Volume II, Number 24. 30 November 2020.

The US government has quite a record in supporting the most odious despots in the world. It ignores the heinous crimes of dictatorial regimes, as long as US interests are preserved and promoted. In the not so distant past, US administrations zealously propped up the Marcos fascist dictatorship until it was overthrown by the Filipino people.

The Trump administration showcased this infamous record just this week with its ‘donations’ to the Duterte government of military equipment and munitions worth millions of American taxpayers’ dollars. According to US officials, these would help Manila fight ‘terrorism’ and, in exchange, strengthen Manila’s support for US interests in the Asia Pacific region.

President Rodrigo Duterte and his security officials, however, have a different type of ‘terrorism’ in mind. While the terrorist Abu Sayyaf gang are allowed to wreak havoc in southwestern Mindanao islands, the Duterte regime is brandishing its sword against newly-found terrorists: the political opposition, activist organizations, human rights defenders and even celebrities. The newly-acquired ‘smart’ weapons will target peasant and indigenous communities who are demanding land rights and resisting so-called development projects. Continued military aid and political backing from the Trump administration will further embolden the bloodthirsty tyrant to carry on with his terrorist-tagging and kill, kill, kill policies.

In a truly sovereign and democratic country, Duterte and his security officials would have been long subjected to investigation, indicted, locked up and punished for their genocidal crimes. But the Trump administration opts for its policy of coddling dictators, as long as they remain American dictators.

The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces are fully justified in their determined efforts to overthrow the Duterte tyrannical regime. It will be the most earnest expression of solidarity of the American people to help put an end to US military and political support to this tyrant.