Defend human rights! Resist the terrorism of the fascist Duterte regime!

The past four years of Duterte’s fascist rule has seen nothing but blood on the streets, worsening living conditions for the impoverished, and countless violations of human rights. But this 2020, the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic fully exposed Duterte’s ruthlessness and fascism not only to the exploited masses but also to all democratic forces inside the country and overseas.

During this International Day of Human Rights, Kabataang Makabayan stands firm with the Filipino people in demanding justice for all the victims of this murderous and criminal regime.

The Duterte regime’s brazen terrorism is a promise of intensified people’s struggle

Ang Bayan’s 2020 Annual Human Rights Report listed 87 political killings, 6 massacres, a total of 60 in frustrated killings and torture, 761 in arrest and detention, just over 19 thousand in demolitions and food and economic blockades, and a staggering 38 thousand in evacuations and forced evacuations. All this took place at a time of unprecedented economic downturn.

Just today, the regime decided to “jump start” the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by raiding and planting evidence in the homes of trade unionists Dennise Velasco, Rodrigo Esparago, Romina Astudillo, Mark Ryan Cruz, Joel Demate, and Jaymie Gregorio Jr., as well as Manila Today editor Lady Ann Salem. As of Karapatan’s latest tally, 65% of the now 656 political prisoners were arrested under the Duterte administration.

Amid the relentless terror-tagging of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People’s Army (NPA), and National Democratic Front (NDF) and its allied organizations, a simple peek at the daily news from across different regions show that the Duterte regime is the number one perpetrator of crimes inside the country. The regime’s orchestrated attacks this day reek of arrogant desperation—a “show of strength” so frail and panicked in the face of mounting calls for Duterte’s ouster and growing discontent among the masses.

The administration’s witless red-tagging is an affront to simple logic

The recent spate of attacks on leaders and members of legal mass-based organizations come as no surprise as the regime pours funding into its red-tagging scheme. Figures like the farcical “whistle-blower” Jeffrey Celiz and the confident yet ill-informed Presidential Communications Usec. Lorraine Badoy enjoy the benefits from the ₱622.3 million National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) budget. Next year, said budget is set to increase by 2,969% to ₱19.1 billion. Pronouncements by these clowns have automatically and easily placed targets on the backs of community organizers, trade unionists, and mass leaders.

These red-tagging attempts have paved the way to greater human rights violations and injustices. Recently, the arrest of slain peasant leader Randall Echanis’ daughter Amanda Echanis showed how willing the regime is to justify its attacks even with the most absurd accusations. Amanda was arrested for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition and illegal possession of explosives—a charge so unbearably preposterous considering she was in the presence of her newborn child during the raid.

Plainly, Duterte is scared of the mass movement. As it is not an option for him and his cohorts to give in to the people’s demands, much less yield his power and position, he resorts to illegal arrests to intimidate and terrorize the people into submission.

But when even these dirty tactics are not proving very effective, Duterte turns to his rabid gofers.

The AFP’s mercenary zeal is a surefire road to being war criminals

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains unbothered by its war crimes. The murder of Jevilyn Cullamat, a medic, and the ensuing photo-ops with her remains prove as much. The AFP treated her corpse like a hunting trophy—obviously planting a rifle beside her body to “justify” her death, and then openly announcing their knowledge of her being a medic. Yet despite the demand for justice that followed, all Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had the gall to do was supposedly “accost” his soldiers for the photo—saying that “casualties should be accorded with dignity” and photos of their corpse should not be published. A simple scroll through several military-operated pages and sites would reveal that it is has long been AFP policy to take photos of the dead and use it as state propaganda.

Three days later, a joint AFP-PNP operation massacres three sickly and elderly comrades in Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, along with two civilians. This is the same Tokhang-style execution that also took place in the murder of NDFP consultants Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio—two senior citizens with illnesses who the PNP foolishly claims to have “resisted arrest” and engaged in a firefight with 50 armed policemen.

Today, NDF-Mindanao spokesperson Ka Joaquin and his companion was also murdered by the AFP in cold-blood. Ka Joaquin was recuperating from partial paralysis.

There is no way to sugarcoat it or “put things mildly.” The AFP is, and has always been, a group of armed goons and mercenaries. As rank and file soldiers are sent to their deaths in battle, their generals are drowning in the money pocketed from both kickbacks in Duterte’s sham AFP Modernization Program, as well as from “cash rewards” for fake surrenders and “rebels killed in encounter.” While the regime repeatedly “predicts” the total defeat of the revolutionary movement, it also decisively prolongs the civil war to further deepen its pockets.

Meanwhile, the people are gaining strength and resolve.

The masses’ boiling unrest is the eve of the masses’ triumph

Despite all the propaganda, money, and attention the Duterte fascist regime allots for fighting armed revolutionaries, it always fails to address, or even so much as speak one word of, the roots of armed conflict. For more than 50 years, the CPP-NPA has waged its just war for genuine liberation and peace. It is governed by the goal of primarily eradicating the semi-feudal and semi-colonial nature of the Philippine society, reclaim the power from the ruling oppressive classes, and award to the people their democratic rights. In doing so, the NPA has always adhered by the International Humanitarian Law and the rules of war. Its adversaries however, have never been so much as inclined to.

Throughout the history of the armed struggle, the reactionary armed forces has proven itself to be the biggest violator of human rights in the country with countless war crimes and crimes against humanity, mainly against peasant and Lumad communities. In the recent years, those crimes have been spilling over from the countryside to the streets in the urban areas. Because of Duterte’s militaristic Covid-19 response, democratic forces from all walks of life witnessed and experienced firsthand the human rights violations being committed by fascist the AFP and PNP.

The crisis brought about by the pandemic is bound to push more families and communities into poverty and hardship. With this in addition to the people’s decades-long struggle for genuine land reform, workers’ rights and wages, national, scientific, and mass-oriented education for the youth, and self-determination for the national minority, the masses’ resoluteness is set to carry the national democratic revolution is to bigger victories.

Defend human rights! Fight for genuine peace and liberation!
Frustrate the attacks of the Duterte fascist regime!
Resist the state terrorism!

Advance the people’s national democratic revolution!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army!
Join the New People’s Army!

Defend human rights! Resist the terrorism of the fascist Duterte regime!