Fight the intensified anti-people measures of the Duterte regime amidst the Covid crisis

In order to keep the money flowing to their pockets, spin doctors of the Duterte regime frantically present an unending parade of so-called ‘surrenderees’ to bolster up its surrender campaign and other propaganda gimmicks. Among its latest showcases are the reported ‘surrendered guerrillas’ in Abra and Mountain Province. Just as has been repeatedly peddled ad nauseam to the media, the military continues to maliciously link legal organizations to the armed revolutionary movement. In addition, unrelenting psywar tactics and focused military operations are being unleashed to communities to coerce them to kowtow with the Duterte regime’s fascist machinations.

As 2022 nears, the regime is in wild desperation to crush the vibrant revolutionary movement and feed these illusions to suppress resistance and opposition to the tyrannical rule of Duterte. The regime has been all-out in its propaganda and military offensives to project their so-called accomplishments to the media. Duterte’s horde of publicists has been concocting unbelievable stories of mass surrenders and selected exhibits of so-called E-CLIP beneficiaries. Behind these however, distressed farmers and activists are forcibly made to incriminate themselves as ‘NPA surrenderees, supporters or symphatizers.’ Even as there are a handful of actual members of the NPA who have surrendered, this is negligible as compared to the regime’s imaginary figures which has even surpassed their invented figures of regular members of the NPA. Many of these so-called ‘surrenderees’ have expressed dismay over unfulfilled monetary promises of E-CLIP. Many have told that all they have received was a sack of rice or a handful of canned goods. And many others have received nothing at all. The lure of additional money is dangled in exchange for them to enter the paramilitary force, act as guides during combat operations, fake storytellers in radio programs, informers or locators of selected NPA arsenals and personnel, turning them into traitors against their own people and inciters of tribal wars.

Taking advantage of the COVID 19 pandemic to strengthen its de facto Martial Law and thus consolidate its tyrannic rule, the Duterte regime malevolently spilled out blatant lies and used cheap bribery to ensure the approval of the controversial Anti-Terror Law, and other similar vicious measures. Like a mad dog, the regime has vilely accused and attacked the revolutionary movement, the people’s resistance and all opposition to cover up its inutility and duplicity in eradicating corruption, dealing with the drug trade menace, and in addressing the COVID 19 pandemic.

Duterte’s earlier pressures to have the 2021 national budget approved in time to be able to efficiently address the Covid crisis is mere rhetorics and deceptive. While depriving the people of their right to adequate livelihood and social services, the fascist regime continue to lavishly allocate enormous funds for its mercenaries. Amidst the Covid crisis, in the recent Lower House-approved P4.5 trillion national budget, Duterte’s underlings in the Congress and Senate have shamelessly increased allocations for the military’s combat and psywar operations, war materiel, and for its fake surrender campaign. Notable among these are the P206 billion additional allocation for the Department of National Defense, P8 billion for AFP modernization and the P19 billion budget for the NTF-ELCAC. On the other hand, a measly P1.8 billion was apportioned to building medical facilities and hospitals, P20 billion for the Covid-19 vaccine and P27 billion for the Department of Health. Funds for crucial health programs such as research for communicable diseases, management of public hospitals and laboratories, training for medical personnel among others are least prioritized. It is no wonder that the Department of Health could not provide quality health care for the people and its own personnel. Clearly, with such mispriorities, the millions of workers, peasants and other people whose dire living conditions have been further worsened by the Covid pandemic will not expect much needed assistance from the corrupt regime.

All the lies and showcases being stringed by the Duterte regime cannot prevail over the justness of the revolutionary armed struggle. Fabricated figures and dirty war tactics can never hide the rottenness of the tyrannical regime, which further drives the people to the path of the national-democratic armed revolution. The Cordillera People’s Democratic Front continually forges its unity with the broad masses of the national minorities and the whole Filipino people in waging mass campaigns for socio-economic rights, and in advancing the revolutionary armed struggle to oust the criminal Duterte regime.

Fight the intensified anti-people measures of the Duterte regime amidst the Covid crisis