Choosing to be oblivious and playing deaf, the US-Duterte regime signed the Anti-Terror Law yesterday, July 3. The collective clamor has been resounding ever since its railroading in congress, and it will only be more intense as the state is expected to step up its all-out attacks. All the democratic forces, resolute in defending their rights, are poised for an even fiercer resistance against the worsening dictatorship.
The Sagay 9 massacre, Oplans Sauron 1 & 2, all the SEMPO-like operations and state terrorism through red-tagging, illegal arrests and extrajudicial killings that have transpired in Negros since the implementation of MO 32 and EO 70 were but a dress rehearsal of the war Duterte is bent on unleashing against the people.
Prior to the said bill, Negros Island has been a lab rat for his tyrannical schemes, evident until now. Recently, Aldong Davao was illegally arrested, Jerry Catalogo was brutally murdered, and militarization in the countryside have been engulfed with fascism, such as the torture of farmers in Tayasan and Himamaylan, and the ransacking of homes in Canlaon. At least 90 have been killed in the administration, with hundreds more being illegally arrested, harassed, and thousands being terrorized in their communities.
Along with that, the military and police have arrested thousands nationwide, threatened dissent by harassing and detaining protesters and the displaced, and even have betrayed their own ranks like what transpired in the murder of 4 AFP intelligence officers by the PNP in Sulu. The Anti-Terror Law will only worsen the culture of impunity. What Duterte and his cohorts have rehearsed in Negros, Bicol and Samar will be blitzkrieg the entire country,
The Anti-Terror Law is a representation of state neglect at its worst. Soaring prices and unemployment continue to plague the Negrosanon especially that the tiempo muerto has been earlier this year, due to the lockdown. Drivers and workers are being laid off.The corruption-laden Social Amelioration Program which has proven to be a band-aid solution. Youth and students are deprived of their right to education as “distance learning” is an expensive and difficult for them, and even their underpaid teachers. The mass media has been threatened to either cooperate or be silenced, as manifested in the ABS-CBN shutdown and Rappler’s CEO Maria Ressa’s conviction. Healthcare workers and frontliners are sacrificing themselves to a pandemic with no end in sight. Fisherfolk are falling prey to Chinese ships after our country’s sovereignty was sold. OFWs are exposed and hundreds have died. Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) are prone to hunger and death such as what happened with Michelle Silvertino. Businesses are closing due to bankruptcy. Even AFP-PNP rank-and-file troops deaths are increasing because they are being exposed to the pandemic. Mass testing is yet to be implemented, if at all. In short, the Filipino people are being ignored and left to die if not killed by the tyrannical government.
Despite the glaring need of addressing the pandemic’s socio-economic repercussions, Duterte has only chosen to ignore the Covid-19 crisis. Instead, he has his focus on ballooning foreign debt from his masters in US and China, for corruption and strengthening his grip on his mercenary AFP-PNP through the procurement of war materials. He expects a massive backlash due to his open state fascism, and is gearing up his troops to protect his interests as the Filipino people are piling up anger due to his inability to address their needs. His terrorism will only allow an even bigger united front. As he cements his dictatorship, he has unwittingly united all the democratic sectors determined to oust him from his rule.
Our aspirations to fight for our democratic rights and a just and lasting peace is attainable if we arouse, organize, and mobilize the masses. NDF-Negros enjoins farmers, fisherfolk, workers, the urban poor, women, youth and students, teachers and the academe, artists and cultural workers, the national minorities, healthcare workers and frontliners, the mass media, patriotic professionals, displeased military and policemen, enlightened landlord and businessmen in the opposition, and the entire Filipino people in their millions, to resist fiercely resist open state fascism and depose the tyrant Duterte and dismantle his military rule. ###