The US-Duterte Regime Will Pay for The Ruthless Killings of Zara Alvarez, Randy Echanis and Other Activists: Blood Debts Shall be Settled in Due Time

Estrella Banagbanag | Spokesperson | NPA-Southeast Negros (Rachelle Mae Palang Command) | Negros Island Regional Operational Command (Apolinario Gatmaitan Command) | New People's Army
August 19, 2020

The Rachelle Mae Palang Command – New People’s Army Southeast Negros Guerrilla Front condemns the fascist US-Duterte regime for the brutal assassination of Negros-based human rights advocate, church activist, health worker, paralegal officer, and former political prisoner Zara Alvarez. At the forefront of the human rights campaign in demanding justice for the victims of human rights violations in the island – notably, the Sagay 9 massacre, SEMPO 1, 2, and 3, and all other victims of the brutal “All Out War” waged by the reactionary armed forces under the Joint AFP-PNP Oplan Kapanatagan, MO32, and EO70 – now laid to rest, Zara earned the hatred of the criminal fascists for her fearless, uncompromising servitude to the people, especially the great masses of workers and peasants in Negros Island. The RMPC extends its most solemn condolences to her family, friends, and fellow activists. Zara was killed just a few days after the cold-blooded torture and murder of Anakpawis chairperson Randy Echanis.

In retrospect, Zara and Ka Randy’s state-sponsored assassinations, both carried out amidst the pandemic-wrought public health and economic crises, and after the ratification of the Anti-Terror Act, chillingly remind us of Duterte’s warning to the legal democratic movement last April 2020, during the beginnings of Duterte’s stepping up of his civil-military junta’s open terrorist rule, using the COVID-19 crisis as pretense to impose martial law lockdown measures and intensify his counter-insurgency drive: “Kayong mga legal, mag tago na kayo…. I have 2 more years… I will try to finish all of you… Tapusin na natin ito sa panahon ko.” As early as April, the fascist chieftain gave indications of his taking advantage of the pandemic to escalate the GRP’s murderous rampage in a vain effort to silence all criticism, cow the opposition, and to cripple the national democratic movement. In blatant disregard of fundamental human rights and international humanitarian law, Duterte has declared open-season on activists, has given the go-signal for his fascist hitmen to go after legal personalities long-targeted by the reactionaries.

Unfortunately, Duterte apparently has not learned from recent Philippine history. His idol Marcos’ draconian rule not only intensified the Philippine Revolutionary Movement, but also brought about the dictator’s downfall. History, as the cliché goes, is bound to repeat itself. Hopelessly stifling the revolution with means by which it advances, Duterte has sealed his fate, and that of his fascist cohorts.

As what happened in the 70s and 80s, when patriotic, democratic forces in the thousands flocked to the countryside, escaped from the dystopian conditions in the cities, and took part in armed struggle to overthrow the tyrant Marcos, so too shall a new breed of activists follow on the steps of their predecessors, heeding the Party’s call, to oust the fascist dictator Duterte; and when Duterte’s regime of terror comes to its end, the reckoning of all his crimes, and that of his cohorts, against the people shall immediately ensue. The New People’s Army in Negros Island – Apolinario Gatmaitan Command has vowed to intensify guerrilla warfare and launch more tactical offensives as answer to the masses’ cry for justice, as retribution for all the victims of extrajudicial killings and all the crimes committed against the Filipino people during this time of grave hardship brought about by the pandemic. As nationwide social unrest heightens, the eruption of the social volcano that is Negros Island is likewise nearing.###