The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the rest of the democracy-loving Filipinos in condemning Rodrigo Duterte for the signing of Republic Act 11479, inappropriately titled Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. Duterte signed the law in contempt of widespread opposition by broad democratic sectors of Philippine society as well as international human rights advocates.
In the guise of fighting terrorism, Duterte has appropriated powers that contravenes basic civil and political rights and extends the authority of the president as stipulated by the reactionary 1987 constitution. He and his Anti-Terror Council have impinged on judicial powers and can now subject anyone it designates a “terrorist” to arrest and 16-24 day detention.
Duterte and his security officials have peddled the law on state terrorism on claims that it will help their fight against the New People’s Army, which is a revolutionary army, not a terrorist organization. In fact, there is nothing in Duterte’s state terror law that will stop the growth of the NPA which continues to gain in strength because of widespread social injustice and national oppression, especially landlessness, poverty and military abuses in the countryside. On the contrary, worsening state terrorism will only drive more and more people to join the NPA.
The real aim of Duterte’s terror law is to terrorize and cow the people. It will serve as an instrument of widespread state terrorism. Providing a vague and overly broad definition of terrorism, the law gives Duterte vast powers and prerogative to designate as “terrorist” or “terrorist supporters” anyone who criticizes, opposes, defies or challenges his regime. This will put on steroids the red-tagging campaign against progressive and democratic forces, including unionists, peasant leaders, social activists, human rights advocates, stalwarts of the Moro people’s rights, environmentalists, opposition parties, journalists, lawyers and others. Duterte’s law on state terror is bound to further worsen abuse of power by state forces which are notorious for committing extrajudicial killings, surveillance and unlawful arrests and other gross violations of human rights under Duterte’s fake drug war, war against the Moro people and war of suppression in the guise of anticommunism and counterinsurgency. In the countryside, Duterte’s fascist terrorist forces have committed murders and massacres, aerial bombings, abductions and other abominable crimes. With the signing yesterday of Duterte’s Terror Law, the last brick of his House of Tyranny is complete. Through legal fiat, the entire country is now under Duterte’s complete dictatorial rule. It bolsters Duterte’s scheme of fascist dictatorship and ambition of extending his now 4-year rule to an eternal reign of state terrorism, corruption and national treachery.
Duterte’s Terror Law tears away whatever is left of the ruling state’s trappings of democracy. With a rubberstamp Congress, a compliant Supreme Court, a puppet Comelec/Smartmatic, and now with extraordinary power, Duterte has now placed the entire reactionary government under his virtually unquestioned authority and limitless power.
Duterte signed the Terror Law while the country faces Covid-19 pandemic and the regime’s failed militarist response. This has justly roused the Filipino people’s indignation, especially the workers, the urban semiproletariat and pettybourgeoisie, who have suffered the most from Duterte’s militarist lockdown measures and lack of health response. Duterte has displayed utter lack of concern and utter incompetence in leading the country to overcome the pandemic. By prioritizing the Terror Law, Duterte has caused his further isolation.
With the Terror Law, Duterte is poised to use the full powers of the fascist state against the people, in the same manner that Marcos used martial law to suppress all democratic forces. In the face of these threats, the people must be ready to defend their legal rights. At the same time, they must be prepared to fight wisely. They can employ clandestine methods to protect and preserve the people’s organizations, as well as online precautions to fight and defeat state terrorist surveillance and all-out attacks once the full force of the law is unleashed. Undoubtedly, however, Duterte’s acts of state terrorism will only ignite greater resistance.
The Party is one with the Filipino people in their fight against Duterte’s Terror Law. It urges all well-meaning people in the bureaucracy, military and police to abandon the rotten regime. The Party calls on the international community to withdraw recognition of the Duterte’s regime of state terror.
The Party encourages the Filipino people to stand up, get organized and unite in a broad front, and vigorously resist Duterte’s Terror Law and fight for their democratic rights. The time to be quiet and timid is over. They must wage street marches and protest and all other forms of resistance in their numbers in order to muster enough strength to clamor for the scrapping of Duterte’s Terror Law and demand his resignation and the ouster of his regime of state terrorism.
The Party also directs the New People’s Army to support the people’s resistance against Duterte’ Terror Law by defending the people against the state terrorist forces. While the NPA continues to exert efforts at extending health and economic services to the people amid the Covid-19 pandemic, its units and Red fighters must heed the people’s aspiration for justice and mete out punishment against the fascist terrorists.
Junk Duterte’s Terror Law! Oust the US-Duterte regime!