As what the Filipino people have expected, the Anti-Terror bill deliberated on May 29 was, very much like Duterte’s anti-people laws, railroaded in the House Committee level despite being untimely, questionable, and very anti-people. Along with his emergency powers and military control of the government branches, the country is in a state of undeclared martial law. The bill is a blatant attack against democratic space, as it legalizes red-tagging and gives further authority for the AFP-PNP to murder, arrest and detain critics of the state, which should be met with the sound resistance of the masses.
Duterte and his henchmen such as the likes of Panchito, Pasaporte, and Baleros, along with the RTF-ELCAC here in Negros and its national counterpart have long revealed themselves to be enemies of the people. Martial law may not have been declared but Duterte cannot sugarcoat it any longer in what has transpired since his presidency. The incessant red-tagging of human rights activists, farmers and farm workers, urban poor, journalists, church people, women and youth leaders along with other democratic sectors have only caused more deaths and human rights violations. The Negrosanons will not forgive this bloody regime as the perpetrator of the Sagay massacre, Oplan Sauron 1 and 2, murdering innocent civilians along with mass arrests and enforced surrenders.
Just recently, after the active defense a unit of the NPA in Himamaylan City, the 94th Infantry Battalion has committed atrocious crimes through illegal detentions, torture and indiscriminate firing, causing trauma to communities, most notably on one resident that they threw a grenade on mistaking him as an NPA member. Baleros also declared that the PNP be vigilant because of NPA Special Partisan Units’ ‘liquidation activities’, when it is their hitmen industriously conducting extrajudicial killings up to now. The AFP-PNP’s paranoia is notably increased due to their fascist crimes. It is Duterte and the AFP-PNP who are the true terrorists.
It is no longer surprising that the likes of this bill are prioritized instead of addressing the worsening Covid-19 pandemic on top of the chronic crisis of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system. Duterte’s militarist approach will only isolate him further from the Filipino people. If he were truthful in his intentions to end the armed conflict, the US-Duterte regime should long have addressed the problem of land reform and national industrialization. But it is crystal clear that he is a lapdog servile only to his American and Chinese imperialist masters at the expense of the people. While he is narrowing the democratic space of the masses, Duterte expects to sow fear, but he is unknowingly creating more room for a broader united front more determined than ever to oust him and establish a society based on a just and lasting peace. The Negrosanons and the entire Filipino people must dauntlessly exhaust all means to protect and assert collectively their rights and welfare against the worsening dictatorial regime. ####