Immediately after its creation, the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) in the Cordillera has reared its evil head and plans – to “neutralize” activists through constant harassment, filing of trumped up charges, illegal arrests and extra-judicial killings, all to silence the people’s resistance in the region. After experiencing incessant vilification and red-tagging, a human rights volunteer of the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM), Brandon Lee, was targeted for liquidation by the Duterte death squad at 5:00 in the afternoon of August 7, 2019. Fortunately, he survived the attack.
Before the assassination attempt, Lee has been receiving death threats and has been accused by the AFP-PNP as an “NPA supporter” in malicious and dirty propaganda that was disseminated in different parts of the province. Though a Chinese-American, Lee has long been accepted by the Tuwali of Ifugao as he is married to a Tuwali woman and has a permanent residency status in the Philippines.
Since the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach during the Oplan Bayanihan of the US-Aquino 2 regime, Ifugao has become a killing ground for mass leaders who stand up for people’s rights and livelihood. As in the case of William Bugatti in 2014 and Ricardo Mayumi in 2018, there can be no other culprit in this attempt on Lee’s life except for the mercenary armed forces of the US-Duterte regime. Acting on orders from their commander-in-chief, the AFP-PNP and their paramilitary forces have launched a nationwide killing spree as an essential part of Oplan Kapanatagan. Along with the peddling of lies and deceptions, these fascist attacks are meant to shock the people into submission and to silence all opposition to the status quo.
Duterte’s murderous intent against the Filipino people further shows who he really serves – the interests of his narrow clique, the bourgeois compradors and landlords and his imperialist masters who applaud him at the expense of the masses. As shown in all previous so-called counter-insurgency schemes under different reactionary regimes since Marcos, the Cordillera people, together with the majority of the oppressed and exploited masses of the country, will never be cowed. With the intensified attacks against the people, they are further driven to follow the path of the armed revolutionary movement.
The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) is untiring in its call for the Cordillera people to steadfastly unite in solidarity to persevere in the national-democratic revolution. In front of Duterte’s tyrannic regime, we should further break the chains of fear that his militarist minions want to instill upon us. We should expose and oppose the evil schemes of the AFP-PNP and the ‘whole-of-nation approach’ implemented through the RTF-ELCAC that further drives the people down the pit of intensified exploitation and oppression. We should persevere in the fight for our lives, lands and resources, and join the growing movement for the ouster of this corrupt, brutal and traitor regime.
Justice for Brandon Lee and all victims of state terrorism!
Fight the terrorism and deceptions of the RTF-ELCAC!
Oust the US-Duterte regime!