MANILA, Philippines — The founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines called the threatened closure of Rappler and the House of Representatives’ adoption of a resolution to constitute Congress into a constituent assembly “part of the chain of events to impose the fascist dictatorship of Duterte on the Filipino people.”
Jose Ma. Sison, in a statement issued early Wednesday, January 17, said President Rodrigo Duterte “is hellbent on imposing fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people and is flagrantly using basically the same strategy and tactics of mass murder, intimidation, corruption and charter change as the late fascist dictator (Ferdinand) Marcos used.”
He said the Securities and Exchange Commission ruling canceling the registration of Rappler ostensibly for violating the constitutional prohibition against foreign ownership and the approval by the House of Concurrent Resolution No. 9 are the latest in a “chain” that includes “the escalation of all-out war under Oplan Kapayapaan, frenzied extrajudicial killings in both urban and rural areas, extension of the duration of martial law in Mindanao until the end of 2018, the threat of martial law nationwide, the termination of peace negotiations with the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) and the labeling of the CPP and NPA (New People’s Army) and suspected supporters as ‘terrorists’.”
Sison reiterated his earlier assertion that Duterte’s push for federalism “is akin to Marcos´ pretense to shift to the parliamentary form of government,” his “real objective … to concentrate powers in his hands as fascist dictator, to prolong his rule and serve his imperialist masters and fellow oligarchs and warlords through the transitional and regular provisions of a sham constitution.”
Charter change, he said, “is not really to establish a federal government but a fascist dictatorship on top of a new layer of extremely expensive regional governments ruled by big compradors, landlords, corrupt bureaucrats and warlords like Duterte.”
And, while the SEC cited supposed foreign ownership to effectively order Rappler shut down, “Duterte and his ilk want to do away with the restrictions on foreign investors, deliver to them cheap labor and the natural resources of the country, prevent national industrialization and land reform and bury the people under mountains of foreign and local debt and heavier taxes on consumption goods as the trade and budgetary deficits grow.”
But Sison said “intolerable suffering” was pushing people to resist, pointing to the forming of what he called “a broad united front of antifascist, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal forces moving to isolate and overthrow the Duterte regime.”
“Unwittingly, this tyrannical rule is inciting the revolutionary forces and broad masses of the people to intensify the new democratic revolution,” he added.