PRESS STATEMENT

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

December 10, 2017

 

Makibaka, huwag matakot!

Stand up for human rights and democracy, oust the fascist Duterte regime and thwart the all-out war against the people

 

Makibaka, huwag matakot is most apt battle cry today as we observe the International Human Rights Day during these trying times when all those who are powerless are being killed with impunity by State forces as ordered by the freak and fascist-dictator and Peoples Enemy No. 1 in Malacanang – Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

 

The government’s skewed war against drugs has killed more civilian lives than the actual number of drug lords and drug syndicate protectors arrested and serving time in jail. Despite the thousands of lives lost in the nightly Tokhang operations carried out by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the drug menace is still very much present, the illegal drug supply chain is still flourishing and those at the top of the big-time drug syndicate pyramid remain scot-free and are virtually untouchables.

 

The government’s all-out war against Filipinos escalated too quickly. The so-called ISIS terrorist threat spawned the declaration of Martial Law in Duterte’s homeland Mindanao. The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) months of aerial bombings, anti-terror operations in Marawi and nearby provinces has left the lone Islam-dominated city in the country in war ashes. Thousands of Moro people were forced to flee their homes and now have nothing left on their hands but the debris of destruction in Marawi City which was declared by Duterte open for business for local and foreign corporations.

 

The bureaucracy is now dominated by former military officials, cronies and minions of Duterte. The peoples’ hope for change was quickly wiped out and replaced with disillusionment and disgust with Duterte and his cabal of rabid fanatics.

 

Duterte and his militarist advisers have ultimately scuttled the peace talks and threw away months of hard work and progress in the forging of a Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER). He has disregarded the demands for a genuine land reform and national industrialization and has abandoned the path of resolving the root causes of the armed conflict and social unrest.

 

Instead of working for a just and lasting peace, genuine economic progress and social change, Duterte has bullied, threatened and verbally abused his critics and the public who are expressing their discontent through protests, collective actions and strikes. He even ordered a crackdown on progressive and cause-oriented groups and threatened mass arrests. He has declared the CPP and NPA as so-called terrorist groups in acquiescence to the dictates of the U.S. government.

 

Military, police and hired paramilitary have unleashed the most vicious attacks against the people. From July 2016 to December 6, 2017, a total of 124 political killings were documented, 121 new political prisoners jailed under Duterte, close to half a million people have evacuated due to intense militarization in peasant and rural communities. Bombing runs and indiscriminate firing became a routine in the AFP’s military operations. Farmers are often tagged as supporters or members of the NPA and have become default targets of AFP units and elements. More than a hundred farmers and land reform advocates were killed in a span of 17 months.

 

Duterte is now blabbering about his anti-corruption efforts – the very same words uttered by his equally-hated predecessor Benigno Simeon Aquino, at the same time while he is implementing anti-people, neoliberal policies contained in Ambisyon20140, the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and Public Investment Program (PIP) for 2017-2022. Duterte is poised to bring back into power all those who have committed crimes against Filipinos – the Marcoses, the Ejercito-Estradas and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Duterte is protecting the billionaire landlords and oligarchs like the Cojuangco-Aquinos, the Lorenzos, the Floirendos, the Ayalas, the Sys and Tans and many others who continue to enrich themselves under this administration at the expense of farmers and workers.

 

Day in and day out, more Filipinos go hungry, poor and unemployed as the country is pushed into deeper poverty despite the rosy statistics manipulated by NEDA and Duterte’s economic managers.

 

The Filipino people’s most basic and expansive human rights were utterly violated no less by Duterte and he has no remorse about it. He had no qualms in saying “Ako mismo ang papatay sa anak mo…” and “Mahirap kayo? magtiis kayo sa hirap at gutom, wala akong pakialam.” This kind of President deserves the broadest condemnation and opposition from all social sectors. The political situation has fully unfolded and Duterte is now revealed, no doubt, as the number one enemy of the people.

 

We call on all Filipinos to unite and see Duterte for what he really is – a President for landlords, oligarchs and the local and foreign elite. Duterte is not the ‘Tatay’ who will save our Motherland and the majority. He will only make the situation and our lives worse than ever. Eighteen months in Malacanang is too long for a fascist-dictator in the making. Tama na, sobra na, patalsikin na ang rehimeng US-Duterte. ###