Worsening fascism in the heat of the May 2019 Elections


Duterte’s tyrannical style of brutal murders, widespread illegal arrests and detention, intensifying threats against innocent lives, violations of human rights and the blatant propagation of lies and chicanery are building up in Negros Island since the Sagay massacre in October 20, 2018 which was immediately followed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) “all-out war” declaration in Negros and the pronouncement of memorandum order 32 (MO32) effectively putting Negros under de facto martial law.

No place in Negros is left untouched by Duterte’s reign of terror. Fascism is worsening in the heat of the May 2019 elections. Duterte is determined to launch all forms of merciless attacks, dirty tactics and maneuvers both in the cities and the countrysides to ensure the victory of his puppet candidates. Be it nationwide martial law or federalism, all are tricks toward the extension of Duterte’s cling to power.

The atrocities in Negros’ countrysides are driven by the AFP and the paramilitary forces. They also serve as private armed groups to the biggest land lords in Negros who have amassed vast lands and used their power and influence over bureaucrat capitalists and existing laws to further grab more lands from poor farmers. The addition of 220 military troops in Negros per MO 32 only means intensified brutalities and terror for peasants in the hinterlands.

In Southern Negros, the 15th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) has launched military operations in the tri-boundary of Barangay Pinggot, Ilog and Barangay Locotan, Kabankalan City of Negros Occidental and Barangay Villasol, Bayawan City in Negros Oriental since February 9. Several reports of harassments have reached the knowledge of the Armando Sumayag, Jr Command. For instance, they have forcibly taken pictures of residents in Sitio Bunga-bunga, Barangay Villasol, Bayawan City and a farmer was gravely threatened while walking along his farm when they shouted at him saying, “ang molingi makatilaw” (look around and be harmed). The said farmer ran for his life.

In Northern Negros, the Roselyn Jean Pelle Command has recently exposed the 79th IBPA along with the forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP) like the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Regional Mobile Force Battalion, Special Action Force and the local police to be under the thumb of the Don Salvador Benedicto Dela Cruz political dynasty. They use trumped-up charges and fake encounters to terrorize the people of Don Salvador Benedicto and guarantee the political victory of their local patron.

The people in Central Negros also suffer in the continuing attacks against innocent civilians by the 94th IBPA especially since the implementation of the Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations (SEMPO) a.k.a. Oplan Sauron in Negros Oriental. The Leonardo Panaligan Command has reported that the residence of Arlene Pausal was burned down last February 14, a month after the successful operation of the LPC on a military truck in Barangay Banwage, Guihulngan City. Until now, the 94th IBPA is conducting military operations running after peasant leaders, farmers organizations and residents. They have a list of peasant leaders who they promise to take dead or alive.

The cities are no safer with Duterte unleashing his rabid dogs that he calls Duterte Death Squad (DDS). Mass leaders from different sectors and progressive groups have exposed and condemned the threats and merciless extrajudicial killings among their ranks. Already, 50 EJKS have happened in Negros Island under the Duterte regime. Even the Church sector is under attack with Duterte calling for atrocities against bishops and leaders specially of the Roman Catholic Church. The media is also shaken with an alleged ‘drug list’ recently posted on FaceBook. Reports received by the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command (AGC) revealed that Mayor Magsie Peña of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental is behind this ‘drug list.’ It is well known that Peña is a close ally of Duterte. Clearly, this is a crackdown on media practitioners in Negros for them to be partial to Duterte’s allies this coming May 2019 elections.

The AGC strongly condemns the worsening fascism in Negros that aims to strong-arm the results of the upcoming polls. This is a strike against the democratic rights of the people. As per the policy of the AFP, they blame the atrocities on the New People’s Army to get away with their crimes against the people.

Duterte is determined to see his lackeys win in the elections. The people must be equally resolved to frustrate the manuevers of Duterte and his clique.

The abuses and fascist acts must be exposed to the public. The anti-fascist campaign must be broadened to reach all democratic sectors that suffer the attacks of the Duterte regime. Unite and give support to one another in order to effectively confront Duterte’s tyranny and be resolute in forwarding and bringing the people’s war to a higher level while facing the strong attack of the enemy.###


Worsening fascism in the heat of the May 2019 Elections