Peace month observance bogus amid Duterte’s dirty war

PRESS STATEMENT | 1 September 2018

Ka Estrella Banagbanag
Spokesperson, Rachelle Mae Palang Command (RMPC)
NPA-Southeast Negros

The commemoration by the reactionary government of a peace consciousness event this month is nothing but a PR stunt aimed to deodorize Oplan Kapayapaan, the brutal and vicious war campaign of the US sponsored Duterte regime against the people and its revolutionary movement.

Despite pro-Chinese or Russian posturing and bravado, Duterte is an out-and-out US flunky as evident in its fanatical implementation of the war on “terror” through Oplan Kapayapaan and the neoliberal economic prescriptions such as TRAIN and several other sugar-coated economic measures wrecking havoc on the rights and livelihood of the people.

Duterte abandoned the path of just and lasting peace through a negotiated political settlement. Instead, repeating the US anti-terror mantra, Duterte declared war not just on the revolutionary movement but on the entire people tagging everyone critical of his fascist and dictatorial regime as “terrorist” and instituted militarist measures like the national ID system.

Oplan Kapayapaan is rotten to the core and encompassed all of the dirty tricks the AFP can contrive within the aegis of the US counter-insurgency guide such as murders, abduction, vilification and black propaganda, misinformation and fake news, bombardment of communities, forced evacuation, food blockade and so on. It is targeting not just armed revolutionaries but also unarmed and legal activists.

In Southeast Negros, five individuals including a barangay captain to date have become victims of extra-judicial killings and none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice.

Duterte must be fooling himself into thinking that sheer militarism and unbridled force will impel the revolutionary movement into capitulation. While flexible in policies, it remained firm in its basic principles and determined to advance the revolution to new and higher level.

The rising fascist repression coupled with skyrocketing prices of food and other basic commodities further push the people towards the path of armed struggle. In one year and a half of Duterte’s regime, the membership of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Southeast Negros increased by 44% with about 70 % of new recruits coming from the youth.

The revolutionary movement is always open and ready to talk peace in the negotiating table at the national level pursuant to the established framework and modalities. Localized peace talk is doomed to fail as the root cause of the armed conflict is of national scale and dimension. It’s an another psy-war ploy intended to divide the revolutionary forces and the people.

Peace can only be attained by addressing the social causes of the armed conflict and instituting basic structural changes like genuine land reform, national industrialization and other social-economic reform measures, political and constitutional reforms among others. ###