The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today warned that the Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) set up in each of the six provinces of the region are essentially civil-military juntas which will sideswipe the local governments. “Organized by virtue of Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 and its ‘whole-of-nation approach,’ the PTF-ELCAC empowers the Armed Forces of the Philippines to subordinate and mobilize the civil authorities and civil society in the name of ‘counter-insurgency,’” the EMC said in a statement.
Ka Karlos Manuel, spokesperson for the EMC, said that through the PTF-ELCAC, the AFP conducts the charade that local governments and officials as well as the people support the Duterte regime’s “counter-insurgency” program. “Thus, the PTF-ELCAC will lead to orchestrate ‘persona non grata’ declarations, forced surrenders, anti-communist gatherings and ‘peace rallies’ in barangays, schools and other institutions as the AFP militarizes the civil spheres of society. Everybody else will be compelled into acquiescing with the fascist ‘counter-insurgency’ that is leading to extrajudicial killings, illegal arrests, harassments, and other human rights violations.”
“The PTF-ELCAC thus means de facto martial law and will surely engender rising rights violations not only in the 31 ‘identified priority barangays’ but throughout Eastern Visayas.”
The EMC spokesperson called on the people to expose and oppose EO 70, Memo 32 and other fascist schemes of the Duterte regime. “We call on the human rights defenders, church people, media, academics, politicians and all freedom-loving people to oppose the Duterte regime’s tyranny and the wanton violation of democratic rights through the ‘whole-of-nation approach’ and its instrumentalities through the PTF-ELCACs.”
He likewise urged local government officials to resist the militarization of their offices, heed the demands of their constituents for protection against the fascist attacks of the military and police, and to be open to the democratic demands of the people.#