and a solid champion of the working people.

Comrade Charles lent his voice to highlight the issues and struggles of the Filipino people, in their local mass actions, through his radio program and through his friendship with the Filipino community in Vancouver. His work reflected a vision of a society that is humane, free of oppression from imperialism and capitalism, a community where people take control over their lives and ensure that each person enjoys basic human rights.

Whatever Comrade Charles Boylan did, it was always to move society forward for the better. And his being a Marxist-Leninist and a communist informed all that.

Salute to comrade Charles Boylan! Mabuhay ka!

International Department
Communist Party of the Philippines
20 June 2017