By Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in marking International Human Rights Day and demanding an end to the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression being carried out by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other armed agencies of the reactionary state.
The CPP condemns the Aquino regime for waging the Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression and directing state violence against unarmed civilians. Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan is most viciously directed against peasant and national minority communities who are vigorously advancing their struggle for land reform and defending their ancestral lands against landgrabbing by foreign mining and plantation companies.
Campaigns of armed suppression have been particularly brutal during so-called “Peace and Development” operations being conducted by the AFP where platoons of soldiers forcibly embed themselves in communities with the objective of terrorizing the people. Scores of leaders of mass organizations have been killed or targeted for suppression by combat troops of the AFP.
The people’s productive and economic life have been disrupted by restrictions on travel and commerce imposed by the AFP. Operating soldiers have made use of schools as barracks in violation of children’s rights, causing widespread trauma. Soldiers have violated people’s domiciles as well as community civilian structures. They have set up detachments in the middle of communities, endangering the lives of civilians, subjecting women to sexual harassment and encouraging antisocial activities such as drug use, gambling, drunkenness and prostitution.
The war of suppression being waged by the Aquino regime is essentially the same war of suppression carried out before by the Arroyo regime as exemplified by the brutal tactics of former AFP Gen. Jovito Palparan. The “arrest” of Palparan last August was an empty show by the Aquino regime which means nothing to the thousands who suffer from the Palparan-style tactics which the AFP employ to this day.
In the course of the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression, violations of human rights are committed wholesale against entire populations. The CPP receives almost daily reports of widespread AFP violations of human rights and military abuses. These are regularly published in Ang Bayan and available at the PRWC (http://philippinerevolution.net). An increasing number of cases of military abuses are being documented by human rights advocates as well as by the NDFP section of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) formed to monitor compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).
The CPP condemns the Aquino regime for its refusal to uphold the CARHRIHL. Under the Aquino regime, extra-judicial killings continue to target leaders, organizers and supporters of peasants and workers, antimining activists as well as human rights advocates. There are more than 400 political prisoners, including more than a dozen consultants of the NDFP engaged in peace negotiations. Police and military torture against detainees remain rampant. Workers rights to organize unions, to seek redress and go on strike have been violated with impunity.
The CPP condemns the US imperialists for arming and training its client state to wage its proxy war to suppress the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation. The US government continues to provide the Aquino regime with foreign military financing to have it purchase military hardware and war materiél from US military companies and affiliates.
The defense of human rights is an inextricable part of the people’s national and democratic struggles. The people need to stand up militantly in order to defend their rights to organize, voice out their demands and protest foreign plunder of their land and mineral resources, feudal exploitation and oppression, landgrabbing, low wages and salaries, demolition of homes to give way to big bourgeois investments, exploitation of cheap labor and suppression of labor rights, US military presence and interventionism and violations of national sovereignty.
The CPP calls on the Filipino people to raise their militancy in defending their democratic rights. The Party and all revolutionary forces will continue to advance the people’s aspirations for justice as they struggle for national and social liberation.