The people will not be cowed by state terrorism
Randall Echanis, 72, veteran revolutionary and people’s servant, champion of the toiling masses and advocate of just peace, was mercilessly tortured and killed. Fascist executioners raided his home in Quezon City on the wee hours of August 10. He was bound, hit on the head and repeatedly stabbed.
What else other than the Duterte monster’s fascist animals could carry out such a dastardly crime? Who else would celebrate Echanis’ murder other the exploiters and oppressors which he condemned and fought against alongside with the toiling masses his entire life? What other aim does this crime hope to achieve other than drive a stake of terror on the people’s hearts? What else will it arouse but rage, indignation and greater courage and people’s resistance?
The brutal murder of Echanis is part of the intensifying and ruthless state terrorist attacks under the Duterte regime. It targets known personalities and patriotic and democratic forces active in the open mass movement and who are the most vigorous in exposing and fighting the anti-people Duterte regime and advancing the democratic mass struggles.
One week after Echanis’ murder, the fascist animals were again unleashed. Zara Alvarez, 39, human rights defender and community health worker, was gunned down in Bacolod City. Like Echanis, Alvarez is among 600 activists which the Department of Justice accused of being “terrorists” in the proscription case against the CPP and NPA. In May, Carlito Badion, 52, was also abducted, tortured and killed. A few days earlier, Jory Porquia, 58, a prominent activist and city coordinator of Bayan Muna, was killed in Iloilo City.
The relentless fascist rampage against known activists in the cities are carried out by the state armed agents under the orders of Duterte and his National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). Even without legal bases, the evil fascists have long implicated activists with the armed revolutionary movement. They target even artists, the critical mass media, church workers and ordinary people critical of Duterte. The targets of these killings, arrests, abductions and incarceration have long been red-tagged by the AFP and PNP in their tarpaulin and endless media prattle, to justify the filing of trumped-up charges or outright murder of mass leaders and activists.
If the fascist rampage in the cities are relentless, AFP repression is even more virulent and savage in the countryside, away from media attention and where information flows ever so slow. Under Duterte’s rule, not less than 264 peasants have been killed by the regime’s soldiers, police, paramilitary and armed agents.
They respect no rights or guideline other than martial law. Wherever peasants stand up and defend their rights or fight for land, the fascists are there to silence and crush them. The masses face state terrorism every single day.
Whoever learns to speak for their interests are accused of supporting the armed movement. They impose military restrictions on communities including curfews, checkpoints, food blockades, prohibiting work in the fields and other measures purportedly against the NPA, but in fact, are onerous restrictions against the people. Civilian residents are forcibly used by the AFP in their bloody and oppressive war. They are paraded as “surrenderees,” conscripted into the CAFGU, made to guide military operations, hauled to pro-military rallies and others.
In waging war, the AFP abides by no rules. Incited by Duterte, soldiers have brutally killed revolutionary leaders and forces even if they are no longer in a position to fight. Southern Tagalog Party leader Ka Mario Caraig was gunned down last August 8 while asleep. He was then convalescing from battle wounds. Last March, Ka Julius Giron, 71, a Party leader and peace consultant, was mercilessly killed in their residence in Baguio City, together with his doctor and buddy.
Contrary to international humanitarian law, the AFP has been dropping 500-pound bombs and indiscriminately firing artillery in suspected NPA camps endangering the lives and livelihood of the peasant masses and minority people in nearby communities.
All these—from political killings in the cities to militarization in the countryside—form part of the image of state terrorism under Duterte. In the face of the pandemic, Duterte prioritizes state terrorism. He uses the worst forms of fascism to terrorize the people, silence their protests and suppress their struggles.
Intoxicated with power, Duterte aspires for more in order to continue aggrandizing wealth from pocketing public funds, cuts in government contracts, bribe money from drug syndicates and others. He and his minions gravely fear of losing power and having to face innumerable crimes and rights violations, have their hidden wealth exposed and be made culpable for all their transgressions against the people. Duterte persists in his power perpetuation schemes by charter change, rigging the 2022 elections in favor of those who he will choose, or outright imposition of dictatorial rule.
Worsening state terrorism is a manifestation of the US-Duterte regime’s desperation to cling to power in the face of rising and broadening calls for his resignation or ouster.
The people’s determination to fight intensifies as they face the regime’s bungling of the pandemic response, worsening corruption and stealing public funds, fleecing and oppressing the people.
However, instead of being crushed, the people’s hearts are filled with rage, and with the determination and courage to fight. Instead of being silenced, the people see ever more clearly the need to speak out, protest and rise. Instead of turning their backs, the people are ever ready to make the necessary sacrifice in order to fight and defeat fascist terrorism and attain their aspiration for freedom.