Comment on EO 70

By Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
December 11, 2018

EO 70 does not make the armed counterrevolution civillian-centric. But it seeks to weaponize the civil bureaucracy for the armed counterrevolution or military suppression of the revolutionary government and movement of the people.

It limits the GRP to the framework of military suppression and psywar use of fake surrenders and fake encounters, misrepresented as “localized peace talks”. The OPAPP is now emphatically militarized with the appointment of a rabid anti-communist general as secretary.

EO 70 is one more presidential issuance to terminate and prevent the resumption of peace talks at the appropriate national level between authorized representatives of the GRP and NDFP. It is furtherance of the de fact martial rule and the scheme of imposition a full-blown fascist dictatorship on the people.

It is in line with the anti-peace Proclamations 360 and 374, Memorandum Order 32, the arrest of NDFP peace consultants and the deployment of Duterte death squads in both urban and rural areas against suspected revolutionaries and critics of and opposition to the tyrannical and corrupt Duterte regime.

Related news:
Duterte: Gov’t now switching to civilian-led tactic to address insurgency

The unrelenting violation of human rights by the fascist US-Duterte regime will intensify the further advance of armed revolution

Statement | December 10, 2018

The National Democratic Front-North Eastern Mindanao Region (NDFP-NEMR), joins the people and the defenders of human rights in commemorating the 70th year of the International Human Rights Day this December 10, 2018.

We extend our warmest salute for your constant struggle to uphold the sacredness of human rights against oppression and exploitation.

The Philippine government was one of the signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 which instituted the value of the rights of all peoples. But the Philippine government has become the number one violator of human rights in all aspects. The US-Duterte regime has even surpassed its predecessor regimes in perpetrating grave human rights violations against the people, committing Hitler-like brutality to realize his ambition for dictatorial rule.

Through the US-Duterte regime’s mercenary and reactionary AFP/PNP, a brutal campaign of repression is implemented against the struggles of the people who resist his devastating programs and policies. Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Tambay, martial law, total war under Oplan Kapayapaan and many more authorized the countless killings, torture, arrests, threats and repression of the people. These are actions of a fascist and terrorist state.

In NEMR since 2016 to the present, more than 20 have become victims of extra judicial killings and more than 10 frustrated killings were committed by the AFP/PNP. Moreover, almost 300 victims have been charged with trumped-up criminal cases, while more than 50 have been jailed as political prisoners. These are all part of the US-Duterte regime’s attempts to destroy the people’s legitimate and progressive organizations that persist and fight his repressive moves.

The sustained military operations in areas targeted for imperialist plantations, mines and infrastructure has resulted to massive evacuations affecting thousands of Lumad and peasant families. Meanwhile, there have been several cases of bombings by AFP troops in areas near communities and farms.

Here in our region, almost 200,000 hectares of land are targeted for banana, oil palm, rubber and others. While almost 600,000 hectares of land have been given to operating mines and to others ready to operate. Most of these are owned by foreign capitalists in connivance with the big comprador bourgeoisie and land lords, driving away countless farmers and Lumad from their homes and livelihoods. At present, these plantations and mines are being protected by 8 battalions of AFP and PNP; 5,000- 6,000 members of SCAA and CAA and 10 paramilitary groups.

In the reactionary government’s desperation to destroy the revolutionary movement, it has invented countless forced surrenders of civilians as NPA members and Milisya ng Bayan and coercing them to join the CAFGU. The AFP/PNP force the establishment of CAA detachments in communities. Barangay and municipal officials are threatened to craft resolutions to show that residents allow the establishment of detachment. Oplan Lakbay Hukay is another scenario peddled recently by the AFP/PNP, the digging up of skeletons to use for propaganda and to tarnish the NPA’s prestige.

Another significant case against the US-Duterte regime is its sell-out of the Philippines to China and the US. Duterte has not made a move against China’s occupation of the islands of the West Philippine Sea within Philippine territory. This violates the national sovereignty of the Philippines. This signifies his servility to foreign capitalists whose sole interest is the plunder our natural resources.

Martial law and the violation of human rights are the instruments of a fascist, puppet and reactionary regime to preserve the oppressive and exploitative system. It will result in serious economic and political crises which will lead to widespread poverty and hunger of the Filipino people. It will intensify the further advance of armed revolution.

Thus, the people are called upon to bravely struggle, uphold your rights and just demands and join the people’s war to achieve total victory of the People’s Democratic Revolution. Persist in demanding for the resumption of peace talks to solve the root causes of armed struggle in the country.

Ka Maria Malaya
Spokesperson
NDFP-NEMR

Duterte’s creeping coup against the 1987 Constitution is calculated to climax in 2019

Statement by Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
December 10, 2018

On this International Human Rights Day, it is fitting and proper to reflect on the Duterte regime’s vicious human rights violations in its drive to impose a fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people. Thus, the appropriate and effective courses of action can be defined for upholding, defending and promoting human rights.

The tyrant Duterte, his ruling clique and their armed minions in the AFP and PNP have been carrying out a creeping coup against the 1987 Constitution of the reactionary government since he assumed office in 2016. He has steered the coup through a number of phases. These are calculated to speed up and reach climax in 2019.

1) Duterte surreptitiously began his all-out war against the revolutionary movement by extending Oplan Bayanihan until the end of 2016 and then declared his own Oplan Kapayapaan in January 2017 while he used as decoy his short-lived pretense of peace negotiations with the NDFP.

2) He implemented his scheme to turn the military and police into his private armies by promoting his favorite officers in the AFP and PNP and corrupting more officers with incentives in cash and promotions for listing and killing suspects with impunity.

3) He projected the image of a strong man with iron fist and drummed up his ability to kill people by unleashing Oplan Tokhang to kill thousands of drug suspects, declaring martial law in Mindanao and destroying Marawi City for the purpose of mass intimidation.

4) He used turncoatism and the pork barrel to take control of Congress and also used Arroyo’s and his appointees in the Supreme Court to effect the release of the biggest plunderers, thereby paying his political debts to them and keeping them as mates in a cabal of corruption.

5) He deliberately terminated the peace negotiations with the NDFP in order to scapegoat the CPP and NPA as the pretext for de facto martial law nationwide and terrorist acts of suppression and making threats of formally proclaiming martial law nationwide or a “revolutionary government”.

6) He has steadily pushed the preparations for charter change to a bogus kind of federalism by which he can concentrate powers in his hands and handpick his regional and provincial agents from among the dynasties nd warlords.

7) He has attacked the Catholic Church from time to time in order to test how far people can react to him, cursing the God and religious beliefs of the Catholic masses, causing the murder of a number of priests and threatening to kill all bishops for being critical of him and being supposedly useless.

8) He has escalated his all-out war against the revolutionary movement in Mindanao and nationwide and has in fact imposed a de facto martial law on the entire nation in preparation for fixing the results of the 2019 elections.

9) He has engaged in plunder of public funds and taken over controlling shares in private contracts with the state and even in the illegal drug trade and casino gambling under the pretext of collecting money for the benefit of ordinary soldiers and for the forthcoming elections.

10) He has boasted of being able to maintain US support and at the same time of enjoying the support of China in terms of protection from any possible coup as well as in terms of securing loans and infrastructure projects in exchange for his treasonous sell-out of the sovereign rights of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.

The Duterte ruling clique keeps on harping on the threats of terrorism and destabilization plots in order to use these as cover and pretext for the coup that Duterte himself is masterminding against the 1987 Constitution and the Filipino people.

It is the duty of the entire Filipino people to stand up, fight and frustrate Duterte’s scheme to grab absolute power as a fascist dictator a la Marcos under the guise of establishing a federal system of government. He is already culpable for the many grave crimes that he, his ruling clique and their armed minions have committed.

It is necessary for all patriotic and democratic forces and the rest of the people to unite in a broad united front and mass movement to oust the Duterte regime as soon as possible. The change can be achieved under any of the effective processes of the 1987 Constitution. The most effective is for the millions of people to take to the streets and encourage the patriotic sections of the AFP and PNP to start the withdrawal of support from the brutal and corrupt tyrant. ###

Duterte has gone into a waiver of Philippine sovereign rights but China demands explicit surrender of these rights

Statement by Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
December 8, 2018

Justice Carpio is overoptimistic and wrong that China will accept a mere service contract to give up China’s baseless claims over the West Philippine Sea and recognize the sovereign rights of the Philippines in accordance with the UNCLOS and the legal victory of the Philippines before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in July, 2016.

Former Solicitor General Hilbay is correct that the Duterte regime has already treasonously and stupidly made a waiver of Philippine sovereign rights by falling silent on these and putting these at par with the false claims of China in the MOU on the joint China-Philippine joint exploration and development of the oil and gas resources under the West Philippines Sea.

But China itself is not yet satisfied with the mere waiver by implication of the Duterte regime’s falling silent on the Philippines’ sovereign rights and putting these at par with the false claims of China. China wants an explicit and categorical surrender of Philippine sovereign rights to China.

Thus, China is using as leverage Duterte’s own inane obsession with getting high interest loans worth USD 9 to 24 billion for some 29 overpriced infrastructure projects. After more than two years since Duterte’s trip to China in October 2016, China has started no more than two infrastructure projects worth far less than USD 1 billion.

Even at this stage, Duterte cannot be sure that he can benefit from his false and stupid calculation that the burdensome and exploitative Chinese loans will buoy up his regime and the Philippine economy.

Even if the Chinese pledge of USD 9 to 24 billion loans were realized, these would further deteriorate the Philippine economy in conjunction with the accumulated loans from the traditional lenders whose interest rates are now rising rapidly in line with the US-initiated policy of quantitative tightening.

The Duterte regime is already moving into the second half of its 6-year term. These are lameduck years for Duterte amid the rising mass movement for his ouster, the bankruptcy of the reactionary government, stinking corruption of the bureaucracy and the military and a growing split between pro-US and pro-Duterte factions within the AFP and PNP.

The isolation and detestation of Duterte by the broad masses of the people are the result of the tyranny and brutality of the regime, rampant corruption, the rising unemployment and dwindling incomes, the mounting tax burden and soaring prices of basic goods and services, the treasonous sell-out to China and other major causes.

Related news:
PHL-China oil deal may resolve maritime dispute —Carpio

Accelerating trend towards martial law nationwide and full-blown fascist dictatorship of Duterte

Statement by Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
November 28, 2018

In view of certain recent acts of the tyrant Duterte, he is accelerating the realization of his scheme to declare martial law nationwide and impose a full-blown fascist dictatorship on the people.

Duterte is closing all doors to peace negotiations. He has caused OPAPP Secretary Dureza to resign in order to put OPAPP under total military control in line with Duterte’s policy of militarizing his cabinet. He is giving way to the demands of the military.

The military want to control OPAPP to prevent serious GRP peace negotiations with the NDFP by imposing the precondition of surrender on the NPA. .They also want to place the billlions of pesos of OPAPP and Pamana funds under the control of the military. The issue of corruption against Dureza’s undersecretaries is a mere pretext because the Office of the President itself is the stinking center of corruption.

The military officers and some mayors have become notorious for pocketing privately E-CLIP funds for fake surrenderers. Now, they want to take over the PAMANA under OPAPP. The racket in PAMANA is also in the invention of fake beneficiaries and in favoring political favorites among local officials.

In a flagrant expression of lawlessness and barbarism or even madness, Duterte has announced the formation of death squads with the license to kill just anyone who is suspected of being or still becoming NPA. He has specified as targets of the death squads any istambay (idler), any critic, any activist or just anyone whom the death squads suspect or think of becoming or being NPA.

He wants Oplan Kapayapaan to compete with Oplan Tokhang in murdering thousands of people. He is obviously becoming desperate because Oplan Kapayapaan has failed to defeat the NPA in the guerrilla fronts. Not a single guerrilla front has been destroyed even in Mindanao where he has concentrated 75 of his total of 98 maneuver battalions under conditions of martial law.

Now, the NPA is increasingly carrying out tactical counteroffensives in the countryside of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. But the NPA is not yet fielding commando teams to urban areas in consideration of the CPP policy that the character the urban mass struggle is legal and defensive.

It is only Duterte who has conjured the illusion that the urban areas are already swarming with “sparrow units” in urban areas in order to have the pretext for forming his death squads to threaten and use against his urban-based legal opponents.

Duterte has gone out of his mind. As Catholic Bishop David has observed, he is mentally sick. He needs psychiatric help and should be removed from his position.###

Unite the people to resist Duterte’s heightened tyrannical rule

CPP Information Bureau

Rodrigo Duterte is obsessed with his strongman ambitions. He is set on establishing himself as a fascist despot. His resort to tyranical methods has heightened since having unravelled as a camp-follower of the US imperialists. He has become ever more brazen and unapologetic in carrying out repressive policies and measures.

He has escalated the campaign of extrajudicial killings against street peddlers and users of shabu. He expresses satisfaction over news that more than a hundred have been killed by his police in three days. He has publicly applauded the murderous rampage of his police force and has repeated his vow to save them from punishment, stoking greater public indignation after police were caught on camera manhandling a 17-year old boy prior to his fatal shooting. There is widespread clamor for justice for all the victims of Duterte’s anti-people “war against drugs.”

This escalation of police killings comes at the heels of the discovery of a P6.4 billion shipment of shabu from China at a warehouse of the Bureau of Customs. The involvement of Duterte scion Paolo and his Davao gang of businessmen cum drug smugglers has also been exposed. Duterte has defended his appointee at the BOC despite (or perhaps because of) the drug smuggling.

Duterte is himself rousing widespread public suspicion that his “war against drugs” is nothing but a smokescreen for a major turf war among major drug syndicates, and that he has been using the police to provide favor and protection for one syndicate against another or that he himself a drug kingpin. Employing trusted and tested police officers, he liquidated the Parojinogs of Ozamiz City, long known for controlling the illegal drug trade in large parts of Mindanao and elsewhere.

He has likewise used his war against drugs as a blanket tool against his political rivals. He brandishes his thick book of dossiers of supposed drug personalities which not even the police chief can cite a basis for. He has arbitrarily included and excluded people and has used the list to armtwist rivals with threats of killings showcasing the Parojinogs and Albuerras in order to force them to accede to his political and criminal agenda.

The brutality of Duterte’s “war against drugs” is matched only by the brutality of his all-out war against the revolutionary forces under Oplan Kapayapaan, his imposition of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao and the anti-Moro war and siege of Marawi. In the countryside, the military rules and respects no rights or freedom. Killings of peasants and national minorities run unabated. It has relentlessly carried out aerial bombings, shellings and strafings of civilian communities. Almost a million people have forcibly evacuated.

Duterte has used his congressional supermajority to earn approval and extension of his Mindanao martial law. He has also rammed through his new tax laws and is seeking rapid approval of his 2018 budget. With complete or nearly complete control of congress, Duterte aims to push for charter change to enshrine the neoliberal policies of liberalization, privatization and deregulation and realize his ambition of completely monopolizing power under the guise of establishing a federal government.

Duterte wants everyone to remain silent and blindly accept his planned infrastructure binge with all its burdensome debt deals and commissions. He has repeatedly threatened the Supreme Court against issuing TROs and had his political allies file an impeachment case against the chief justice. Threats of impeachment have also been dished out against other officials who have not been cooperative with the Duterte regime such as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Duterte has completely abandoned his cordial relations with the national democratic movement having failed to entice the people’s revolutionary forces to silence their guns in a protracted ceasefire prior to substantively addressing the roots of the civil war. His congressional swines have voted to reject the appointment of social activist Judy Taguiwalo as social welfare secretary, signaling his termination of earlier efforts to explore a possible alliance with the Left. He has repeatedly declared he no longer wants peace negotiations with the NDFP.

The Duterte regime has carried out policies that favor foreign big capitalists, bourgeois compradors, big landlords, bureaucrat capitalists and the fascist military and polace. It plans to impose additional tax burdens and pursues a debt-driven infrastructure program which are bound to be detrimental to the people’s welfare. It has waged wars of death and destruction against the people, especially against the peasants, the Moro and national minority peoples, the workers and the urban poor.

As a result, the Duterte regime has become increasingly politically isolated from the people and has resorted to more and more tyrannical measures to perpetuate itself in power. No amount of media and social media manipulation and news and public opinion fakery can withstand the assertion of the truth concerning the concrete conditions of the oppressed and exploited people.

It is the task of the Party and revolutionary forces to unite all sectors in a broad people’s alliance, provide it core strength and leadership in the struggle against the US-Duterte regime’s tyrannical, criminal and corrupt rule. Indeed, many of the Duterte regime’s victims are now rising from the depths of fear and raising their voices against his regime.

The mass organizations and alliances must unite and mobilize the people in greater numbers by intensifying the mass struggles of peasants, workers, students, the urban poor, the women, the Moro and minority peoples, the church people, teachers, the migrant workers and their families and other democratic sectors and groups. They must carry out mass struggles and campaigns along anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-fascist lines.

They must give attention to waging a propaganda offensive against Duterte’s demagoguery. They must encourage, unleash the initiative and give full swing to their members and their mass base to confront and confute Duterte and his band of paid trolls in all forms of media. They can do so by carrying out regular educational discussions among their members and the masses in the factories, communities, schools, offices and so on.

The broadest possible online network of activists, propagandists and members of the national democratic mass organizations must be built.

Under the direction of the Party, the New People’s Army (NPA) must continue to seize nationwide initiative, carry out more and more tactical offensives, increase the number of its weapons and arm a rapidly increasing number of new Red fighters.

Every successful tactical offensive of the NPA helps shatter the climate of shock, awe and fear imposed by the regime’s brutal war and, in turn, instills fear on the drug-crazed Duterte. The victories of the NPA inspire the Filipino and Moro people to wage mass struggles and armed resistance against the US-Duterte regime.

Duterte Kills Peace Talks, Blames Revolutionaries for Martial Law

By Professor Jose Maria Sison | Published in TeleSUR » 21 July 2017

“After 7000 to 12,000 extrajudicial killings of poor drug addicts and low level pushers, he has failed to solve the problem of illegal drugs”
— Professor Jose Maria Sison.

By his own public declarations and expressions of admiration for the fascist dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte has long been obsessed with his scheme to establish his own iron-fisted rule through martial law and extrajudicial killings by way of asserting “strong man” leadership and intimidating the opposition and the people under the pretext of solving not only the problem of illegal drugs but also far graver social, economic and political problems of the US-dominated ruling system of big compradors and landlords. At last, he has declared the end of peace negotiations with the NDFP. The revolutionary forces and people have no choice but to fight back and intensify the people’s war along the general line of people’s democratic revolution.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte inspects firearms together with Eduardo Ano, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, during his visit at the military camp in Marawi city, southern Philippines July 20, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Duterte is not daunted by failures in his use of brute force. After 7000 to 12,000 extrajudicial killings of poor drug addicts and low level pushers, he has failed to solve the problem of illegal drugs within the first three to six months of being in office. He has also used up six months of extending his bloody campaign and has aroused suspicions that he has acted against certain drug lords only to favor those who keep the business thriving. He has directed the bombing of Marawi and victimized the people far more than the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups could. But he wants to prolong the Mindanao-wide martial law proclamation up to the end of 2017. And he calculates that he can make martial rule nationwide by continuing to blame and target the revolutionary movement of the people as “terrorists”.

After pretending for a while to seek a negotiated peace between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP, representing the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and sixteen other revolutionary organizations), he is flagrantly hell-bent on making the armed revolutionary movement the scapegoat and pretext for the proclamation of martial law on the scale of the island of Mindanao and eventually nationwide. Since the time he assumed the presidency, Duterte has launched offensives against the New People’s Army (NPA) and has always threatened to scuttle the peace negotiations whenever the NPA takes defensive or counter-offensive actions even in the absence of a ceasefire.

He has obscured the barbarities being committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and paramilitary forces (including private security agencies and vigilante groups) that have been acting under his orders in the name of the extended Oplan Bayanihan, Oplan Kapayapaan and the all-out war policy signaled by Duterte’s termination of the peace negotiations on February 4 and spelled out by his defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana on February 7, 2017. The atrocities include aerial bombings and artillery fire, abductions, torture, destruction of lives and property, occupation of community buildings and forced evacuations and evictions. These are documented by human rights organizations and presented to the Joint Monitoring Committee of the GRP and NDFP.

Duterte has completely ignored the proposals of the NDFP to have an alliance for realizing national independence, democratic rights, economic development through national industrialization and genuine land reform, social justice, a patriotic and scientific culture and independent foreign policy and to accelerate the peace negotiations on the substantive issues on social, economic, political and constitutional reforms, to make a bilateral ceasefire agreement after approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and to co-found the Federal Republic of the Philippines on patriotic and democratic grounds defined by a the Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CASER).

That Duterte has been insincere and not really been interested in the progress and ultimate success of the peace negotiations between the GRP and the NDFP is well proven by false promises that he has never had the intention of fulfilling. Even before he assumed his presidential office, he promised on May 16, 2016 that he would amnesty and release all political prisoners in compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). But he released on bail only 19 political consultants of NDFP, which also falls short of complying with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

Despite the breach of promise, the NDFP continued to hope that all the political prisoners would be released in conjunction with the mutually agreed plan to accelerate the peace negotiations, to forge and approve the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and make an interim bilateral ceasefire agreement. To stimulate the peace negotiations, the NDFP agreed with the GRP to issue reciprocal unilateral ceasefire declarations that lasted more than five months, from August 28, 2016 to February 10, 2017.

But Duterte himself kept on saying publicly that he never had any intention of releasing all the political prisoners but wished to keep them as his trump card until the successful end of the peace negotiations. Worse, despite the unilateral ceasefire declarations which lasted for more than five months, the GRP unleashed armed offensives against the revolutionary movement under the name of Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan and then under that of Oplan Kapayapaan. Since February 4, Duterte has caused the declaration of the all-out war policy against the NPA and the people and has never withdrawn it before and after his Mindanao-wide martial law proclamation on May 23, 2017.

Every round of formal talks has been used by the GRP to cut down the hope for the release of the political prisoners in accordance with CARHRIHL and to put at the top of the agenda the GRP demand for bilateral ceasefire at the expense of negotiations on CASER, despite the repeated reminders of the NDFP to the GRP that substantive negotiations and agreements must come ahead of any protracted and indefinite kind of ceasefire. At one point, in back channel talks last March 11, the NDFP agreed with GRP to issue reciprocal and simultaneous unilateral ceasefire declarations. But the GRP backed out of agreement despite Duterte’s approval on March 11.

The Hague Joint Declaration and the Joint Agreement on the Sequence, Formation and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees have set forth the sequence of the items in the substantive agenda: respect for human rights and international humanitarian law (the subject of a comprehensive agreement approved by the GRP and NDFP principals since 1998), social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and the end of hostilities and disposition of forces. The aim of sequencing properly the items is to address the roots of the armed conflict and lay the basis of a just and lasting peace.

For sincerely adhering to the agreements with the GRP and for refusing to surrender and pacify the revolutionary movement of the people under the guise of a premature prolonged and indefinite bilateral ceasefire, the NDFP is now being demagogically accused by the Duterte government of insincerity in the peace negotiations, being relentlessly blamed for the continuing revolutionary armed conflict, being targeted by propaganda aimed at preparing the public mind for the proclamation of martial law nationwide and using the CPP, NPA and the NDFP as scapegoat.

Coldbloodedly, Duterte intends to rule the Philippines with a combination of martial rule, the use of the mass murder methods of Oplans Tokhang and Double Barrel and the bombing and shelling of entire communities as already seen in Marawi and in the territory of the people’s democratic government and the NPA in the course of the extended Oplan Bayanihan, Oplan Kapayapaan and the all out war policy issued last February 5 against the revolutionary movement.

Even without the license of martial law, the Duterte regime has become culpable for at least 10,000 extrajudicial killings, already outstripping in one year the 3500 victims of murder under the 14-year Marcos fascist regime presented in the US court system. With the license of martial law, we can expect a far bigger catastrophe of extrajudicial killings and other atrocities from the AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces.

The Duterte regime has thoroughly exposed itself as an instrument of US imperialism, a creature of a certain overreaching group of big compradors and landlords and a bloody accomplice of pro-US military and police officers. Thus, the revolutionary movement has started to refer to the Duterte regime as a puppet of US imperialism. The chief objective of Duterte is to destroy the revolutionary movement of the people through deception and brute force and not to build national unity and peace on the basis of social, economic, political and constitutional reforms.

He daydreams about establishing a fascist dictatorship far stronger than that of Marcos. He is oblivious of the fact that his so-called high popularity rating has been bought by excessive amounts of money and has nowhere to go but down in the face of failures and promises proven false. The revolutionary forces and the people can avail of the strategy and tactics of the broad united front and armed struggle in order to pursue the people’s democratic revolution with a socialist perspective.

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.

Duterte Regime Is Mixed up and Vulnerable

But President Duterte cannot be underestimated.

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines

Source: Telesurtv.net»

Photo by Ezra Acayan / Reuters

 

As he is about to finish the first year of his 6-year term of office in June, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is being assessed and evaluated by a broad spectrum of commentators in terms of performance and fulfillment of promises. His trust rating in poll surveys is still relatively high but this has begun to erode noticeably from the 80 percent peak of his popularity upon his election by a plurality vote of 38 per cent or 16 million of the electorate in May last year.

Those who continue to support him assert that performance in a year is not enough basis for a final judgment and that there is more than enough time ahead for him to accomplish promises that have most impressed them, such as the eradication of the drug problem, criminality, and corruption. In recent days, President Duterte has, in fact, pleaded that he needs three or four more years to bring about the significant changes that he previously thought would be done in six months’ time. His promised campaign against the pork barrel and other forms of corruption of the defunct B. S. Aquino regime has not yet materialized.

Photo: Thomson Reuters

Where he has been most successful at, projecting himself as a strong leader by calling on the police and the public to kill drug addict-pushers, he has attracted the most severe and sustained condemnation by institutions, the mass organizations, the human rights formations, various churches, major mass media and respected personages in the Philippines and abroad. These detractors allege on the basis of mass media reports and police records that 7000 to 10,000 extra-judicial killings have been perpetrated in violation of human rights and with impunity by the police and by police-directed vigilantes. The victims are overwhelmingly poor people in urban slum areas. Thus, there is a growing complaint that the drug lords and the governors and generals involved in the drug trade have been spared.

A publicly known group of retired and active military officers called the Magdalo has backed up the motion to impeach Duterte from office. Knowing that the motion would not prosper against Duterte’s “super-majority” in Congress, the group claims to lay the ground for the eventual prosecution and trial of Duterte before the International Criminal Court under the Rome Statute. But most threatening to the Duterte regime is a secret movement among military and police officers who are probably linked to the “yellows” (pro-Aquino political opposition) and are complaining against the system of giving cash rewards to police officers and vigilantes for accomplishing murder missions. They aver that such reward system is corrupting the armed services and destroying their reputation and professional standards.

Photo from GMANetwork.com

They are emboldened to wage an anti-Duterte campaign because U.S. officials and the European Commission have criticized the Duterte regime and threatened to impose certain sanctions. Most recently, the representatives of 45 out of 47 governments in the UN Human Rights Commission universal periodic review of the human rights situation have urged the Philippine government to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings. In turn, the Duterte regime has expressed fears that the dissenting military and police officers are engaged in a coup plot. To counter the coup threat, Duterte has appointed to his cabinet more retired military officers whom he considers personally loyal to him. But the United States is still the master of the coup through its Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Philippines.

Aside from the vulnerability of the regime to charges of mass murder, the crisis of the Philippine ruling system and the world capitalist system is ever worsening to the detriment of the Filipino people. The deterioration of the economy is underway to undermine and isolate the regime in the forthcoming year. Foreign exchange remittances from overseas contract workers are slowing down. The export of raw material and semi-manufactures has plunged amidst the global depression.

Credit from Western sources is tightening. The foreign exchange reserves are decreasing. The peso is being devalued in view of a large public debt. Portfolio investments have been flowing out since 2014. While the debt-driven and import-dependent service sector is growing, agriculture and manufacturing have declining shares in the gross domestic product. The prices of staple food and other basic commodities are rising, while regular employment and real wages are decreasing. Social services are becoming more expensive and the public utilities are breaking down.

But President Duterte cannot be underestimated. He describes his government as “inclusive” by mixing up cabinet members from different political and economic persuasions. He is known for his political skills at talking or acting in the style of the Left, Center and Right, whichever serves him best from moment to moment. He has appointed some patriotic and progressive elements to his Cabinet while surrounding them with an overwhelming majority of Rightists and an increasing number of retired military officers.

He has released political prisoners of high caliber, although he has held back from releasing all political prisoners who are being held in violation of the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). When patriotic and progressive mass organizations hold protests in front of the presidential palace, he invites the leaders for discussion and expresses support and sympathy. In a recent symbolic act, he went out of the palace to meet and mingle with the peasant protesters who demanded land reform. He denounced the landed oligarchs and expressed support to the protests.

To gain support from the reactionary armed forces, he has used strong words against the New People’s Army whenever he visits military camps and casualties in funeral parlors and hospitals and he has arrived at an all-out war policy against the revolutionary movement. But keenly aware of the popular demand for a just and lasting peace, he has manifested willingness to continue the peace negotiations between the Government of Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)

The NDFP, which represents the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army and 16 other revolutionary organizations, continues to consider the peace negotiations as the way to test and find out what Duterte means by wishing to be the first Left president of the Philippines, agreeing to negotiate social, economic and political reforms to address the roots of the civil war and pursuing an independent foreign policy in a multipolar world. The patriotic and progressive forces and the broad masses of the people support the peace negotiations.

Only a few but powerful who may be described as the pro-U.S., ultra-Right wish to spoil the peace negotiations. They wish to precondition the peace negotiations with a ceasefire that is protracted and indefinite, push the revolutionary forces towards capitulation and pacification and lay aside the substantive agenda of social, economic and political reforms. They wish the Commission on Appointments of Congress to remove from the Duterte Cabinet the patriotic and progressive elements who are in positions to help in the implementation of agreed reforms in the peace negotiations.

The NDFP is observing whether Duterte has the political will and the leadership to direct the GRP Negotiating Panel to come to terms with its NDFP counterpart on social and economic reforms band then on political and constitutional reforms before the end of hostilities and the disposition of the armed forces of both sides can be negotiated. The Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) is the “meat” of the entire peace negotiations. The NDFP has demanded national industrialization and genuine land reform. The Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms determines what authority and how all the reforms shall be implemented. The NDFP has offered to co-found with the GRP the Federal Republic of the Philippines in order to override the current existence of two governments, one reactionary, and the other revolutionary, which are belligerent forces in the civil war that started in 1969.

So long as the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations are moving forward from one round of formal talks to another, we can watch unfold the positions of the Duterte government and NDFP and whether or not the two sides can make the necessary comprehensive agreements to put into effect the reforms that are necessary for a just and lasting peace. The fifth round of formal talks shall be held in Noordwik aan Zee in The Netherlands from May 27 to June 2, 2017. The focus shall be on the demand for the release of nearly 400 political prisoners listed by the NDFP in accordance with CARHRIHL, the further negotiation of CASER and the question of a ceasefire.

Prof. Jose Maria Sison is Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle and Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

On the appointment of more military generals to the Duterte cabinet

Communist Party of the Philippines
May 12, 2017

The Filipino people are not laughing at GRP President Duterte’s supposed joke about forming or letting a military junta take over government after having appointed more ex-military generals to key posts in his cabinet.

Duterte’s joke must be severely criticized. It smacks of contempt of the hardships, oppression and military abuses which the Filipino people were subjected to under the 1972-1986 military dictatorship of Marcos and his military and police clique, as well as under the successive AFP oplan wars of suppression from Oplan Lambat Bitag up to the current Oplan Kapayapaan.

The recent appointment of Palparan-trained Gen. Eduardo Año, current Chief-of-Staff of the AFP, as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government is a shameless act against the thousands of victims of his reign of terror. By heading the DILG, he is set to further enrich himself through bureaucrat capitalist corruption, as he has done in the military.

Año’s appointment to the DILG comes at the heels of the appointment of another former AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Roy Cimatu (of the notorious “pabaon” scam) to the environment department. Cimatu was among the key implementors of Oplan Bantay Laya under the Arroyo regime and its spree of extra-judicial killings against activists. Among the most numerous victims of the Arroyo regime were those who stood against mining operations. Cimatu was among the pioneer implementors of the “investment defense force”, special units of the AFP that are being funded by mining companies.

There are now at least ten former military officers appointed to key positions under the Duterte regime. Indeed, the military clique is now among the biggest inside the Duterte government. These military officers are mostly fascist and pro-US zealots who have long defended the neo-colonial state. They are the strongest pillar of US domination within the Duterte regime.

The dominance of the military clique inside the Duterte cabinet casts a long shadow on the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. Over the past months, it has been former military officials Delfin Lorenzana and Hermogenes Esperon, defense secretary and national security adviser respectively, who have been the most virulent against the peace negotiations. Lorenzana has gone to the extent of openly standing against the Duterte regime’s policy of peace talks. He has issued statements and threats against peace negotiations.

Lorenzana and his military ilk are US stooges who do not wish peace negotiations to progress towards agreements on substantive reforms which may go against US economic, political and military dominance.

The dominance of the military clique under the Duterte regime, combined with Duterte’s authoritarian rhetoric, raises the level of impunity of military forces in the conduct of their campaigns of suppression. With former military officers at the helm of the Duterte government, anticipate a new wave of attacks against activists, advocates of the interests of the toiling masses and defenders of the country’s environment and patrimony against foreign and big bourgeois plunder.

Over the past few months, there has been an all-out campaign of killings against peasant activists and aerial bombings of rural communities where people have actively struggled for genuine land reform and resisted landgrabbing by big landlords, mining companies and big plantations.

The military clique combines with the pro-imperialist advocates of neoliberal policies in the Duterte government in pushing for the removal of two cabinet members who come from the Left. They have already succeeded in shoving out maverick Gina Lopez who vigorously stood against plunderous mining operations which destroy the environment and harm the people’s livelihood.

They demand the removal of Ka Paeng from the Department of Agrarian Reform whose support for the installation of farm workers in the plantation operated by the Lorenzo’s Lapanday Food Corporation, is set to be a precedent against various anti-land reform and land grabbing schemes of haciendas and big plantations. While they may concede to letting DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo retain her post, they are wary at the prospect of the military being prevented from usurping such civilian functions as delivery of relief in areas targetted for military counter-insurgency operations. If they could not afford to oppose Taguiwalo’s appointment, they will surely find a way to keep their fascist troops infringing on civilian functions.

The dominant position of the pro-US military clique will further ensure the protection and perpetuation of US policies as against Duterte’s declarations of an independent foreign policy. The problem with Duterte’s declaration of an independent foreign policy is that it has only opposed being bound by an exclusive military alliance with the US but has failed to assert the right of the country to be free from any dominant foreign military power.

His goodwill with China will, however, be tolerated only to the extent that it will allow the US military to continue building military bases and projecting its presence in the country and not give China the opportunity to build its military presence. Otherwise, with the dominance of the military clique he himself has installed, Duterte can easily be removed or compelled to play along with the wishes of the US imperialists.