Press Statement | 03 December 2017

Rodrigo Duterte is adamant in his threats to establish a “revolutionary government.” Clearly one does not have to look for subtext to know that this statement by Duterte smacks of dictatorship, plain and simple. He desperately needs this so called “revolutionary government” in order to possess absolute state powers and impose, unopposed, the “changes” he deems necessary to ensure his tyranny, including transforming the current form of government into his version of federalism.

Even before the concept of “revolutionary government” came out, the US-Duterte regime already made a series of pronouncements and measures that cater to its intent of establishing a dictatorship. Duterte first used the so-called “ISIS threat” as a pretext to impose martial law in the entire Mindanao island and, consequently, to attack and obliterate Marawi City. For nearly five months, deadly airstrikes and cannon fire rained over Marawi, from which hundreds of thousands of Bangsamoro and other people evacuated.

After declaring Marawi “liberated,” Duterte and the AFP, however, stubbornly refused to lift martial law in Mindanao, creatively justifying this by declaring that “terrorism has spread all over Mindanao.” This justification, which was devised as a new wave of scare tactic, has obviously gone stale; nobody bought it, not even the media.

Thus, it did not take long before Duterte turned his attention towards the CPP-NPA-NDFP. He tagged these revolutionary organizations as “terrorists” and “common criminals,” categorically ended the peace talks by issuing Presidential Proclamation No. 360, and ordered a “shoot to kill” order against the New People’s Army. He also threatened to arrest and imprison leaders and members of legitimate progressive organizations, who are dangerously lumped with the armed revolutionary movement. He now uses the “communist bogey” in order to give credence to his tyranny.

Duterte now brandishes his notion of “revolutionary government” under the pretext of converting to the federal form of government. To gain the people’s sympathy, he even vows to “resign” once this is achieved. But, talk is cheap, thus, the people cannot take this statement hook, line and sinker. By the manner he mobilizes the AFP, PNP and other state security forces to suit his plans, relinquishing his powers would never, not even tangentially, cross his mind. The pronouncements and measures his regime has undertaken are all part of a grand ploy to usurp and monopolize political power, making himself the country’s next dictator, and eliminate any and all critics and dissenters (whom his regime tags as “destabilizers”).

Thus, the NDFP-Mindanao calls upon the Filipino people to strengthen their unity and firmly oppose the US-Duterte regime’s looming tyranny. We must redouble our effort to broaden and strengthen our militant protests, take to the streets in our hundreds of thousands, in order to overthrow this regime that has bombarded the nation with nothing but death and destruction.

Oust the US-Duterte regime!

Ka Joaquin Jacinto