Volume II, Number 22. 31 October 2020.
Listening to the declarations of Duterte government officials of late, you will get the horrifying impression that ‘terrorists’ are creeping up and overwhelming every corner of Philippine society.
Suddenly, women celebrities Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Liza Soberano and Angel Locsin are branded as terrorist sympathizers and threatened to die like New People’s Army women fighters. Manila mayor Francisco Moreno has been similarly branded as a terrorist sympathizer.
According to Duterte officials, these celebrities advocating for women and children’s rights are playing into the hands of the women’s organization Gabriela. Gabriela, so the officials claim, is a terrorist sympathizer organization, a recruiting ground of the ‘communist terrorists’ Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army. According to the same officials, these types, communist terrorists thus, are destined to be killed by Duterte security agents.
Mind you, the CPP is leading an armed revolutionary movement which is fighting for national sovereignty, national industrialization and the democratic interests of the oppressed Filipino people. In a country where more than three-quarter of the population suffer crushing poverty and where foreign powers and a handful elite plunder the nation’s resources, it is no wonder that this armed movement has flourished and is now occupying several thousands of rural villages. Such enduring oppression also results in widespread criticism and popular protests, even if unarmed.
So you get the grim scenario of President Rodrigo Duterte and his top officials accusing anyone who criticizes their policies as terrorist sympathizers and terrorists. And with the Anti-Terrorism Law to back them up, they now have the legal underpinning for these utterly wild, obscene and deadly accusations. Very grim indeed when placed alongside Duterte’s so-called anti-drug war, which has already led to tens of thousands of unsolved murders, illegal arrests and inhuman detention. Government enforcers publish lists of ‘drug personalities’, warn the civilian population ‘to change their ways’ and then conjure up ‘evidence’ after they’ve killed or arrested a civilian.
Terrorists? No need to look far: Duterte and his minions are the terrorists! They utilize state power to threaten and murder the civilian population. They fatten themselves with public funds and corporate commissions. They build their complex of loyal and rabid supporters. They are battling to maintain the bankrupt semi-feudal and neocolonial ruling system.
These terrorists deserve all the indignation and censure they’re receiving from the international community and the Filipino people themselves. The rising tide of criticisms from celebrities, legal actions, popular protests and tactical offensives of the people’s army all combine to righteously and effectively fight against these terrorists.