Appeal to the international community on “terrorist” misdesignation of CPP and impending crackdown

Around two weeks ago, the Duterte government revealed that it has “designated” the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army as “terrorist” organizations under the recently enacted Anti-Terror Law.

We denounce this malicious misdesignation of the CPP and NPA. The Party and the NPA are revolutionary organizations waging a national liberation struggle. The Filipino people’s armed resistance has long been recognized by domestic and foreign entities as a legitimate struggle against foreign and local oppression.

The CPP and NPA are allied with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that has sat in peace talks opposite the Philippine government in negotiations which have been facilitated by the Royal Norwegian Government.

Legal luminaries in the country disagree with the misdesignation of the CPP as “terrorists” and instead charge the revolutionary movement of rebellion because of its aim of overthrowing the ruling class government and replacing it with the people’s democratic government.

The misdesignation of the CPP and NPA is part of the Duterte regime’s preparations to carry out a heightened suppression drive, crackdown and illegalization against various patriotic, democratic and progressive mass organizations, human rights defenders, political parties, non-governmental organizations, institutions and agencies. They have been targets of incessant red-baiting and armed suppression over the past years.

In misdesignating the CPP, the Duterte regime cited as basis the inclusion of the CPP in the so-called “terror-list” of the United States, the European Union, New Zealand, as well as Australia and the United Kingdom. It misrepresented the latter two countries because, in fact, their “terror-lists” do not include the CPP. None of the aforementioned countries actually asked that the CPP be “designated” by the Duterte government.

It is just and wise for those few governments that continue to list the CPP and NPA as “terrorist” organizations to remove their names because, in fact, they adhere to the international standards on human rights and the humanitarian conduct of war, and to the GRP-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. They are against terrorism and have never engaged in any act of terrorism which is directed against innocent civilians and the people. There is not a single act of terrorism abroad that can charged against the CPP and NPA.

The impending crackdown against democratic rights can happen in the next few weeks or early months of the year as the regime heightens efforts to silence its critics and puts into place schemes to perpetuate its political dynasty in power. Just before 2020 closed, state police forces carried out a bloody coordinated murder against nine indigenous people’s activists in Capiz town, Iloilo, in what could be a preview of a “Jakarta-style” bloody crackdown which Duterte has long been aspiring to carry out.

It is, thus, with a sense of urgency that we issue this appeal to the international community of democracy-loving people and governments to act with dispatch to assist the democratic forces in the Philippines.

We call on the international community to raise its voice against the Duterte regime’s use of the ATL to misdesignate the CPP, the NPA and the armed revolution which seeks to delegitimize the aims of the national democratic movement. By misdesignating the CPP, the Duterte regime is making peace negotiations ever more impossible, shattering the people’s aspirations for a political settlement of the civil war in the country.

We specifically urge the people and governments of the United States, the European Union, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom to voice out their position against the misdesignation of the CPP and how this is set to be used as pretext for the impending clampdown against democratic rights in the country.

The removal of the names of the CPP and NPA from the “terrorist lists” of foreign governments will be a great help to the Filipino people and all advocates of human rights and peace in pushing back the Duterte scheme of fascist dictatorship in the name of rabid anti-communism and in generating the conditions for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations.

We believe that the democracy-loving people of these countries would not want to be associated with the bloody campaign of murder and armed suppression of the Duterte regime that has gained international notoriety for widespread killings and abuse of human rights.

We call on the friends of the Filipino people to raise their voices and amplify the Filipino people’s demand to end the reign of tyranny and state terrorism.

Appeal to the international community on “terrorist” misdesignation of CPP and impending crackdown