MANILA, Philippines — “The downfall of (President Rodrigo) Duterte is the most important task of the revolutionary forces,” crucial both to the “rapid strengthening and expansion” of the movement and to “defending the people from the unrelenting attacks of the regime,” the Communist Party of the Philippines said.
The editorial of the January 7, 2018 issue of the CPP’s official publication, Ang Bayan, predicted that Duterte would become “increasingly isolated” from the people from the combined impacts of the continued killings in both his war on drugs and the counterinsurgency campaign, the predicted increase in the prices of basic necessities brought about by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, or TRAIN, law, and the push for Charter change and federalism — including the possible scrapping of the 2019 elections — which critics of government suspect is intended to establish dictatorship.
“Para kontrahin ang papalawak na paglaban ng mamamayan, tiyak na patitindihin pa ni Duterte ang mga gerang mapanupil laban sa mga sektor at organisasyong tumututol sa kanyang mga pasistang ambisyon (To counter the widening resistance of the people, Duterte is certain to intensify the wars of suppression against sectors and organizations opposed to his fascist ambitions),” Ang Bayan said.
It noted that the petition filed by government lawyers to have the courts declare the CPP and New People’s Army “terrorist organizations” targets the “open democratic movement and the legal opposition” as much as the armed rebels.
The move followed Duterte’s termination of negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, which represents the communist rebels in peace talks.
The CPP editorial also said government efforts to improve the economy, such as the “Build, Build, Build” program, which it described as dictated by “neo-liberal policies” that would benefit only foreign multinationals and their local “bureaucrat-capitalist” cohorts, could only worsen poverty and backwardness in the country, as it noted that earlier promises, such as the end of labor contractualization, agrarian reform and free irrigation, among others, “have totally disappeared from Duterte’s vocabulary.”
As proof of Duterte’s growing isolation, Ang Bayan pointed to his waffling on such plans as declaring a “revolutionary government,” which the CPP attributed to a “lack of support from the people, a section of the ruling classes and even the military.”
The CPP called for “the launching of campaigns, both armed and unarmed, to deal serious blows to the regime and weaken it until it falls.”