Deception and oppression. Everyday, this is what Duterte and the AFP/PNP bring to the people in farms and mountains. They promise “Peace” and “Stability,” but their war against the people engenders only violence and poverty. Their showcase “services” fail to conceal the deep-seated problems of poverty and joblessness caused by land grabbing and dispossession.
That thousands have “surrendered” to Duterte is pure hogwash. Were they armed, criminals or facing charges? In reality, 99% are simply peasants, farmworkers and ordinary people. They were deceived, intimidated and coerced: made to queue for rice and canned goods, made to sign blank documents, attend “dialogues” and other ploys to pass them off as “surrenderers.”
The AFP’s campaign to have the NPA and “Left groups” declared “persona non grata” is another humbuggery. But who do the people really hate if not soldiers who are all smiles in front of the media, but bare their fangs when no one is looking? The real aim of the AFP is to crush the people’s organizations. They are incriminated as members of the NPA even as they have no crimes nor face any charge in court.
The AFP detests the people and their organizations as they oppose military abuses. They are against the encampment of soldiers in their villages which brings danger, fear, noise, vices and disturbance.
People are burdened by these schemes. These are funded by people’s money plundered by corrupt AFP officials, including the E-CLIP which promises P65,000 for every “surrenderee.” In many cases, those who “surrendered” have not received a single peso. Others received P5,000 but in the form of downpayment for a motorcycle. Funds amounting to hundreds of millions of pesos are plundered by Duterte’s greedy officials (in the same way that they plunder the 4Ps cash-transfer funds). The more “surrenderees,” the bigger the take.
Public showcases such as “housing,” “Hongkong tours” and others are also a big business. Instead of being given housing, there are cases wherein those who “surrendered,” especially men, are corraled like animals in military camps.
The AFP/PNP insists that the people support their war against the NPA. In reality, they are at war with the people. The masses bear the brunt of this war as they are banned from working in their fields or from travelling, as their food purchases are blocked at checkpoints, and as their children’s schools are turned into military camps. The soldiers’ armed presence in villages foster fear, not joy, as they raze huts, ransack homes, fire their guns and cannons, drop bombs from helicopters, and encircle barrios with their drones.
How many peasants have been killed by the AFP/PNP’s forces and agents? On last count: 231. Who can forget the Sagay Massacre, the Lake Sebu Massacre, the 14 killed in one day in Negros? They were not members of the NPA. Nor were they armed. But they are said to have “fought back.”
The “surrender” and “persona non grata” campaigns are hoaxes to deceive the masses. These conceal the Duterte regime’s failure to crush the NPA and the truth that armed struggle continues to advance in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Duterte is a big fraud in pretending to be for the peasants and land reform. He proclaims, “turn your back on the NPA and join me” while giving out meaningless documents. Duterte is obscuring the crisis gripping the countryside. Hundreds of thousands of palay farmers are being eliminated with the deluge of imported rice. His crooked scheme is to take away the land of the toiling masses as well as their capacity to fight back in order to pave the way for the entry of foreign mining companies, oil palm plantations, energy and tourism projects, roads and other big business infrastructure projects.
The aim of all these is to destroy the unity of the toiling masses in the countryside and crush their strength to fight back. They seek to dismantle and ban democratic organizations and allow only those organizations which kowtow to the AFP/PNP and officials who follow their orders. Freedoms and rights, even those enshrined in the 1987 constitution, are taken away. This is the fascist order that Duterte wants to impose on the entire country. He wants to destroy the people’s capability to defend their interests and wellbeing. Duterte hates the peasants, the Lumads, the women and youth who are united and determined.
If the people have no strength to resist, nothing will stand in Duterte’s way in further oppressing the people and realizing his dream to extend his power and becoming a Marcos-like dictator to control the entire drug trade, every contract with China to plunder the country’s sea and land resources, monopolize corruption and live in unlimited luxury.
The toiling masses will suffer worse hardship and oppression if we will remain silent and bow to Duterte and the AFP/PNP. Overcome fear! Come together and fight back! Unite and resist!
What must be done? We must take back our freedoms and fight for our democratic rights. We must establish, expand and strengthen our respective organizations. Whole villages, together with nearby villages and the entire towns must take action.
The Duterte regime’s oppression against the toiling masses in the countryside is extremely grave. Thus, the struggle for the welfare and needs of all impoverished people must be intensified. We must collectively fight to bring down land rent, to cut interest rates on loans, lower the prices of seeds and pesticides, attain fair farmgate prices for palay, copra, bananas, abaca and other farm produce, the right to calamity funds and so on. Collectively oppose oppressive projects of foreign and local big capitalists that trample upon the interests of the poor people.
The Communist Party of the Philippines is firmly one with the people. The Party’s standpoint for the interests of the toiling masses remain. The Party pledges to further strengthen itself so it can continue to guide, and march at the helm and alongside the people in the difficult struggle against oppression and exploitation.
The Party established the NPA to serve as Filipino people’s true army. Its Red fighters are composed of the best, most courageous and trustworthy children of the people. They surmount all difficulties, suffering and sacrifices and selflessly give all their strength and capability to defend the masses against exploitation and oppression. Let us continue to give all to support and cherish our army. Continue to strengthen the NPA and advance the armed struggle nationwide to smash the cruel and criminal units of the AFP and PNP and all of Duterte’s armed agents.
Reject and resist Duterte and the AFP/PNP’s deception and oppresion! Oppose attempts to divide the masses! Unite and collectively struggle for democracy and the welfare of the entire people! End and crush the reign of Duterte’s fascist regime!