The Communist Party of the Philippines on 26 December accused President Rodrigo Duterte of responsibility for “innumerable war crimes and crimes against humanity.” On the occasion of the Party’s 52nd Founding Anniversary, the CPP Central Committee asserted that massacres, extrajudicial killings, torture, abductions and arbitrary arrests and illegal detention continue with increasing frequency under the Duterte regime.

Duterte has militarized his government, the CPP said, “there is de facto Martial Law in the country with the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Law.” This law, according to the CPP, gives Duterte limitless powers in using state machinery to suppress any protest and dissent by the Filipino people. The regime has also deployed around 50,000 combat troops – 150 battalions – to fight the New People’s Army. These troops occupy rural communities and subject the peasant masses to armed suppression.

The Party also warned that Duterte intends to perpetuate himself in power, possibly by declaring a ‘revolutionary government’, installing a dictatorship in the guise of setting up a federal government.

Duterte’s single six-year term is set to end in June 2022. The regime is facing increasing isolation due to the worsening socio-economic situation, worsening poverty, rising joblessness, its failure to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of landless peasants are also being driven to bankruptcy due to skyrocketing costs of production and land rent, and landgrabbing by big corporate interests.

Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairman of the CPP, said, “The Duterte regime is trying hard to surpass the state terrorism and brutality of the Marcos fascist dictatorship. It is engaged in blind red-tagging, slander, extortion, arbitrary arrests, torture and murder.”

Prof. Sison said, “But they grievously offend the people and drive them to engage in various forms of struggle and the most threatened young militants to join the NPA.”

The CPP revealed that the NPA is growing despite the intensified armed repression. “Most of the NPA commands have adapted,” the CPP said. “(The NPA) has succeeded in forming new guerrilla fronts or expanding existing guerrilla fronts, while strengthening and deepening the support of the peasant masses.”

It cited victorious efforts of the NPA in Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Southern Tagalog regions in evading the encirclement by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and in mounting tactical offensives against the AFP.

Prof. Sison said, “As long as the root causes of imperialism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism persist, the conditions for the growth of the armed revolution will be fertile and the reactionary government and its imperialist masters will fail to destroy it.”