Volume III, Number 14. 31 July 2021.
The desperate Duterte regime through its Anti-Terrorism Council designated the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as a ‘terrorist’ organization. This is contrary to the basic principles of international humanitarian law on the legitimate status, rights and character of national liberation movements. Its earlier designation of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army as ‘terrorists’ is also such an abnormality.
Duterte and his cohorts are not content in murdering or detaining on false charges dozens of consultants of the NDFP in the peace negotiations. A much greater number of social activists are being labeled as ‘communist sympathizers’ and terrorists, becoming targets for assassination and illegal detentions. These are all vain attempts to quash the growing resistance to the regime’s oppressive rule and to put the last nails in the coffin of the GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations.
By designating the NDFP as a ‘terrorist’ organization, the regime vainly aims to justify the intensifying harassment and murder by its armed contingents even against the non-communist allied members of the NDFP, and by extension the legal progressive organizations.
The working masses of the Filipino people are suffering under unprecedented poverty and are ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Duterte is unable and unwilling to address these problems, but instead greedily enriches himself together with his cohorts through unbridled corruption. He hopes to instill fear in all citizens and quash their resistance by successively imposing draconian measures like his ‘war on drugs’ that has killed more than 30,000 alleged drug dealers and suppressive campaigns against millions of unarmed peasants, indigenous peoples and activists in both the rural and urban areas.
The Duterte regime is the true terrorist in all meanings of the word and not the NDFP and its allied organizations.
Duterte hopes his designation of the NDFP as a ‘terrorist’ organization will help prolong his power after the 2022 elections. But Duterte himself is in mortal fear of his reign's ignoble end. He is mortally afraid of the legal prosecution to be initiated by an opposition successor and even more afraid of the International Criminal Court accusing him and his cohorts of crimes against humanity.
But eventually it is the people, in the midst of the growing revolutionary movement, that will oust him before or after the 2022 elections. This will be a significant step in the process of attaining national sovereignty and true democracy towards a just and lasting peace.