The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in strongly denouncing the stepped-up surveillance by Duterte’s police forces against members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) as well as other democratic mass organizations.
The surveillance was exposed after leaders of ACT revealed that officials of the Department of Education in Metro Manila and other provinces were being asked to inform the police of the roster of ACT’s membership. Its members reported being tracked down by police operatives to their homes.
The police surveillance on ACT clearly aims to harass and intimidate the organization which has staunchly advanced the welfare and interests of teachers and the people’s democratic cause. It also aims to bully the teachers to make them submit to the scheme of the Duterte regime to manipulate the upcoming mid-term elections which employ public school teachers.
The surveillance against the teachers is an affront against their democratic rights. Duterte has mobilized state forces to subject his critics and opposition forces to so-called intelligence operations. Instead of addressing the demand of public school teachers for salary increases, Duterte is using public money to harass and intimidate them.
It forms part of the massive surveillance against students, journalists, lawyers and other various democratic sectors and their organizations and alliances, as well as progressive party list groups, to set them up for arrests or extrajudicial killings. Duterte has earlier ramped up his Red-tagging of these organizations using the old Marcos tactic of labeling them as “communist fronts” in a futile attempt to justify vicious all-out suppression. He has openly threatened to murder their members whom he called as “potential members” of the NPA.
Duterte desperately aims to preserve his power by cracking down against the legal democratic forces which are at the forefront of the anti-fascist united front of all groups opposing Duterte’s tyranny and de facto martial law rule.
Duterte’s fascist suppression will, however, succeed only in arousing ever wider opposition and fiercer resistance to his rule. Contrary to his aim, more and more are being enjoined to close ranks with a broad united front to call for an end to Duterte’s state-sponsored killings and terrorism, corruption, and servility to foreign powers.
He is also succeeding only in closing legal avenues of dissent and unwittingly encouraging more people to support and join the New People’s Army (NPA) to wage armed struggle.