Almost five decades ago, Ferdinand Marcos placed the entire country under martial law which launched his brutal dictatorial rule. For 14 years, the Filipino people resisted valiantly and fought on all arenas of struggle.
The Filipino people today are subjected to same fascist brutalities and cruelties under Duterte’s de facto martial rule. Attacks against the people are far more brazen and are on a greater scale, particularly in terms of killings perpetrated by state forces.
The Duterte regime is a thinly disguised fascist state. Duterte exercises near absolute powers, employing the military and police as his armed agents to carry out his dictates.
He uses anticommunism and anti-terrorism as his overarching ideology to justify his relentless attacks against civilians, his political opponents and all other democratic forces. The military is given absolute powers in the name of the “whole-of-nation” approach to counterinsurgency.
Duterte is presiding over a pseudo-democratic government. His strongman tactics have rendered the legislative and judicial branches of government powerless. All democratic forces are being silenced, intimidated, neutralized and vanquished in a war of all-out suppression.
Duterte is a fascist demagogue. He plays on the broad masses’ popular sentiments and grievances to misrepresent himself as one with them. He wants to attract the support of the people, exert influence on the masses, while at the same time impose policies which oppress and burden them. He has made atrocious distortions of history, promoting Marcos as a hero and glorifying authoritarianism in a self-serving effort to justify his tyranny and bid to establish a dictatorship. To rationalize his appointment of large numbers of former officials of the AFP, he acclaims the military officers as disciplined and trustworthy, obscuring its long history of rights abuses, involvement in criminal syndicates and corruption.
Duterte has openly abetted the military and police to carry out extrajudicial killings and rape. He openly encouraged state security forces to disregard human rights.
Duterte’s fascism is the unbridled terrorist rule of the most reactionary elements of the ruling classes of big bourgeois compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists in the country. Duterte represents the vilest and most bestial segment of the ruling reactionaries. He is from the same vein as the Marcoses and Arroyos and other Philippine icons of corruption and oppression. He has risen to the top of the bureaucratcapitalist ladder and has resorted to fascism to eliminate all challengers and opponents.
Duterte’s fascism is intolerant of the democratic forces of the oppressed masses which challenge the exploitative and oppressive system. It aims to destroy militant trade unions and workers organizations, patriotic student groups, peasant associations demanding land reform and various democratic organizations.
It aims to suppress mass resistance in a united democratic uprising. Fascist-type pro-Duterte groups are formed to attack various democratic organizations and create an illusion of mass support for his despicable regime.
The ruling Duterte clique’s use of fascism indicates the inability of the ruling classes to perpetuate their rule in the old way that veiled barefaced state terrorism under the trappings of bourgeois-democratic processes. This is a result both of the deep and virulent divisions within the ruling classes, and the rising challenge to the class rule by the organized resistance of the oppressed and exploited classes. However, fascism further weakens the ruling state because it intensifies the contradictions not only between the oppressed masses and the ruling state, but also that between the different rival factions of the ruling classes.
In 1972, Marcos declared martial law, abolished the ruling political system in one fell swoop and established his dictatorial rule. When his regime was overthrown, the bourgeois-democratic and trappings of the ruling system which he abolished were restored under the 1987 Constitution. These, however, are now fast being eroded by the fascist order being established by Duterte.
The Filipino people must firmly resist and seek to end Duterte’s reign of fascist terror. They must fight for their democratic rights and clamor for justice. Struggle to prevent Duterte from perpetuating his rule, and demand that he be made accountable for all his crimes.
Mount an assiduous propaganda campaign among the masses against Duterte’s fascist demagoguery and lies. Oppose Duterte’s exercise of absolute powers, his treason and corruption. Expose the deception and corruption behind fake surrenders and persona non grata declarations.
Broaden and strengthen democratic organizations in urban centers and the countryside. Do not let them fall into passivity amid threats. Actively vitalize these as a weapon for defense and advancing the masses’ interests. The people should be infused with courage to advance their struggles for livelihood, defend their rights, and persevere in the difficult struggle against Duterte’s fascist tyranny.
All democratic forces continue to unite and further broaden the antifascist united front against the Duterte regime. The oppressed and exploited classes, the intellectuals and professionals, academics, church people, cultural and media media workers, women, the youth and the anti-Duterte political opposition are brought together. Maximize the rift between the ruling classes. Be perceptive of upheavals to rouse and mobilize the masses. Exert further effort to unite hundreds of thousands and millions of people in various forms and fields of struggle to end the US-Duterte regime.
The Party and the NPA served as the strongest bulwark of anti-fascist resistance against the Marcos dictatorship, waged underground and armed struggle, inspired and militated the Filipino people to unite and struggle for democracy. Culminating long years of anti-fascist resistance, the Filipino people rose up in their millions in 1986 causing the overthrow of the US-Marcos dictatorship.
The Party and the NPA remain the most consolidated bastion of the Filipino people’s anti-fascist resistance. All cadres and members of the CPP and Red fighters of the NPA must strengthen and steel themselves ideologically, politically and organizationally in order to be at the vanguard and core of the people’s struggle against the fascist Duterte regime.