Oppose the use of ATL to persecute the people


The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces and repudiates the US-Duterte regime and its Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) for the tagging of 19 alleged leaders of the CPP as terrorsists. Most of them are consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the peace negotiations. Last December, the ATC also terrorist-tagged the CPP and the New People’s Army (NPA).

Going by principles of law, the ATC’s terrorist-tagging of the 19 is arbitrary and baseless. The ATC’s allegations are final even if no evidence was presented against the accused and despite no court proceedings. This is the extraordinary power held by the ATC under Duterte’s Anti-Terrorism Law (ATL). This violates fundamental legal principle that the burden of proof is on the shoulder of the accuser. Not only does the ATC accuse, it also judgest and metes out punishment against those it designates as “terrorists.” The claim that accused have the right to appeal despite not being informed of their crimes is utterly senseless.

The arbitrary designation underscores why the ATL is repressive and anti-democratic. It is now crystal clear how the ATL is being used as an oppressive weapon against the critics and opponents of the fascist regime.

The terrorist-tagging endangers the lives of its victims, especially the NDFP consultants who are in jail or being hunted down by the armed agents of the reactionary state. Such tagging, harassment and repression against the peace consultants are a treacherous strike by Duterte against the NDFP for its refusal to bow and surrender to his power. It is an outright violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) which prohibits either party from persecuting or harassing anyone involved in the talks.

The accusation against the 19 personages as “leaders of the Party” are an open threat against their lives. Terrorist-tagging is a virtual death sentence by the murderous regime.

Terorist-tagging is an extension to red-tagging where people are accused of being communists of members of the CPP and the people’s army and of the campaign of murder or arrests and prolonged detention based on falsified evidence and trumped-up charges. The Duterte regime targets the legal forces who advocate national freedom and democracy―such as organizations of workers, peasants, minority people, youth, women, nurses, teachers, rank-and-file employees and others who struggle for the interests of ordinary people.

The terrorist-tagging was done amid the deliberations of the ATL. Instigated by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), the ATC openly humiliated the magistrates of the Supreme Court and put its hearings in a quandary.

Terrorist-tagging is also a desperate attempt to conceal the state terrorist crimes of the Duterte regime. The number one terrorist in the Philippines is no other than Duterte himself. Using the entire violent machinery of the state―the military and police―he has spilt the blood of tens of thousands killed in the “drug war” and counterinsurgency in order to impose his tyrannical rule over the entire country.

Through ATC’s terrorist-tagging of progressive and patriotic forces, the Duterte fascist regime proved that “anti-terrorism” is an anti-democratic concept used by US imperialism and the local ruling classes to suppress the forces and movements that are fighting for national freedom and social justice. Across the world, the US uses “anti-terrorism” to justify armed intervention and political interference in different countries to suppress the anti-imperialist and patriotic forces.

The ATC designation is also a desperate attempt to vilify progressive and revolutionary forces. Those terrorist-tagged by the ATC are all activists and revolutionaries known for offering their wisdom and strength in their lifelong service to the people. They are known for having stood against dictators and tyrants. They all sacrificed personal ambition and self-interest. Unlike the bureaucrat capitalists, they did not accumulate wealth nor became a burden on the people. They are known as honest people’s servants and promoters of freedom and rights.

Such tagging to vilify patriots and revolutionaries have long been done by the country’s rulers. They have been called “bandits” and “insurrectos” by foreign colonizers to justify the armed suppression and drown their clamor for freedom. All the genuine heroes―Andres Bonifacio, Macario Sakay, and the Dagohoys and Ricartes―were all victims of defamation. History has proved that those who vilified them are the real enemies of the Filipino people.

Duterte is bound to further use the ATL against all those who fight his fascist reign. He will use this to ram over every obstacle to his ambition to remain in power in the form of a fascist dictatorship or manipulating the 2022 elections. It is not unlikely that it will be used not only against the national democratic forces, but also against the conservative opposition and other forces who are united against his tyranny, corruption, abandonment of the people’s welfare amid the pandemic and betrayal of the nation over the seas surrendered to China.

The Filipino people must unite more firmly. They must act and fight to end Duterte’s tyrannical and terrorist rule at the soonest possible time.

Oppose the use of ATL to persecute the people