Unite to oppose the National ID system

This statement was released last May 26, 2018

With the Senate leadership recently usurped by Duterte apologist and minion Tito
Sotto, with the Supreme Court, now free of Duterte arch-critic Chief Justice Ma.
Lourdes Sereno, and with the rubber-stamp lower house of Congress, the enactment
of the National ID system by the fascist Duterte now seems to be imminent. This
totalitarian measure was first proposed more than two decades ago and has long
been fiercely resisted by democratic sectors.

Wielding his new unbound powers, Duterte is now testing the waters with his push
to enact the fascist National ID system. If he could get away with this, it is
likely that he will push with far more insidious measures such as the plan for
charter change to give Duterte greater authority, including less restrictions on
his power to declare martial law, and pave the way for perpetuating himself in
power under one or another pretext.

The National ID system will practically be reviving the detested “cedula” system
which the Spanish colonial power used to control the movement of people and
suppress their democratic rights. In the hands of Duterte, the National ID
system is bound to be a weapon of suppression, a weapon of mass monitoring and
surveillance to track everyone’s movement, and to bribe and arm-twist,
especially against Duterte’s political critics and dissenters.

The Party urges all democratic sectors to unite firmly and oppose vigorously the
National ID system, advance their resistance against Duterte’s various
dictatorial schemes and his fascist abuses under Oplan Kapayapaan and Mindanao
martial law, fight the regime’s anti-people and burdensome policies especially
against the workers, peasants and oppressed economic classes, and put an end to
widespread and large-scale corruption, surrender of the country’s sovereignty
and subservience to foreign imperialist interests.

Please read further below the slightly edited statement by the CPP Information
Bureau first issued on September 5, 2017.

**National ID system in the hands of murderous strongman will have dreadful
results**

Duterte’s feverish push to implement a National ID system is part of his
machinations to establish a totalitarian state of mass surveillance, population
control, social, political and criminal profiling and mass murder.

The draft law of the National ID system has been bulldozed by Duterte’s
supermajority of political allies in the House of Representatives. Will the GRP
Senate pass the proposed ID system with similar dispatch and prove itself to be
no more than a rubberstamp than the lower house is?

The Party joins the Filipino people in opposing the National ID system. In the
hands of the Duterte regime, especially its security, military and police
agencies, the National ID system will serve as an additional weapon for fascist
suppression. There will be dreadful results once such a weapon is placed in the
hands of a strong-man tyrant as Duterte who is obsessed with summary killings
and mass murder as “solution” to social problems, to silence his political
opponents and suppress people’s resistance.

Such a system has long been proposed by the AFP and PNP and US military and
security advisers to facilitate mass surveillance through the centralization of
the collection and storage (or databasing) of personal information. Past regimes
have failed to push the National ID system confronted with popular opposition.
The US imperialists will congratulate Duterte if he succeeds on ramming the
repressive system.

Duterte’s proposed system aims to collect an inclusive list of personal
information in violation of civil rights. Duterte’s National ID system will be a
deathblow to privacy rights. In the hands of a repressive and oppressive state,
the collection of such information will surely be weaponized and used as a tool
for mass surveillance, social, political and criminal profiling.

In many capitalist countries, centralized databases of personal information
collected officially as well as illegally have been used by military and
security agencies for mass surveillance and “terrorist profiling” leading to
stigmatizing of social, religious and political groups and false accusations
against individuals.

To conceal its insidious aims and dupe the people to support the proposed
identification system, the Duterte regime makes false claims that the National
ID will serve to expedite the delivery of government service. Such claims are
put to dispute by the fact that the Duterte regime continues to cut the budget
for public education and public health and other important social services.

How can a National ID system help facilitate the provision of public health when
government hospitals are, in fact, being commercialized and privatized in whole
and in part? If the priority of government is to provide everyone with free
public health, free education, free public housing, public transportation and so
on, there is no need for a National ID system for the people to benefit from
these. A national system of identification has nothing to do with the efficiency
in the provision of public service.

Neither does computerization make a clean government. This is starkly
demonstrated by continuing widespread corruption in government agencies which
has computerized its record-keeping and processing. Manipulation of election
results in the Philippines have become more widespread, albeit less obvious,
through automation.