No more cooperation with Duterte’s undemocratic and anti-people “drug war”

The anti-drug war of the Duterte regime has rapidly spiralled into a frenzied campaign of extra-judicial killings and vigilante murders perpetrated by the police and by police-linked criminal syndicates. Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in just a little more than one month. The rights of tens upon thousands of people are being violated as the criminal justice system is upturned.

Police officials have brazenly carried out summary killings against suspected drug peddlers and users. Hundreds have been killed while “resisting arrest” or while under custody and detention, in police cars as well as in jails.

Duterte’s “drug war” has clearly become anti-people and anti-democratic. Human rights are being violated with impunity by police personnel, emboldened by Duterte’s assurances of “I got your back” and his public declarations of contempt against human rights.

The Duterte regime has unleashed unmitigated violence and threats of violence against the people, mostly victims and people at the lowest rungs of the criminal syndicate ladder. In contrast, the suspected big drug lords and their protectors are afforded courtesy calls to Malacañang, accommodations in Camp Crame’s guest house and preliminary investigations by the NBI. The worst that they have been made to undergo is to suffer the lectures of the PNP chief.

What was before the burden of the accuser to prove someone’s guilt is now the burden of the accused to prove his innocence. Duterte has come up with one list after another of so-called protectors, narco-politicians and judges without proof nor clear basis for accusations of their involvement in drugs. He could not even tell the people how the lists were drawn. It is a mystery even to the chief intelligence officer and head of the PNP.

Duterte has become so full of himself and intoxicated with the vast power he is not used to handle that he thinks he can get away with upturning the criminal judicial system and denouncing people for defending human rights. He dishes out threats of imposing martial law. He has made himself a laughing stock among legal circles. He, however, is not laughing and threatens anyone who chooses to stand in his way.

Duterte’s “drug war” is bound to fail because it does not address the socio-economic roots of the problem. It has been proven in history that no amount of killing will succeed in putting an end to the drug menace. After ten years of the “anti-drug war” in Mexico, and with almost 80,000 people killed, the intensity of the drug problem remains the same if not worse. In Thailand, around 3,000 people were killed from 2003 to 2005, at least half of whom were later proved to be not involved in drugs. The drug problem has become worse.

The “drug war” is set to spiral into a war among the criminal drug syndicates, between one narco-politician against another, using the resources of the state and to further entrench themselves in the reactionary state. The “drug war” is also fast becoming one of the facets of the factional struggle within the reactionary ruling classes, for control of resources, territories, police and military units.

Duterte’s war is set to unleash more violence and counter-violence, political maneuverings as well as media contests between rival criminal syndicates as represented by their politicians and police protectors.

In all likelihood, many of the summary and vigilante killings are being carried out by the criminal syndicates who use the “anti-drug war” as camouflage for waging all-out war against their rivals and their rival protectors in the police, bureaucracy and judiciary or to rub-out their own men. It would be no surprise that the information made public by Duterte about police protectors, narco-politicians and judges were fed to him by rival criminal syndicates.

All democratic forces must unite and demand justice and an end to the madness of police and vigilante killings. They must unite to defend human rights. At the same time, the people should amplify their urgent clamor for jobs and land to improve their economic condition, make them productive and draw them away from social misery and desperation, in order to, thus, end the conditions for the proliferation of drugs.

In line with standing orders, the New People’s Army (NPA) will continue to intensify its operations to arrest and disarm drug trade operators and protectors. However, these will no longer be considered as cooperative with the Duterte regime’s undemocratic and anti-people “war on drugs.” As before, the NPA will continue to exercise due process in dealing with suspects, such as those PNP officers presently in custody in Compostela Valley and Surigao del Sur.

The CPP calls on the people to struggle against the rampant problem of drug addiction, as they wage revolutionary struggle to overthrow the system that perpetuates it as well as other forms of oppression. The most effective way of waging war against drugs is by rousing the people and mobilizing them to become active participants in social revolution.

The rampant problem of drug addiction among the people should be addressed in the economic as well as political and cultural fields. In thousands of barangays and clusters of several where the revolutionary forces hold sway and exercise governmental authority, drug addiction has been virtually wiped out through mass struggles.

In the base areas of the NDFP, the active participation of the youth and other sectors in revolutionary political, cultural, economic, military and social affairs, have drawn them away from the culture of individualism, self-indulgence and escapism. Here, drug abuse and drug addiction can no longer take root.

On Duterte’s ultimatum over NPA use of CDX landmine

The CPP rejects the new ultimatum set by GRP President Duterte demanding an end to the NPA’s use of CDX landmines with a threat of ending peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

(Also see the statement “Expand use of command-detonated explosives in tactical offensives” released today by the CPP »“)

By setting such an ultimatum, after having yet to fulfill his own promise to release NDFP consultants and political prisoners, smacks of a poorly-crafted deflectionary tactic, with the aim of blaming the revolutionary forces for the repeated postponement of peace talks.

Apparently, GRP President Duterte’s mindset is becoming more and more militarized as he hops from one military camp to the next. As he surrounds himself daily with US-trained military officers and soldiers, it appears that he is more and more obsessed with ending the armed revolution through suppression. He is increasingly drawn away from the people and their urgent concerns over lack of jobs, low wages, landlessness, spiralling prices and growing desperation.

He is showing himself to be more and more cantankerous, inventing one reason after another to attack the CPP and NPA instead of finding ways to push forward peace negotiations. He is daily becoming more bellicose issuing threats of intensifying war, apparently oblivious over the failure of the AFP to stop the growth of the NPA in Mindanao and the rest of the country despite having deployed increasing number of troops against the NPA since 2011 under Oplan Bayanihan.

He issues one sensational but completely empty statement after another such as recruiting one million soldiers. He has resorted to personally bashing the revolutionaries without effect but to satisfy the base humor of his bestial AFP troops and their zealot officers.

The CPP reiterates its support for peace negotiations. It urges GRP President Duterte to fullfill his promise to release all NDFP consultants in order to have them lend their expertise in scheduled negotiations and discussions on socio-economic reforms and political and constitutional reforms.

The CPP urges the Duterte regime to fulfill its promise and immediately order the release of all 22 NDFP consultants and around 550 political prisoners by withdrawing all the trumped-up charges against them. If he does so, the GRP president will succeed in boosting a hundredfold the confidence of the revolutionary foces that he is indeed a man of honor. He would also succeed in proving that his government is indeed different from the past regime which only used peace negotiations in the vain attempt to cause the surrender of the NPA.

The CPP and all revolutionary forces are ever ready to work with the Duterte regime to actively pursue talks to resolve the roots of the armed conflict through negotiations. The CPP, however, is not one to back down from threats of war by Duterte. Waging people’s war has always been the path to strengthen the revolution and accumulate victories.

Abusive AFP operating troops in Monkayo, Comval struck in NPA counter-offensives, 6 firearms seized

The 8th Pulang Bagani Company-New People’s Army carried out a series of counter-offensives against the operating troops of the 25th Infantry Battalion, punishing 11 fascist soldiers and seizing six firearms during a raid, an attritive action and an ambush on August 2, 4 and 5, 2016 in Monkayo town, Compostela Valley.

The NPA’s punitive action is a just reprisal in the face of atrocities committed by the 25th IB combat soldiers such as ransacking of civilian houses and farms, mauling and intimidation of peasants and Lumads in Monkayo town since June. In fact, the notorious Army unit had not reduced the intensity of its combat-intel-psywar operations in the communities during GRP. Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s short-lived unilateral ceasefire last week.

The 8th PBC-NPA on August 2, neutralized Cpl. Castro, an intelligence operative of the 25thIB who was caught conducting combat intel operation in the communities of Brgy. Baylo, Monkayo. Seized from him were a 9mm caliber and .22 caliber pistols.Two days later, the Red fighters engaged a platoon of the 25th IB in Brgy. Pasian, Monkayo, killing two Army soldiers and wounding three others.

At around 7:30 this morning, August 5, the Red fighters successfully ambushed a company of the 25th IB in Sitio Inuburan, Brgy. Rizal, killing 5 AFP troops, seizing two M203 grenade launchers, one M4 rifles, Harris radios, and several other military hardware.

The 8th PBC’s tactical counter-offensives against an abusive AFP unit in the peasant and Lumad villages should serve as a stern warning to other operating Army units in Southern Mindanao region. These AFP troops that are active in combat-intel-psywar operations in the countryside continue and remain to be legitimate targets of the Red Army.

The NPA Southern Mindanao Regional Operations Command has directed all Red fighters in the region to remain on alert status, intensify its base building and base defense work, expand its services in the guerilla bases and guerilla zones, punish AFP troops operating in civilian communities, and pursue revolutionary justice for the basic masses who are victims of repression and fascist abuses.

As it awaits positive development in the forthcoming peace negotiations between the GRP and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the Red Army shall defend its ranks and the masses through armed offensives and counter-offensives, foil the AFP’s treacherous and ruthless military operations, and remain committed in addressing the roots of the armed conflict.

Rigoberto F. Sanchez