Rodrigo Duterte has become a mad dog attacking and deriding people left and right, after his minions in Congress failed to railroad his latest federalism scheme through charter change last January.
He froths in the mouth with frenzied threats and profanities against the revolutionary movement, progressive organizations and individuals, his political enemies, members of the media and other sectors who fight against his crude manipulations to empower himself as a fascist dictator and legitimize his would-be fascist dictatorship. Duterte is desperately trying to suppress the people who are not cowed by his strong-man tactics, threats and intimidation.
Using the armed forces and his authority as president of the reactionary state, Duterte is intensifying his reign of terror in the entire country. After he attacked press freedom, he threatened to suppress the right to assembly and expression of the protesting youth. He implemented a crackdown in the cities by successively filing fabricated charges and attempted arrests of activists and leaders of progressive organizations. He is bullying his rival political factions. He suspended an official of the Office of the Ombudsman who exposed his family’s millions in secret bank accounts. He threatened to file charges against justices who refused to testify against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. He uses people’s issues like Dengvaxia and Mamasapano to blackmail officials of the previous regime. In the name of his fake anti-corruption campaign, he is booting out one by one state officials appointed by the said regime.
In the countryside, his fascist rule reigns supreme. He harasses, detains and kills activists from the barrios, relatives of suspected Red fighters and even revolutionaries who have retired, to sow terror among the movement’s supporters. He has deployed hundreds of soldiers in ìpriority areasî to carry out brutal and continuous military operations. He dislocates people from their communities to clear out suspected guerilla bases and open these to plunder by foreign companies.
He relentlessly attacks and slanders the revolutionary movement. Despite existing agreements, he had Rafael Baylosis, an NDFP consultant, arrested and is threatening the others. He spews disinformation and fake news which the AFP’s machinery of paid trolls churn out to portray the CPP and NPA as terrorists and use these to justify nationwide imposition of martial law. These attacks and slander are sure to intensify now that the timorous Supreme Court has confirmed his martial law extension up to the end of 2018.
Duterte’s fascist schemes will continue to be thwarted. He has long been exposed as a fascist liar greedy for wealth and power. He is isolated due to his arrogance and contempt for the people.
In the case of his fake federalism, his own urgency and crude manipulations to monopolize power and extend the terms of his cohorts has propelled protests from various classes and sectors. Protests against charter change have grown, from constitutionalists and senators to students and academics to other democratic sectors. These protests have been carried out in tandem with protests against neoliberal policies such as the TRAIN law which caused prices of goods and services to skyrocket, as well as protests for other social services and welfare.
In the peopleís resistance against charter change, two camps have emerged: Duterte and his supermajority on one hand and the broad Filipino masses on the other. Thus, Duterte is only fooling himself with his high popularity ratings and in believing that he still enjoys credibility among the people.
It is only right that bigger and more frequent protests are launched against Duterte’s intensifying terrorism. The people’s collective anger against the puppet, corrupt and oppressive regime should be channeled to these protests to hold him res≠ponsible for his growing crimes. Call for the immediate end to martial law in Mindanao and frustrate the wars of death and destruction. Let the call to overthrow Duterte echo in schools, factories, markets, communities, barrios and other population centers.
Further broaden the anti-Duterte alliance. Various classes and sectors should take the initiative to launch campaigns and protests to condemn the regime’s oppressive policies. The youth and student movement is in the position to make their voices louder than ever, just as during the First Quarter Storm.
The call to overthrow Duterte must be spread overseas. Since the beginning, various sectors and organizations have expressed alarm over the Duterte regime’s widespread killings and harassment. Condemn his subservience to imperialist chief Donald Trump’s war machinery. Further isolate him in the international community.
Most importantly, the New People’s Army must carry out significant tactical offensives to rock Duterte’s fascist reign. His fascist troops must not be allowed to lord over the countryside. The revolutionary movement should resolutely face relentless military operations and frustrate destruction and pacification of mass organizations and local Party units. Frustrate The enemy’s encirclement campaigns must be frustrated by expanding and deepening guerilla fronts to create wider areas of maneuver for NPA units.
While the revolutionary movement in Mindanao perseveres in resisting the combined all-out war and martial rule, NPA units in Luzon and Visayas should launch bigger attacks to force the AFP to overstretch itself.