Duterte’s killing spree exposes desperation to cling to power

The worsening state terrorism exposes the US-Duterte regime’s desperation to cling to power in the face of rising and widening calls for Duterte’s resignation or ouster. In its August 21 editorial, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) publication Ang Bayan asked: “What other aim does this crime hope to achieve other than drive a stake of terror on the people’s hearts?” The editorial said that the regime is using “the worst forms of fascism to terrorize the people, silence their protests and suppress their struggles.”

The CPP, however said, “no amount of political killings and militarization will daunt the Filipino masses who are ever ready to fight and defeat fascist terror.”

The month of August saw consecutive killings of Anakpawis Chair and NDFP peace consultant Randall Echanis and Negros activist and human rights worker Zara Alvarez. The CPP pointed to the “monster Duterte’s fascist animals” as responsible for the killings.

Both have been red-tagged by the military and implicated in the armed revolutionary movement without legal bases. Both were accused of being “terrorists” in the regime’s original 2018 proscription case against the CPP. Echanis faced trumped up charges of multiple murder, while Alvarez’s name has been printed in fliers and posters circulated by state forces accusing her of being a leader of the New People’s Army in Negros.

The killings target known personalities and patriotic and democratic forces active in the open mass movement. “These individuals are the most vigorous in exposing and fighting the anti-people Duterte regime and advancing the democratic mass struggles,” Ang Bayan said.

While political killings run unabated in the cities, militarization also besets the countryside, pointed out the editorial. It said military and police repression “is even more virulent and savage” in the countryside because media attention is very minimal and information runs so slow. At least 264 peasants have been killed under Duterte.

All these comprise state terrorism under Duterte, Ang Bayan added.

“Duterte employs the worst forms of fascism to terrorize the people, silence their protests and suppress their struggles,” the CPP said further. “As the regime bungles the Covid-19 response, worsens corruption and theft of public funds, fleecing and oppressing the people, their determination to fight intensifies,” it added.

Duterte's killing spree exposes desperation to cling to power