On December 4, 2018, fascist Duterte signed Executive Order 70 (EO 70) which institutionalized the “whole-of-nation” approach to counter-insurgency. Through EO 70, the anti-people National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) was created.
Through the NTF, civilian authority of the reactionary government is under the authority, control and meddling of the military. EO70 transformed the different agencies of the reactionary government as one big machinery for surveillance against the revolutionary movement, including democratic organizations red tagged in counter-insurgency.
They want to project that the national task force and its local counterpart is supported by the people. What they fail to understand is that no amount of token programs can solve the armed conflict. As long as they continue to neglect to address the root cause of armed revolution, the national task force and all other counter-insurgency program is doomed to fail.
Duterte’s war against the revolutionary movement is in fact a war against the people. As part of the whole-of-nation approach, the military and police synchronized their combat operations which resulted to a bloodbath of civilians, mostly farmers, human rights defenders and activists. Concurrently, EO70 aggressively red-tags progressive organizations and individuals in order to invalidate the legal democratic movement and silence dissenters.
Duterte’s war against the people gets dirtier and bloodier each day. Politically motivated extra-judicial killings is now at 353, of which 290 are farmers. Victims of frustrated extra-judicial killings is at 488 while there are 18 victims of enforced disappearances. Victims of illegal arrest with detention is at 1,001 while 2,613 are victims of illegal arrest without detention. Add to that the thousands more killed in the name of the war on drugs.
In Negros, 94 fell victim to extra-judicial killings, 52 of which were killed when MO 32 and EO70 took effect. The number of political prisoners in Negros also increased exponentially under the Duterte regime. There were only 5 political prisoners when Duterte assumed power in 2016 but four years into Duterte’s fascist rule and political prisoners in Negros now counts to more than 120.
Duterte benefits the most from the NTF-ELCAC. As commander of the NTF, he makes sure that all the State’s machinery and resources are servile to his interests. All agencies of the government from the national-level down to the local units are at his command in order to crush whoever dares to challenge his tyrannical rule.
The 19 billion allocation for NTF will be used to quell democratic organizations who incessantly criticize and fight every Duterte’s fascist maneuvers. AFP/PNP Generals and other high-ranking officials gets to heavily pocket from the 19B allocation. Imperialist US is also too happy that Duterte prioritizes counter-insurgency as they profit from the sale of their surplus and worn-out military equipment. It is only right for the people to demand for the defunding of the NTF and to clamor for its abolishment.
The sustained focus military operations only proves that the AFP are armed mercenaries subservient to despotic landlords, big comprador bourgeoisie and foreign imperialists against the just struggle of the peasant masses and exploited people.
Duterte’s fascist ambition which heavily relies on his armed mercenaries in the AFP/PNP to quell the ever growing democratic movement and struggles of the people is doomed to fail. Just like all other counter-insurgency campaigns, the Filipino people will emerge victorious against Duterte’s tyrannical move.
The people is waging the right and just cause of national democratic revolution that is gaining momentum against Duterte’s tyrannical rule. Duterte keeps losing ground because he wishes to preserve the oppressive and exploitative system.
As EO 70 and the NTF is Duterte’s machinery for his fascist reign, it is just and necessary for the broad masses of the people to collectively fight against it in all fronts. EO 70 can be overcome, as well as Duterte, through the unity of the people against Duterte’s fascist schemes.
Democratic organizations and the struggles of different sectors must be strengthened especially that of the workers and peasants who are most vulnerable to Duterte’s tyranny. From the countrysides to the urban centers, the broad masses of the people must support each other and fortify their ranks against the attacks on their livelihood and rights. It is important to assert the legal and democratic rights of the Filipino people as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
But the most effective way to fight the fascist conquest of Duterte and his NTF is by waging armed struggle. All units of the NPA, Yunit Militia and all armed revolutionary forces must be broadened and strengthened. The NPA will launch tactical offensives against units of the AFP/PNP victimizing the peasant masses. The people’s war will advance and will make Duterte pay for his crimes against the people.
The exploited and oppressed masses are the creators of history and will smash the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system in order to attain national democracy that will free us from the shackles of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.###