Youth groups march to fight crackdown on activists, civilians

Friday, December 8, 2017

KABATAAN Partylist joins youth groups and students today as they register their staunch opposition to the ongoing “crackdown” of the US-Duterte regime on activists and civilians.

The youth group vehemently slams the Duterte administration for officially declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorists, and implicitly mixing in legal organizations with it.

“If anyone’s a terrorist here, it is the US-Duterte fascist dictatorship because of its records of killings of the people, apart from the various forms of human right violations committed by the state forces since the start of his term,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said.

“If anything, the war on the Left is the new drug war. Expect not just activists but civilians to be affected and victimized. ‘Komunista’ is the new ‘dorogista,’” Elago added.

Growing list of victims

The list of victims has grown exponentially in the past months since Duterte’s assumption of office and since his crackdown on vocal critics and dissenters. Innocent people have been “intentionally killed” and gunned down under the guise of drug war, how much more vicious for those who have braved this tyrannical regime by speaking up and defending their rights.

After the issuance of Proclamation 360 cancelling the GRP-NDF peace talks, human rights organizations have recorded killings, disappearances and forced arrests over the country on a daily basis, especially on activists in the cities.

“An activist priest killed by armed men in Nueva Ecija; 8 Lumads from T’boli and Dulangan Manobo were massacred by state forces; food blockade by the AFP on Lumad communities, schools closed; Supreme Court upholds Martial Law extension decision; George San Mateo of Piston unlawfully arrested; student-leader from League of Filipino Students-UST SHS received death threats; 17-year old Lumad forcibly taken by state agents during wake; Oplan Tokhang back in operation, PNP to continue anti-poor drug war; and AFP, PNP spotted during anti-jeepney phaseout mob; tensions raised. All of these are proof of the intensified attacks and happened just in a span of few days; what more in the long run. Dark days ahead are saddeningly apparent,” Elago elaborated.

Desperation for ‘revgov’

Elago adds that Duterte’s declaration tagging the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorists has been forthcoming since he decided to terminate the peace talks. As his strongest and fiercest opposition, targeting the left only solidifies the fact that he is scared of losing his political power, that is hellbent in maintaining his diminishing popularity.

“He is bent on killing off any and all opposition in desperation to build, build, build his tyrannical ‘revolutionary government,’ which is just another Martial Law declaration. This is in collusion with the US and President Donald Trump who rubberstamped Duterte’s fanatical wishes just before the crackdown on the Left,” Elago said.

“Time and again, the youth is faced with the challenge to heed history’s calling. With the threat of Martial Law declaration in the country, the US-Duterte regime is on its way to a no-holds-barred tyrannical rule. The challenging times pose an imperative for the youth to further resist and enjoin its force with the other oppressed and exploited sectors,” Elago ended.

Kabataan Partylist is a member of Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT), the biggest alliance of students, organizations and councils against Duterte’s emerging dictatorship. On December 10, YANAT is set to join various sectors in a people’s protest on International Human Rights Day.  ###