Anti-Terror bill will complete Duterte’s martial law rule

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the railroading yesterday of the proposed Anti-Terror Bill in the House of Representatives which was approved at the committee-level by cohorts of the Duterte fascist regime. The Party calls on all democratic forces to exert all efforts to militantly oppose the fascist law.

The rush to enact the Anti-Terror Law is clearly being directed by the National Task Force and Malacañang itself. Duterte and his ilk of militarist officers led by Delfin Lorenzana, Eduardo Año and Hermogenes Esperon wants to have their bloody hands on the Anti-Teror Law to further consolidate the fascist regime and suppress dissent. To preeempt public outrage and distract the people, Duterte outrightly lied claiming there is “no martial law” just a few hours earlier.

The Filipino people are disgusted at how Duterte’s cohorts in the leadership of the House of Representatives are pushing the Anti-Terror bill while the Filipino people’s attention is focused on the Covid-19 pandemic and surviving the economic crisis brought about by Duterte’s corruption, military lockdown and failed response.

Duterte-Año-Lorenzana-Esperon urgently want to put into place martial law measures without the name in the face of rising indignation over the corruption-riddent, incompetent, and militarist response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Duterte wants martial law powers to silence and terrorize the people but is afraid that outright declaration will backfire and instead rouse widespread people’s protests.

Over the past years, even without formal declaration, Duterte has built his house of martial law through 950-day martial law in Mindanao, Memorandum Order 32, Executive Order 70, the establishment of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), and most recently, through three-months of emergency powers under the misnomered “Bayanihan Heal As One” law.

Duterte is rushing the Anti-Terror Law and the extension of emergency powers to reinforce the fascist order which he has succeeded to impose through the Covid-19 military lockdown and which he intends to perpetuate under the “new normal” of checkpoints and continuing militarist restrictions in the guise of stopping the disease but actually serving to strengthen his fascist reign and scheme to impose a fascist dictatorship.

The proposed Anti-Terror Law, first approved by the Senate in February to replace the Human Security Act of 2007, will be the last brick to complete the Duterte regime’s martial law infrastructure, short of outright declaration.

It will put into place the worst draconian measures that Duterte-Año-Lorenzana-Esperon junta have long wanted to impose to terrorize and silence the people and establish absolute rule.

The draft Anti-Terror Law contains deliberately vague and overly broad definitions of “terrorism” and “support for terrorism” in order to serve as a wide net to cast over the Filipino people and all their democratic forces. It extends the powers of the military and police to arrest and detain anyone to 14-24 days without warrant or filing charges, practically suspending the writ of habeas corpus, a fundamental right even under the 1987 constitution. Moreover, it removes any military or police liability from damages which will surely result in even worse forms of abuse of power.

Over the past years, officers of the AFP and PNP have been arbitrarily accusing critics of the regime of being communist fronts or supporters or abettors or linked to the CPP and NPA. In their anti-communist zealotry, the AFP and PNP see red wherever they look, and accuse every one who stands for the people’s interests of being a communist. The Anti-Terror Law will give the military and police the license to pounce on anyone it wants to accuse of being a communist or communist-supporter.

By calling the proposed law as an “Anti-Terror Law,” the fascist Dutertards are taking advantage of the universal abhorrence to terrorism to fool the people to accept the draconian measures. Over the past years, the fascists have been trying to falsely equate communism with terrorism, or even social activism with terrorism, when in fact, communists, as all other democratic forces, are among the most militant opponents of the use of terrorism to instill fear on the people.

In fact, right now, the biggest terrorist in the country is Duterte himself who has ordered the killing of tens of thousands in the drug war, who ordered the destruction of Marawi City, who has ordered police and military raids and massacres against peasant communities, mass arrests, military control of rural villages, the use of attack helicopters to drop bombs causing widespread terror and other fascist crimes.

With absolute powers, the ruling Duterte clique will carry out the worst forms of corruption, completely surrender the country’s national sovereignty and subservience to the imperialist US and China, bury the country deeper into debt, impose more taxes on the people, press down wages, favor foreign big capitalists, purchase more fighter jets, helicopters and bombs, and impose even worse neoliberal policies that will cause more sufferings on the Filipino people.

The Filipino people must see through the thin legal veil of Duterte’s martial law, break out of the restrictions imposed by the regime and creatively and militanty wage collective resistance amid the pandemic in order to assert their democratic rights and protect the people’s interests against the corrupt, fascist and anti-people regime.

Anti-Terror bill will complete Duterte's martial law rule