The Information Bureau of the Communist Party of the Philippines has published a Facebook Note declaring that the Duterte regime is “not at all interested” in pushing the agenda of the of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
“His declaration of refusal to continue talks with the NDFP comes amid accelerated efforts of his officials and loyalists to set the stage for nationwide martial law which will further aggravate the campaign of murder and brutalities under his strongman rule,” CPP said in the published Note.
NDFP said Duterte only wants to use the talks “to compel the revolutionary forces to sign a premature bilateral cease fire to silence the weapons of the NPA and prevent the people from resisting the GRP’s all-out war.”
“Contrary to earlier claims that the martial law declaration is not aimed against the NPA, the AFP has carried out intensified large-scale offensives against the NPA over nearly two months, which has compelled the people’s army to carry out armed counteractions to defend itself and the people,” CPP said, adding that the AFP and its paramilitaries have also intensified its armed attacks against the unarmed people in Mindanao and elsewhere. “Upon orders of Duterte, aerial bombardments have been carried out against communities in North Cotabato, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte which the AFP suspect the people to be supportive of the NPA.”
Over the past 50 days, CPP further elaborates, “the AFP has forced at least one hundred people a day to leave their homes out of fear. In Mindanao, more than 5,000 civilians are now staying in evacuation centers (not counting those displaced from Marawi). School children and teachers in self-organized community schools in Surigao del Sur and Davao del Norte have been subjected to murder threats and harassments.”
Setting the stage
“After the two-month trial balloon of the Mindanao martial law, the mind-conditioning apparatus of the ruling regime is now working double-time to lay down the legal and political justification for the extension of Duterte’s strongman rule. Duterte has exercised economic and political bribery and arm-twisting combined with threats of murder against anyone who stands in his way.
“After initial ambivalence, the US has now declared its unequivocal support for Duterte’s AFP siege against Marawi under martial law declaration in Mindanao. This is Duterte’s reward for complete concurrence with the US ‘war against terror’ doctrine and allowing full-play to US military presence and interventionism.
“In its July 4 decision, the Supreme Court not only gave its imprimatur to Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, but laid out as well the legal basis for the imposition of martial law nationwide, granting him the complete prerogative to do so. This was a despicable display of legal obsequiousness to the strongman who has habitually flaunted the law with impunity.
“One after another, local government officials are expressing support for martial law, ever conscious of the fact that the incoming secretary of the DILG is the current AFP chief. To ensure further control of local government units, the national police has stripped local officials in Lanao del Sur of powers to command the local police.
“Across Mindanao, as well as in the Visayas and Luzon provinces, hundreds of so-called ‘peace and development teams’ of the AFP continue to usurp civilian authority and turn schools, barangay halls and other civilian structures into military barracks. They maintain their oppressive presence smack in the middle of communities, subjecting civilian residents to constant harassment.”
To justify martial law in Mindanao, CPP said, “Duterte contrived a demon in what he claims was a rebellion by the ‘Maute-ISIS’ group without even offering clear and solid evidence. To justify imposing martial law nationwide, he will have to come up with a bigger demon.”