The cancellation of peace talks only furthers US-Duterte regime’s all-out war approach and reveals their gross disinterest in genuinely pursuing basic socio-economic reforms that would address the root causes of armed struggle in the country—landgrabbing, extreme poverty, corruption, among others.
From the very beginning, all the GRP seemed to be interested in is a mere bilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA. Even while unilateral ceasefires were ongoing, the AFP has conducted ceasefire violations, harrassment and illegal arrests in peasant and IP communities. Since February, the AFP has launched all-out war in these communities under Duterte’s directive to “flatten the hills” and “bomb the Lumad schools.”
Expect the worst from Duterte’s crackdown not just on armed groups, but even on mere expressors of dissent, similar to his Tokhang “crackdown on drug pushers” which took a toll on innocent civilians and youth.
Duterte also seems to overestimate the financial and military support given by the US and Donald Trump, thinking it will deal a blow to the movement. Marcos’ martial law was also supported by the US, but met its end with the people’s protests and resistance.
The Filipino youth and the people will not stand down at Duterte’s terrorist-calling and empty threats. We must march in greater numbers in a broad united front to fight the tyrannical maneuvers of the US-Duterte regime and intensify our struggle for genuine societal change. ###