Resist “local peace”

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The tyrant Rodrigo Duterte, the fascist officials of the NTF-Elcac, generals and even some presidential candidates have been prattling about “local peace” to conceal the all-out terrorist attacks against civilians and their communities. This is contained in Duterte’s Executive Order 158 declaring “peace, reconciliation and unity” to deceptively counter the long-standing aspiration of the people for just and lasting peace. This is poised to be used over and over in the coming months to hide the heightening attacks against the people.

In reality, the US-Duterte regime’s “local peace” is nothing but a new name and form for old tactics of counterinsurgency and pacification. Its tactics of psywar and repression targeting civilians are as old the history of Philippine counterrevolution on the distorted pretext that one must “drain the ocean the catch the fish.”

The fascists declare that under “local peace,” people have “surrendered in the thousands,” when they are in fact victims of of the relentless campaign of armed intimidation, suppression, arrests and killings. Rights have been violated wholesale with people denied legal processes and the opportunity to defend themselves even under reactionary laws. This is also in violation of international humanitarian law as civilians are considered armed combatants and targets of armed suppression and surrender.

To the people, “local peace” promoted by the fascists and state terrorists is equivalent to the absence of peace in their communities which have been placed under siege, encircled and occupied by abusive military and police troops. The presence of fascists which subject their communities to the so-called Retooled Community Support Program (RCSP) bring a permanent state of fear. Their every movement is surveilled, their homes and property are repeatedly subjected to search, commerce is restricted and the purchase of food items is limited. They are monitored when they work in the fields. They are prohibited from expanding their farms on the malicious claim that their produce goes to support the people’s army.

Formerly quiet communities are now enveloped in fear and disquiet. Village people are forcibly made to work to construct military and police camps. Treated like slaves, children and women are made to fetch water. The youth are exposed to a rotten culture by troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) who engage in drinking sprees, and promote cockfighting, drug use and pornography in the communities.

The old peace in the villages is shattered by drones that fly for hours overhead to observe their fields and mountains, and by helicopters and jet fighters that attack in the night or early morning to drop bombs and rain bullets. From their communities, vile soldiers fire their cannons to terrorize the masses and declare themselves supreme. Bombs are aimed at fields and nearby mountains endangering civilian llives and detroying their properties and livelihood.

Duterte’s “local peace” is a thin camouflage to hide the psywar operations to attack and destroy the unity of the masses. This also conceals intelligence operations to locate relatives of Red fighters and Party cadres.

Local associations active in defending the rights and peasants’ clamor for genuine land reform are targeted. Those identified as members are harassed and made to leave to destroy their organizations and deny them the strength to defend themselves. The military establishes fake organizations and force people to join to make it appear that the community favors land grabbing and projects of big plantations, mining companies, landlords and big capitalists.

The “local peace” signboard is used to conceal the malevolence and corruption of the fascist soldiers. Billions of pesos are squandered in corruption involving the “E-CLIP”, the “Kalahi-Cidds”, and the construction of roads, school buildings and other infrastructure under the “barangay development program.” Indigenous peoples are offered “housing” to uproot the people from their ancestral land which is their source of wealth and livelihood. These projects are described as the “answer to the grievance” of the peasant masses, but which in fact aggravate their problem of landlessness and land grabbing.

The Filipino people must thoroughly expose and denounce the deceptive “local peace.” The AFP and PNP’s dirty war against the people must be tirelessly exposed and condemned. Expose all forms of state terrorism and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Measures and means must be devised so that the vile acts of state’s fascist forces in the remote areas will be exposed to the general public through the media and social media. Rouse and guide the masses to stand firm and act to defend their rights and carry forward their struggle for land and livelihood.

The New People’s Army must continue to strengthen and grow, and persevere in waging guerrilla warfare and agrarian revolution. Continue to strengthen the links and cooperation between the people’s army and the masses. Mount all forms of tactical offensives to defend the masses, dismantle the enemy’s network for intelligence and repression, attain revolutionary justice and punish the fascist criminals.

Draw the support of various sectors and the international community to reject the fascist “local peace,” amplify the demand to end the dirty war of the AFP and PNP, including the relentless aerial bombing campaign.

The broad masses of the people must unite and demand an end to the ideology of “anti-terrorism” which the US has imposed to serve as cover for their armed intervention. As long as this remains the policy of the reactionary state, the fascists will continue to gain power and leave no room for the people’s aspiration for a just and lasting peace.

Resist "local peace"