Response to Jan Vic Mateo of Philstar’s inquiry on social media and website attacks

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, through its US Army-trained “social media monitoring cell,” has intensified online attacks in a vain effort to silence the Communist Party of the Philippines and sow disinformation. This cyberwarfare group attached to the Civil Military Operations Regiment of the Philippine Army utilizes facilities and methods supplied by the US to suppress online activities of the regime’s political enemies which it arbitrarily labels as “terrorists.”

On December 26, 2018, as the Party was celebrating its 50th anniversary, the CPP website came under DDoS attack, rendering the site unavailable for some days. Alongside this, a domain whose URL bears much similarity to the CPP’s lone official webpage, was activated. First of its posts was a malicious statement usurping the name of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the CPP’s founding chairperson and currently the NDFP’s Chief Political Consultant. Recently, said fake domain has mirrored segments of the CPP website, in an attempt similar to criminal phishing tactics. This mirroring of the Party’s website aims to confuse and divide its audience, ultimately vilifying the revolution.

Even before December 26 and thereafter, the website as well as online media channels maintained by the CPP Information Bureau have been under constant attack. These include accounts in Instagram, youtube, vimeo and facebook. To date, we have listed two Instagram accounts, two in youtube, one in vimeo, and three pages, two groups, and one account in facebook taken down.

Prior to posts being removed for supposedly violating community standards, these are barraged with violent and hateful remarks by troll accounts in defense of Rodrigo Duterte and the AFP. Subsequently, posting privileges were blocked, and accounts, groups and pages suspended and/or taken down. Party units in the regions have reported similar experiences.

Putting a premium on broadcasting the Party’s stand on compelling issues, its censure of Duterte and the AFP’s crimes and misinformation, as well as news on the growing victories of the people’s war, the CPP continues to utilize social media channels and is determined to defy persistent attacks. The CPP strives to let out more and more informational materials including written statements, videos, graphics and posters, literature and songs, and the like.

New accounts are created to replace those that were taken out. Likewise, troll and fake accounts are reported and blocked. In the past, the CPP released an open letter to facebook after going through its appeal procedures. Meanwhile, the back end of the CPP website is continually developed to mitigate attacks.

Each day, more and more people seek the path of armed revolution as they suffer the hardships inflicted by Duterte’s burdensome taxes resulting to skyrocketing prices and worsening socio-economic conditions, blatant corruption, mass murder, his refusal to raise wages to just levels, sellout of the country’s patrimony, de facto nationwide martial law, and many other anti-people policies. In their heightened resistance against the Duterte regime, the people likewise troop to social media to announce their conditions and condemn Duterte. Their online posts amplify the CPP’s voice, causing Duterte and the AFP to fail at silencing the Party and sowing disinformation.

Response to Jan Vic Mateo of Philstar's inquiry on social media and website attacks