Groups slam Duterte’s latest rhetoric on crushing communists

By SHERWIN DE VERA
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Progressive groups slammed the latest pronouncement of the president on crushing the communist movement in the country.

The National Union of People’s Lawyer denounced the president’s statement to destroy suspected and imagined legal fronts of the CPP, calling it “draconian and lawless order.”

“The order, coming from the Commander-in-Chief, puts the parliamentary and legal struggles of the Filipino people and State security forces in the dangerous crossroad,” said NUPL in a statement.

According to the group, the danger is obvious that “supposed legal fronts are threatened with any and all destructive acts from the whole repressive apparatus of government” including becoming “targets of the lethal actions of the armed forces.”

Meanwhile, Cristina Palabay of Karapatan said the concern over the dangers and threats posed by Duetere’s command is aggravated by the statements made by Presidential Communication Secretary Martin Andanar and Malacanang Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Both officials imputing legal organizations, with Andanar even particularizing on leftist pary-list and non-government organizations, as part of the order.

“With such orders, Duterte, mimicking plunder queen Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the blood-thirsty Marcoses, makes no distinction between armed combatants and non-armed members of the opposition, and thus has added another footnote of evidence to his long list of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,” Palabay stated.

Actors and film makers also released a statement expressing alarm on the president’s “destroy the reds” directive, pointing the order “places the legitimate civic and political struggles of the Filipino people in a precarious and dangerous situation.”

“Duterte argued that this reactionary measure is necessary to maintain “law and order” in the land towards a road to a life of “better opportunities” for the Filipino people. But this militaristic road is marred with malicious red-tagging and violence which sows fear and instability across the country,” declared the Concerned Artists of the Philippines.

The group considers presidential rhetoric as “proof of how Duterte’s resentment and retaliation towards criticism has reached the pinnacle of paranoia.”

“These draconian measures clearly speak of Duterte’s stubborn and simplistic mindset—all those who are against him are just reds who must be destroyed,” CAP added.

Suharto-style campaign

On Saturday, December 22, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his intentions to follow a Suharto-style campaign against the CPP.

He ordered the armed forces to “destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines, including its legal fronts and infrastructure.” before the members of the 10th Infantry Division in Compostela Valley,

He also called on the troops to set aside human rights, assuring them that he will take “full responsibility” for their actions.

The late General Suharto’s reign as the second president of Indonesia called the “rule of terror” for the brutal campaign against communists. Witch-hunt for suspected members and supports resulted in the killing of progressives and activists, including vocal church leaders and the ethnic Chinese.

Under his “New Order,” Suharto implemented programs that “killed hundreds of thousands of suspected communists and sympathizers and unleashed broader violence,” according to an article by Joseph Saunders of Human Rights Watch.

He noted the Suharto’s government use of vicious force “like a spigot,” turning it on and off “to snuff out or discredit popular opposition and public trends he and other officials didn’t like.”

The purged against the communist led to the killing of an estimated 3 million people.

Resist tyranny

Reacting on Duterte’s command, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT) likened the president to “Herod during the birth of Christ,” who is “undeniably promising death and endless famine to all the innocents and those who work for justice and peace.”

The youth alliance urged the nation to reflect this Yuletide season “not just about “the continuous birth of our affirmation to work for justice and peace, albeit difficult under the times of dictatorship and tyranny.”

“May Christ’s life inspire us this 2019 to lead a life with the courage to speak up against injustices and work for a society with just and lasting peace,” YANAT said.

The Movement Against Tyranny, the broad coalition of organizations and individuals, view the intensified attacks and dangerous pronouncements as an indication that the president is “worried about mid-term elections.”

“The regime is scared because it has been rocked this last year by scandals, infighting among greedy power blocs, and military setbacks in the countryside even amid martial law,” the group said, adding that, “Duterte’s credibility as an enemy of narcotics has been demolished, having been caught lying to protect his Customs chiefs throughout two shabu shipments, each worth billions of pesos.”

MAT called on the people to “resist Duterte’s attacks on democratic rights at every turn” and “unite, strengthen and expand” their number to frustrate the president’s tyrannical regime.

Meanwhile, on Christmas Day, Professor Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, called Duterte an “abominable No. 1 violator of human rights” for shamelessly promoting wholesale murder and rights violations.

Sison, also recognized as the founding chairman of the CPP, said the regime is the “precise target” for the peoples’ “exercise of their sovereign right to free themselves from tyranny” and called on them to “undertake all necessary actions to oust him from his position.” # nordis.net

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