We continue to slam Duterte for his active part in the political rehabilitation of the Marcos family of plunderers, apart from his unfolding to be a dictator-in-the-making manifested by his regime’s increasing fascism and militarist rule.
After railroading the undeserved Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Duterte stoked once again the outrage of the Martial Law survivors and relatives of the victims and other anti-Marcos groups by issuing a proclamation last week making Sept. 11, the late dictator’s birthday, a holiday in Ilocos Norte, Marcos’s home province.
“It won’t be surprising if by next year, he’d already turn it into a national holiday, especially Duterte is now apparently in cahoots with the Marcoses in their bid to return to power. Aside from his proclamation of Sept 11 as a holiday in Ilocos Norte, it’s important to note his admission that the Marcoses had donated to his presidential campaign, his moves to allow the dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, his implementation of martial law in Mindanao in the vein of Marcos’ martial law declaration, and the most appalling of all: his revelation that he had recent talks with the Marcos family to facilitate the return of suspected ill-gotten wealth in exchange for Marcoses’ “immunity,” Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago pointed out.
Duterte’s affinity for the Marcoses can no longer be denied, moreso, his emulation of the Marcos ideology now during his presidential term. His “iron-fist” rule, his profession of “doing everything only for the best for the people and the country” and his vehement attitude towards criticisms are his similarities with the former president and dictator.
“With everything that is happening, disconcerting is an understatement, especially to Martial Law victims. Duterte has only been giving undeserved recognition and rehabilitation to the Marcoses–an affront to the history and struggle of the Filipino people who overthrow him but also as a manifestation of the Duterte administration’s growing penchant for perpetuating state fascism. Rehabilitating Marcos’ image – turning him from zero to hero – is tantamount to endorsing gross human rights abuses, the grave disregard of civil liberties, and propagating state terrorism,” Elago added.
2017 marks the year late dictator Ferdinand Marcos turns 100, the same year President Rodrigo Duterter reveals himself to be just another tyrrant
Since last year, Pres. Duterte has unleashed police and police-backed death squads in a brutal and murderous “war on drugs” that has victimized thousands of mostly poor, small-time drug users and pushers.
In his rush to end armed conflicts with the BangsaMoro and the CPP-NPA-NDFP, he has imposed martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao. He has unleashed the full might of the military to bombard civilian communities and threaten, kill and illegally arrest those he considers as “enemies of the state”. His regime has continued the practice of filing trumped-up charges against activists and government critics, thus accumulating political prisoners.
He has bristled at criticism of his human rights record and has tried to undermine and pressure into submission the very institutions that exist as a check and balance to his powerful office, including the Supreme Court, Congress, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Commission on Human Rights. He has lashed out at members of the mass media due to unfavorable or critical reports of his administration’s policies and pronouncements.
He has dismissed human rights as a needless obstacle to his administration’s law and order drive and continues to goad the police, military and paramilitary groups to violate those rights. He continues to incite state security forces to commit willful violence against the people while assuring them of protection from investigation, prosecution and punishment.
IN THE FACE OF SUCH BLATANT DISPLAYS OF FASCIST TYRANNY, IT IS TIME TO TAKE A STAND, TO SPEAK OUT AND TO ACT.
He unmasked himself as imperialist US puppet and head agent of it in the neocolonial client-state Philippines controlled by big bourgeoisie-compradors and landlords through complying to the neoliberal economic policies prescribed by US-IMF-WB which permit proliferation of contractualization and low wages. Non-distribution of lands to farmers is also aligned to the neoliberal agenda of land-use conversion to serve the big foreign agribusiness plantations.
“Truly, he protects the interests of the imperialists and landlords as he implements US-backed state fascism by launching three (3) wars against the people—Martial Law and War against Moro, OPLAN Kapayapaan: All Out War on the People, and OPLAN Tokhang: War against the Poor,” Rep. Sarah Elago said.
Three US-Duterte Regime Wars against the People
Duterte’s instating of former military generals in his cabinet and government is his way of consolidating the powers and harnessing the support of the military. The said three wars target his rivals and the broad masses that fight against the status quo.
MARTIAL LAW AND WAR AGAINST MORO: US and Duterte pushed for martial law, in the guise of war against terrorism, to broaden the presence of US troops and advance their military intervention as in the framework of imperialist plunder. It aims to end the resistance of different Moro groups for their right to self-determination, as well as to pave way for the smooth entry of heavy foreign infrastructures and exploitative businesses to Mindanao.
OPLAN KAPAYAPAAN, All-Out War against the People: Duterte shut the door for peace talks after he failed to enter and halt the armed revolutionary movement. Instead of continuing the discussion on the pro-people socio-economic reforms proposed by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (part of which are genuine land reform, free irrigation, national industrialization, etc.), he launched an all-out counter-insurgency program, OPLAN KAPAYAPAAN, which translates to intensified military attacks on the countryside that claim lives and destroy livelihood of several civilians and children.
Latest data from KARAPATAN states that under the US-Duterte regime, 68 are victims of extra-judicial killings (EJKs); majority of them are peasants. There are also at least 800 cases of illegal arrest, and additional 57 political prisoners in just the span of one year of Duterte in presidential office.
OPLAN TOKHANG, War against Poor: Majority of the 12,000 and counting killed in Tokhang are poor, innocent or not, whereas, Duterte only gives deafening silence on his son’s, Paolo, involvement in the drug trade in Davao City where he is the vice mayor, and on the PhP6 billion-worth of drugs seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) where Paolo is also allegedly involved.
It is hard not to suspect that he uses drug warfare only to suppress his political opponents, and at the same time, utilizes the police to protect the big drug syndicates. Several thousands of civilians have already died while neither of the drug lords has been arrested thus the continuation of their operations.
Growing Resistance and Continued Struggle of the People
“Duterte’s stubbornness and refusal to resolve roots of poverty, hunger and massive social inequality will only fan the flames and rage of the Filipino people. We said before that it is only a matter of time before Duterte unveils himself as no different from his predecessors; by this time–after turning his back to peace talks, launching three wars against the people, and letting the rejection of progressive cabinet members happen–it now turned into actuality. He is no different from the past anti-people presidents,” Elago said.
“His promise to uplift the lives of the Filipino people thru the abolition of contractualization, free education – will soon lose its luster. His populist rhetoric is nothing but a veneer for intensified neoliberal attacks against the people. It is his administration that is losing support from the people,” Elago added.
“And just like the dark days of Martial Law, the Filipino people will rise up and unite against the fascist rule. The youth is ready to fulfill its role as agents of political change. Together with the workers, peasants and other sectors in their millions, we will link-up with them and smash the system that has long betrayed us and build a better future without oppression,” Elago concluded.###