The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) extends ardent greetings of solidarity to all political prisoners and all their families and friends across the country. The Party expresses full support for the struggle for freedom of all political prisoners in line with the14th International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War and in anticipation of the International Day of Human Rights on December 10.
According to human rights organizations, there are currently 629 political prisoners, more than 60% of whom were imprisoned under the Duterte regime, including at least six who served as peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. At least 50 prisoners are elderly, while 113 are sickly. Most of political prisoners are peasants and workers.
There are an increasing number of political prisoners in the Philippines as the fascist state under Rodrigo Duterte intensify its crackdown against political dissent. The recent mass arrest of 57 in Negros is so far the worst incident of police crackdown against patriotic and democratic organizations. This fascist drive is carried out under the regime’s Executive Order No. 70 and de facto martial law rule. It aims to silence all forces opposed to regime’s corruption, puppetry, brutality and oppression of the people.
Political prisoners are made to suffer long years of detention by invariably using planted evidence and charging them with such criminal cases as illegal possession of explosives. This practice violates the Hernandez Doctrine upheld even by the Supreme Court which prohibit slapping common felonies with political cases.
They also suffer from oppressive conditions in the overpopulated prisons and detention facilities. The Duterte regime wants to further punish political prisoners by putting them in separate facilities where they will have no access to each other in the hopes of weakening their collective struggle. There is the threat of demolition against the compound of political prisoners in the National Penitentiary and the oppressive policy of limiting visiting hours to a mere 20 minutes.
The Party salutes all political prisoners in the country who continue to remain steadfast and work to advance the democratic and patriotic aspirations of the people.
The Party calls on all democratic forces to help strengthen the resolve of political prisoners to struggle for freedom in order to directly participate in the people’s democratic struggles. The Party urges the Filipino people to amplify the call:
Release all political prisoners! Fight de facto martial law! End the US-Duterte fascist regime!