Philippines: Fight state terrorism
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The Party today joins the Filipino people and their broad democratic and patriotic forces in marking International Human Rights Day. We cannot overemphasize the significance of this year’s commemoration of Human Rights Day as the Filipino people face increasingly worse forms of political repression under a government that employs its armed minions to terrorize the people.
The Philippines today is under a de facto martial law regime in which the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) dominate all aspects of society and government through the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac, its RTFs, “peace and order councils”, “regional development and security” and others.
In complete contempt of the principle of civilian supremacy, the military and its fascist doctrine increasingly dominate the state, its bureaucracy, by imposing “counterinsurgency” as the central objective of the state and all its agencies, through appointment of former military and police officials, intimidation of courts and collusion with judges, and allotment of hundreds of billions of pesos to purchase more and more weapons, multiply its battalions, spend money for its widespread campaign of disinformation and psywar operations, and to line the pockets of its present and former officers.
A culture of impunity prevails among the military and police forces as they commit rampant violations of human rights in both the cities and countryside. This is in line with the vain attempt of the ruling reactionary state to quell the patriotic and democratic forces, their resistance to imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, and their heightening clamor for national democratic change. The number of police killings in the sham drug war also continue to increase, with the number under Marcos’ first six months surpassing the last six months of the previous regime.
Human rights defenders, church people as well as journalists are targeted and subjected to intimidation in order for the military to continue with their fascist rampage without fear of public culpability. The NTF-Elcac and the AFP brandish the Anti-Terror Law to threaten anyone who stand against their way. The reactionary state continues to build a machinery of mass surveillance.
In the cities, the fascist state targets union leaders, members and organizers, as well as community organizations. In violation of their right to form unions or associations, they are frequented by military and police agents who subject them to endless harassment to force them to leave their organizations or disaffiliate from national democratic centers. Big capitalists connive and fund these armed agents of the state. People in urban poor communities are being rounded up (typically in the guise of giving economic aid), made to sign blank papers, and falsely paraded as “surrenderees.” In schools and factories, the military and police deploy agents to spy on workers and students or conduct seminars that invariably ends with a threat against joining patriotic and democratic organizations.
The situation is worse in the countryside where military and police rule is imposed, especially in remote villages. Entire peasant and indigenous peoples communities are placed under hamlet. Fascist agents relentlessly carry out abductions and illegal arrests, torture, willful killings, ransacking and illegal searches of homes, food blockades, media blackouts, red-tagging, and so on. The aim of this campaign of fascist terror is to cow the people, force them to their knees, disunite them and destroy their organizations, and take away their capacity to stand up for their economic, social, political and cultural rights.
Over the past years of waging an all-out strategic offensive against the New People’s Army (NPA), the AFP has committed grave abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law. Captured revolutionaries, hors de combat and civilians have been wantonly killed in a show of utter brutality and disrespect for civilized rules of warfare. Civilian lives are put in danger by military encampment in populated areas, aerial bombing and shelling near communities, farms and forests, forced conscription into paramilitary groups, having civilians serve as guides in combat operations and so on. Child rights and special protection of children under international humanitarian law are routinely violated by the AFP and PNP in the course of its military operations.
State terrorism has continued to worsen under the US-Marcos regime in its first months of rule. This nationwide campaign of terror is instigated and funded by the US in line with its sham “war against terror” which, in fact, is an interventionist war to suppress all the Filipino people’s patriotic and democratic forces, in order to strengthen its military foothold and neocolonial rule. The US imperialists continue to pour millions of dollars for the purchase of bomber planes, bombs, artillery, and bullets for its killing machine. These campaigns serve the economic aggression of US-owned and other foreign mining companies, big plantations, dams, ecotourism, and infrastructure projects that grab land and drive people away from their homes and source of livelihood.
The Party calls on the Filipino people to stand up firmly and fight state terrorism and defend human rights and international humanitarian law. They stand on high moral ground in denouncing all fascist criminal acts perpetrated by the AFP and PNP, in demanding justice for all victims of state terrorism, in demanding the dismantling of the NTF-Elcac, and in calling for an end to US intervention and military support to the fascist Marcos regime.
At the same time, the Party directs the New People’s Army (NPA) to continue fighting state terrorism and punish the most notorious fascist criminals in the AFP and PNP. The NPA must continue to mount tactical offensives in the course of waging protracted people’s war to advance the cause of national democracy.