IN commemoration of Human Rights Day, members of SUPER Federation and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) held protest actions at camps Crame and Aguinaldo, the general headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) respectively.
Wars on Drugs and Terror = Wholesale Human Rights Violations
The protest called on both institutions to respect the rights to live and to legitimate dissent, as the PNP has again taken over the so-called “War on Drugs” and as the AFP escalates its “War on Terror” against Leftist elements, particularly the CPP-NPA, which Pres. Duterte has recently labeled as “terrorist organizations”.
“Thousands have been killed in Duterte’s ‘Gyera laban sa Droga’ on the pretext of protecting the republic from the menace of illegal drugs. This wanton killing spree, which has been attributed to the ‘bounty’ from the Office of the President itself, has claimed the lives of poor youths such as 17-year old Kian delos Santos. Due process of law is virtually inexistent for drug-related or insinuated cases. Worse, it is evident that such violence is perpetrated by rogue elements of the State,” SUPER federation spokesperson Dominic Dilao said.
He added, “The brutal assassination of activist-priest Fr. Marcelino Paez of Nueva Ecija, which occurred a few days before Duterte formally labeled the Maoist national democratic movement as terrorist, points to a grim future on the state of human rights in the country. The armed forces have been alleged as the culprits in this dastardly act”.
Terror and Legitimate Dissent
Leody de Guzman BMP president explained, “It appears that every form of dissent, even if unarmed, is now viewed by the State, not as an exercise of Constitutionally-enshrined political rights and civil liberties but as actions that promote terrorism. This is absurd and illogical.”
“Because it is precisely such rights, which millions of unarmed civilians use to vent out legitimate grievances against abuse by government officials or by the rich and powerful, are precisely in place to prevent desperate people from seeking redress to their complaints through illegal means such as terrorism”.
Fascism serves not just Duterte but the ruling faction of the elite
“The assaults on political rights and civil liberties attempt to provoke the Left movement in order to create a scenario of lawlessness and violence, which would serve as justification for the direct authoritarian rule,” de Guzman clarified.
“The tendency towards fascism is usually attributed to the uncouth personality of Duterte. But it also suits the objective of the Duterte-Arroyo-Marcos clique of the ruling elite, in particular, and generally of the warlords and political dynasties to further consolidate their political control under a federal government.”
“Their economic design is the full implementation of neoliberal economics that serves the interests of foreign monopoly capital with the local oligarchy in connivance,” he furthered.
“There are now three tracks towards these economic and political objectives: the first was the Cha-cha through Con-Ass with a consultative commission, which is unpopular because it is a trapo-dominated process; the second was the failed extra-constitutional “rev-gov” for charter change, which is not supported by pro-constitution groups in the military and has failed to capture the imagination of the populace; and the third is through Martial Law, which is within the bounds of the constitution but only if the specter of rebellion and lawless violence is effectively conjured,” the socialist labor leader elucidated.
“The workers and the poor must not fall into their trap nor must we be cowed into fear and submission. With the further encroachment on democratic rights – particularly on civil liberties and political rights – the BMP calls on its members and on the entire labor movement to close ranks and lead the people in the resistance movement against the fascist Duterte regime. Welgang bayan – Sagot sa Con-Ass at rev-gov! Rebolusyon – Sagot sa Martial Law!” he concluded.