The New People’s Army (NPA) in Eastern Visayas today said that GRP President Rodrigo Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are forcing local government units in the region to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA as ‘persona non grata’. It called the declarations as public relations stunts masterminded by Duterte and his military’s rule over the civilian government, part of his schemes to fully realize his fascist dictatorship.
Responding to statements issued in two towns in Leyte last July 11, Karlos Manuel, spokesperson for the Efren Martires Command (EMC) of the NPA in Eastern Visayas, said, “By virtue of Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) 70 and its ‘whole-of-nation/whole-of-government approach’, the AFP is mobilizing what should otherwise be a civilian government supreme over the military for its counter-insurgency campaign.”
In truth, Manuel said, peace-loving local officials are well aware how these declarations cover up the intensified militarization of their communities and the widespread human rights violations the AFP perpetrates against their citizens in the cities and the countryside. “They reject Duterte’s EO 70 for its brutality, but are threatened at gunpoint by the AFP to support the counter-insurgency campaign lest they be Red-tagged themselves.”
Manuel asserted, “the real persona non grata in Eastern Visayas are the fascist military and the rotten and despotic landlords and bureaucrats, who collude with the Duterte regime in its wanton violation of the people’s basic freedoms and international humanitarian law. The people loathe them for reveling and benefiting from a fascist government knee-deep in corruption and servile to US imperialism.”
The EMC spokesperson thus urged local government officials in Eastern Visayas to exercise their democratic rights and reject the AFP’s call to issue persona non grata declarations against the revolutionary movement. “To actively implement and promote Duterte’s EO 70 means to support the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the fascist military, and be deaf to the people’s calls for meaningful reforms.”
Meanwhile, he warned, “it is the sworn duty of the NPA to defend the people and launch tactical offensives to punish the worst of the human rights violators among the police, military, paramilitary and intelligence units of the GRP and hold them accountable before the People’s Democratic Government.”
He then called on the Filipino people to unite to expose, oppose and oust the worst persona non grata of all – Duterte himself. “Let us persevere to resist the US-Duterte regime’s brutal Oplan Kapayapaan and Oplan Kapanatagan and carry forward the people’s war principally through armed means to finally end his hated regime,” he ended.#