Rodrigo Duterte’s plot to declare nationwide martial law is underway. He is increasingly desperate amid broad rising calls for his ouster. He seeks to prop himself up as a fascist dictator in his despair to cling to power.
Duterte deserves the strongest condemnation for threatening to make full use of the military and police to carry out armed repression against mass demonstrations by conjuring a scenario of “rebels taking to the streets” and “fighting on the streets.”
Having imposed martial law in Mindanao, Duterte believes he can get away with nationwide martial law. The Filipino people are determined to prove him wrong. Under the slogan “Never again to martial law!”, various forces are bound to rapidly come together against the Duterte regime as it carries out increasingly tyrannical measures.
Duterte has been carrying out brazen steps to establish a fascist dictatorship by silencing the political opposition, striking terror among through mass murder , suppressing their resistance and monopolizing political power.
Duterte and his shameless cohorts of congressional supermajority allies have railroaded the National ID system. They have cancelled the scheduled barangay elections and seek to grant Duterte the power to supplant tens of thousands of village officials with his loyalists. They acted swiftly to impeach the chief justice as an overt threat to make the Supreme Court and judiciary bow to Malacañang’s whims.
Duterte wants quick approval of his P3.7 trillion 2018 budget which ensures funding for his triple wars of death and destruction. It is, by far, the biggest corruption budget. It will fund his bureaucrat capitalist rule. Hundreds of billions will go to infrastructure projects to bribe or reward his allies and secure their loyalty. Duterte is also set to receive P3 billion in discretionary “intelligence funds”, a 500% increase over the previous regime. Funds for his anti-drug campaign of mass murder is set to increase by 4000%.
Duterte is presently carrying out a mind-conditioning campaign to justify his plan to impose martial law. Through mostly foul means, he has silenced critical opinion in mass media. He employs his horde of paid trolls to flood social media with Duterte adulation and to villify the Left and political opposition. He uses government money to build his Kilusang Pagbabago propaganda machinery and Masa Masid (now renamed Community Mobilization Program, comparable to the Alsa Masa movement in Davao City) spy network. The police and military control the flow of information. In the guise of stopping “fake news,” the regime is set to clamp down on media freedom and the right to free expression.
Even as Duterte is laying the foundations and machinery to establish himself as a fascist dictator, he continues to style himself as a “Lefist” or “socialist” in order to deceive the people and their revolutionary forces. He has also been resorting to more and more ridiculous claims such as the existence of a “Duterte faction” among the revolutionary forces in Mindanao. Having failed to inveigle the NDFP to capitulate in the peace negotiations, he is offering so-called local peace talks in the vain attempt to entice revolutionary forces with deceptive offers. As he grows more desperate, he will likely make more promises or token accomodations in the hope of derailing the intensification of the people’s war and the growth of the people’s protest movement.
In the face of Duterte’s tyranny and plans to establish a fascist dictatorship, an anti-Duterte united front has emerged. Within this united front are the national democratic mass organizations and alliances which serve as the most organized and determined core. Various political forces, social institutions, mass organizations and interest groups are gravitating towards one another in the fight against Duterte’s repression, crime, corruption and sell-out to the US imperialists and other foreign powers. Duterte is set to use blackmail and bloody intrigue to divide the ranks of the anti-Duterte united front and prevent his complete isolation.
The protest movement is bound to rise against the US-Duterte regime’s corruption, crime and tyrannical rule and the worsening socio-economic conditions under the semicolonial and semifeudal system. The broad masses of workers and peasants, the youth, the urban poor, the unemployed, the Moro people, the minority people are the most determined to struggle against Dutere, because they are the ones who have suffered the most under his neoliberal and repressive policies.
Duterte and his security officials are determined to suppress the protest actions and prevent these from swelling into large demonstrations. In the face of his desperation, it is not remote that Duterte and his dirty tricks department will resort to creating bloody trouble in the streets to serve as pretext for the declaration of martial law.
The people must counter the threats and intimidation of the Duterte regime with unity, courage and determination. In the event that Duterte proceeds with the nationwide imposition of martial law, the people must assert their democratic rights and generate nationwide resistance and international condemnation. In intensifying political repression, Duterte will succeed only in inciting the people to wage more widespread resistance.
The Filipino people will always have the New People’s Army to defend their rights and interests. All units of the NPA must prepare to accomodate a large influx of new recruits as Duterte threatens to arrest or subject social activists and his political rivals to summary killings.
In the face of Duterte’s martial law machinations, the NPA is ever determined to mount more and more tactical offensives nationwide in order to weaken and derail his plans to establish himself as a fascist dictator and make big strides in advancing the people’s war.