On the Davao bombing

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the bombing last Friday evening at the Davao City night market resulting in the death of at least 14 innocent civilians. There is no acceptable justification for carrying out such an attack against civilians.

The bombing is being blamed on the Abu Sayyaf criminal bandit group and apparently aims to divert the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The AFP, which has been waging an all-out offensive against the group for several weeks now, plans to deploy up to 9,000 troops against the 250-strong group in Sulu. The Abu Sayyaf, established by US-organized “jihadists”, is notorious for carrying out kidnap-for-ransom activities and has recently drawn attention by beheading several of its hostages.

The CPP deplores the flawed declaration of a “state of lawless violence” which the AFP has taken advantage to effect and justify the massive deployment of military troops in civilian areas across the country.

Such troop deployment is based on the fallacy that the AFP- and US linked operations of a criminal group like the Abu Sayyaf can be preempted or prevented by putting restrictions on civil liberties. This extends to the mistaken assertion that all-out police armed offensives can put an end to drug menace which is mainly rooted on socio-economic conditions. Previous experiences, such as the declaration of state of lawless violence by the Arroyo regime after the 2003 bombings in Davao, has led not only to grave abuses of military at police authority, but also to heightened US intervention in Philippine internal affairs in the guise of “anti-terrorism.”

Giving the AFP the opportunity to flex its muscles will give its US masters extended influence and power in the Philippines. The AFP has long been the main pillar of US dominance in the country. The US has always sought to tighten its control over the AFP, finance the sale of more second-hand weapons in the name of “modernization”, establish more military bases in the country and strengthen its military foothold in the Asia-Pacific region.

[Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler]