Monday, November 19, 2018

Lorenzana accuses NDF of negotiating in bad faith

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 18): Lorenzana accuses NDF of negotiating in bad faith

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday debunked the claims of the National Democratic Front (NDF) that the government acted in bad faith in the course of the peace talks held earlier this year.

He said the NDF was the one guilty of bad faith from the start and is only using the peace talks “to pursue its armed rebellion.”
"Mr. (Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria 'Joma') Sison has been explicit about this in many occasions, explaining that the primary objective of the NDF is armed struggle and anything that would advance it, including peace talks, was welcome," Lorenzana in a statement said.
He cited, for instance, the success of the "Lambat-Bitag" campaign of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the late 1980s to early 1990s, which reduced the number of New People's Army fighters from 25,000 to 5,000, had forced the group to the peace tables.
"Since then, several agreements were signed with them, including The Hague Declaration, JASIG, CAHRIHL, etc. Why have we not signed a final agreement that would end the communist insurgency? Three decades of talks and the end is nowhere in sight. It is not hard to figure out why: they don’t want peace, except on their terms," Lorenzana said.
"Attaining peace with the communists has been elusive from the very start simply because their ‘negotiators’ from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has done nothing but stall for time by constantly putting forward outrageous demands," he added.
He said what the rebels ultimately want is not peace but a complete takeover and establish a communist government. This objective of the communists has never changed, he noted.
"The CPP and NDFP are realizing that the current localized peace talks campaign of the government to convince their fighters to return to the folds of the law is working. The E-CLIP or the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program under the Task Force 'Balik Loob', a program that Mr. Sison accuses of being a scam, has succeeded in benefitting thousands of former rebels, providing them and their families with livelihood, free housing, medical care, free education for their children ,and skills training," he said.
The defense chief said the NDF only wants to stall the program "by their overtures for the resumption of formal talks."

MILF chair Murad visit to bolster ties with AFP, gov't

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 19): MILF chair Murad visit to bolster ties with AFP, gov't

The visit of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday will further cement the group's trust in the government and military.

Murad's visit to Armed Forces of the Philippines headquarters is also the first, AFP public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato told reporters Sunday.

"It's the first visit of Al-Haj Murad to GHQ (General Headquarters) and also his first time to make a call on the CSAFP (Chief-of-Staff AFP Gen, Carlito Galvez, Jr.) The relationship of the MILF and the AFP has evolved for the better," he added.

Detoyato said that Galvez, as head of the AFP Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, has expressed his support to the Bangsamoro Organic Law during his visit to Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last Oct. 6.

"This reciprocal visit of Al-Haj Murad is to cement the trust that they have on the AFP leadership and the government in general," the military official added.

Also, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo confirmed Murad's first visit to Camp Aguinaldo.

"This is the first time that an MILF chairman sets foot at the AFP's General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo. And we are very pleased that this is happening at this time of our history as a nation. Now that our economy is picking up and the people wants to have a lasting peace," he added Sunday.

Murad's visit also speaks well of the degree of confidence, the level of sincerity, and the extent of trust that both the AFP and the MILF extend to each other.

"If only the CPP-NPA (New People's Army-Communist Party of the Philippines) can show the same sincerity to the talks and fidelity to the peace agreements that the MILF says and does, we could have a lasting peace to bequeath to the future generation of Filipinos," he added.

Murad and Galvez are expected to discuss the areas of collaboration that the AFP and the MILF can embark on, apart from combat, intelligence and civil-military operations, Arevalo pointed out.

Visit to AFP highlights solid partnership with MILF: Murad

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 19): Visit to AFP highlights solid partnership with MILF: Murad

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said his visit to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Monday highlights the strong and solid partnership between the two institutions.

"Today, I am truly honored to join our partners in peace, from the highest leadership of the AFP, down to the lowest ranking elements of this institution to reciprocate the visit of your Chief-of-Staff, General Carlito Galvez, Jr. when he visited Camp Darapanan last October 6, 2018. This visit is a concrete manifestation, not only of the solid partnership of our institutions, but a testament of an enduring personal friendship built upon the solid foundation of our mutual commitment to work for peace and see through the dawn of day not just for the Bangsamoro but for this country as well," Murad said in his speech.

The MILF chairman also said words cannot express his gratitude and those of his people, of being honored in AFP headquarters considering that he left school to fight the very same institution who honored him and his party.

"More than four decades ago, I walked out of a university without completing my engineering degree. Many of my Bangsamoro colleagues, I know did the same. Since then, I have avoided military installations and camps. And to be very candid, during those war years, I have thought only of destroying or neutralizing military camps and I never imagined during those dark days, that I will one day step inside a military camp and be feted with this exceptional honor by what used to be our adversary," he added.

Murad, however, clarified that MILF never considered the AFP or any soldier as their enemy and emphasized that their enemies are oppression and injustice.

"This is the teaching of Islam and this is what we have always adhered to in the Code of Conduct of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces. In pursuit, however, of our struggle for the right to self-determination of our people, we saw then the AFP as the instrument of the injustices committed against our people such as the loss of our homeland, discrimination and prejudices, massacres, as well as the denial of our freedom to practice our religion," he added.

Murad said this was very true during the martial law years under the Marcos regime.

"The resort to an armed struggle was a last and difficult option from what we view then was a genocidal war being pursued by the Marcos regime against our people," the MILF chair emphasized.

He, however, was also quick to point out that the AFP started its gradual transformation during the 1986 EDSA Revolution where the military refused to heed the order to kill or maim the people it has sworn to defend and protect.

"From this early sign, you have slowly trodden the path of justice and professionalism despite the many challenges. Like many organizations, you have had your fair share of successes and failures," the MILF chair stressed.

Meanwhile, Galvez said the visit of Murad and his party to Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City highlights the strong trust and confidence of the MILF leadership to the AFP and the national government.

"On October 6, we paid a visit to MILF Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat (Maguindanao) and we declared war over between the AFP and the MILF," he added.

During the above-mentioned visit, 6,000 men and women of the MILF lined the five-kilometer road in Sultan Kudarat to welcome him and his party. Galvez said the visits done by the AFP and MILF manifest the strong mutual desire of both parties to forge a just and lasting peace for the Bangsamoro Region.

Galvez to pursue peace in Mindanao despite looming retirement

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 19): Galvez to pursue peace in Mindanao despite looming retirement

Less than a month before his retirement from military service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. on Monday said he will dedicate the remainder of his life in pursuing peace in Mindanao.

"I will be retiring (within), I think (in) 22 days and I'm reassuring the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) that the AFP fully supports (the peace process) despite who will be the leader because the AFP is a very professional (organization) and in my capacity as (a) civilian individual, I have told them that I will dedicate most of my life in really finishing what I have started, it is for peace in Mindanao," Galvez told reporters.

Incidentally, Galvez served as head of the AFP Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities before being appointed to other ranking positions in the military.

The AFP chief is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985 and will be stepping down on Dec. 12 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

"I already conveyed my interest with the OPAPP (Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process) and I told Secretary (Jesus) Dureza that can I be some sort of consultant, so he accepted my request," he added.

PNP slams CamSur ambush of cops from medical mission

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 19): PNP slams CamSur ambush of cops from medical mission

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday condemned the attack against a group of policemen who were on their way back to their unit from a medical mission in Camarines Sur.

In a statement, PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Benigno B Durana Jr. described the attack as
“another example of either duplicity or lack of influence of Utrecht-based CPP/NPA/NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front) leaders who shamelessly ask for a meeting with PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ) while carrying out terror attacks against security forces personnel helping less fortunate Filipinos”.

He added that the CPP-NPA leadership has obviously lost control over maverick commanders of its wayward guerrilla fronts.

Durana also said the incident casts doubt anew on the sincerity of the communist rebels in talking peace with government.

Reports reaching the National Operations Center in Camp Crame said the PNP personnel who were wounded in the attack were part of the 1st Camarines Sur Provincial Mobile Force Company on their way to the Libmanan town proper from a medical mission in Barangay Bagamelon on Saturday afternoon.

Upong reaching Sitio Patag, undetermined armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army ambushed the nine-man team, wounding six members, namely PO3 Roland G Hermogeno; PO1 Vladimir Guadalupe; PO1 Roy V. Carbonell; PO1 Eliseo Jomar N. Palaroan; PO1 Daisy Bhel Genova; and PO1 Mikhail Jose P. Concina.

The wounded police officers were rushed to the Mother Seton Hospital in Naga City while PNP and Philippine Army troops launched hot pursuit operations against the suspects.

Jalandoni won't be arrested should peace talks resume

From the Philippine News Agency (Nov 19): Jalandoni won't be arrested should peace talks resume

National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) leader Luis Jalandoni will not be arrested should there be a resumption of peace talks, Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this clarification after Jalandoni reportedly cancelled his trip back to the Philippines this month due to threat of arrest by the government.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier ordered Panelo and Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza to meet with Jalandoni and his colleague, Fidel Agcaoil in an informal chat.

“First, we talk informally. If we agree on the resumption of peace talks then we will agree on the date and time of the peace talks. And hence, there can be no warrant of arrest being effected during the talks,” Panelo said in a television interview.

“It goes without saying that if there is a resumption of any informal talks or formal peace talks, (Department of the Interior and Local Government) Secretary (Eduardo) Año would not be effecting any arrest,” he added.

Panelo, meanwhile, expressed hope that the meeting would push through if the terms and conditions are agreed upon.

“We have to agree on the terms and condition. We have to make sure that they will not be violating any condition as they did before -- the very reason why the talk has been cancelled,” Panelo said.

He stressed that Jalandoni’s fear of arrest did not mean that informal talks were cancelled.

“There is no cancellation of any informal talk. What we have is one of them saying that he is afraid of being arrested. And we’re saying that you cannot be arrested if you would want to have a talk,” Panelo said.

In October, Duterte bared he was unsure if peace talks with communist rebels would resume any time soon, admitting that he was “not ready” to talk to them.

However, a month before, the President said he expected the war against communists to be over by the second quarter of next year since many of the rebels have begun laying down their arms.

Duterte earlier postponed the scheduled resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the NDFP due to continued attacks by rebel groups against the military.

MILF: Information-Drive on BOL held in Tawi-Tawi Remote Areas

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Nov 17): Information-Drive on BOL held in Tawi-Tawi Remote Areas

IN PHOTO- At extreme left, Mr. Tirso S. Tahir, BLMI Officer with Moro Community Leaders, and Tandubas Peace Advocates’ Group at Barangay Kepeng, Tandubas Tawi-Tawi

BONGAO TAWI-TAWI- An Information Drive Campaign and Education on Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) or Republic Act (R.A) 11054 was held in a remote area of Barangay Kepeng, Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi.

It was held at the Kepeng Elementary School on November 9.

Those that attended were from religious sector, fisher folks, and Seaweed Farmers who were interested to know what is BOL, and the upcoming Bangsamoro Region.

Peace Advocates from Mainland Tandubas comprising members of Municipal Political Committee of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) headed by Chairman Ibrahim Ibnohasan, Mr. Ariskhan Pamate, members of United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), and some Members of Bangsamoro Islamic Arm Forces (MILF-BIAF) from 117th Base Command has been moving heaven and earth to reach out remote communities and far-flung areas in Tawi-Tawi.

“The Bangsamoro Region is the result of struggle and sacrifices of our current leaders, and forefathers since colonial times, and our hope and dreams will soon become a reality, if Allah wills. So let us sustain and nurture it,” Ustadz Naim, a member of local community Da’wah said.

“For me, BOL can uplift our impoverished condition due to its inclusivity, “Bapah Usman, a Seaweed farmer said.

Another Information-Drive Campaign and forum was also held at Barangay Tapian, Tandubas Proper, Tandubas Tawi-Tawi on November 11.

It was aimed to educate the youth, women sector and laymen on what BOL is all about so that they can contribute in disseminating information on the law.

“Among the best provision in BOL is about the Shari’ah Justice System for Muslims as it reflects the belief of majority of the people in Bangsamoro. In shaa Allah (If Allah Wills), the Almighty shall pour more blessings to the people in Moro Homeland if it is administered based on integrity, and responsive to the general welfare of the Bangsamoro people,” Imam Betong said.

“We need more information and education in the Bangsamoro Grassroots communities about BOL especially its benefits as well as the differences between the current ARMM, and the BARMM so that misconception and misinformation are corrected,” Hadji Jasmin Hiya, a community organizer said.

Resource Speaker Mr. Tirso Sulanting Tahir, an Officer from Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) and Committee on Information Officer explained the salient points of BOL by emphasizing its advantages in Sama tribe dialect (Sinama) so that it can be easily understood by laymen in the communities.

MILF: Indonesia’s Ulama Groups meet with Bangsamoro Ulama in Camp Darapanan

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Nov 18): Indonesia’s Ulama Groups meet with Bangsamoro Ulama in Camp Darapanan

In photo- (2nd fr left) Dr. Muhammad Faisal, Head, Nahdatul Ulama of Indonesia, (center) Bangsamoro Grand Mufti Abuhuraira Udasan

Cotabato City– Sheikh Abuhuraira Udasan, Grand Mufti of Bangsamoro in his welcome remarks during the visit of a delegation from Dayah Darul Ihsan and Nahdatul Ulama of Indonesia underscored the significance of conversation of Islamic Scholars with its neighbors.

He said that in any Ulamah conversation, it is the Glorious Qur’an that unites and reconciles each other, and even with another party.”

The visit of the two prominent ulama groups from Indonesia on November 14 in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao was attended by all units of Ulamah Conference in the Bangsamoro.

Grand Mufti Udasan who led the Darul-Iftah group of ulamah narrated how the Bangsamoro people were suppressed and discriminated by colonial oppressors that gave them a reason to ponder and analyze the situation in the homeland leading to the organization of a Moro Revolutionary group, later on called the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as a real Islamic in principle and nature.

He added that the factors made them to strengthen the Front which is being supported by the Bangsamoro people are based on their four (4)-point agenda:

1) Islamization that is to convert the Moro Society into real Islamic Society that all aspect of their life must be Islamized.

2) Strengthening of organization which is now improving

3) Organized and strengthened the Military Build-up which is about forty thousand (40,000) of combatants, and lastly,

4) The Self-reliant base where everybody continues to rely on their own provision for all their needs.

In his message, Dr. Muhammad Faisal, representative of Aceh Dayah Darul Ihsan shared the historical background of their homeland, how their struggle started, and how they attained a meaningful autonomy.

According to him, Aceh is governed by the Qur-an and Hadith.

“Allah Subhanahu wa taala united our hearts with one common goal, and where people of Aceh having that strong unity, then the Mercy of Allah came, and we won in our struggle. It means, unity makes our struggle succeed,” he further said.

MILF: EU Representatives meet the MILF Peace Implementing Panel

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Nov 19): EU Representatives meet the MILF Peace Implementing Panel

Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao - The representatives of European Union (EU) on Election Exploratory Mission to the Philippines in relation to the Plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair of the Peace Implementing Panel (PIP) Mohagher Iqbal on November 10, 2018 at Bangsamoro Transition Commission Office in Cotabato City.

The EU delegation is composed of experts from different fields of electoral process headed by its Team Leader Gilles Saphy and members of the mission namely Xavier Canton, Jerome Riviert, Nicolay Pala, Eric des Pallieres, Victor Peret, Joannis Kleisiaris, Catherine Pascal, Javier Prieto and IMT - CPC Georgi Engel Brecht.

On the part of MILF Peace Implementing Panel, Chairman Iqbal was accompanied by PIP member Aboud Syed Lingga, PIP Secretariat Head Jun Mantawil and MILF JCC Head Abdullah Salik Jr.

During the meeting, Iqbal explained the GPH - MILF Peace Process and the establishment of Bangsamoro Government in the context of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB).

He also tackled the narrative on how the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has able to pass the scrutiny of the legislature especially on the Bicameral Conference.

Iqbal further discussed the Normalization track that includes the legal and political track.

He pointed out the challenges facing the BOL to the Supreme Court with the petitions of Atty. Elly Pamatong and Sulu Governor Sakur Tan II questioning the constitutionality of the law and prayed for the issuance of Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Certiorari.

The PIP head is worried that if the Supreme Court favors the TRO it can cause the delay of the plebiscite and will result to status quo that would make the situation uncertain.

The EU delegation on their part explained that they are here on Observatory Mission on the electoral process and they want to familiarize with its legal framework that includes electoral political environment, human rights issues and participation of all stakeholders in the electoral process.

They emphasized that as an observer they are not allowed to give their opinion on matter of electoral process and whatever the result of their observation will be treated with confidentiality and will be submitted to proper authorities.

MILF: Iqbal gave lecture on BOL in the National Self Help Approach Forum 2018

Posted to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Website (Nov 19): Iqbal gave lecture on BOL in the National Self Help Approach Forum 2018

Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal gave lecture on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the National Self Help Approach Forum 2018 held at AJ Hi - Time Hotel, Kidapawan City on November 11, 2018.

He tackled the salient provisions of the BOL, its implications, opportunities and its challenges.

Iqbal highlighted the provisions of BOL that answer the women and gender issues including the youth and an opportunity of having a reserve seat in the Bangsamoro Parliament so that their voices will be heard.

During the open forum, Iqbal further clarified many issues such as peace and security, religious freedom and fund allotment for gender issues as provided by the Bangsamoro law.

The National Self Help Approach (SHA) Forum is a collaboration of 24 partners of KNH (KindernotHilfe) organization addressing gender and children issues.

"Kindernothilfe" is a German word for "supporting children in need" that has grown dramatically since 1959 and their work reached almost 1.9 million children and youth in 697 projects in 33 countries in four continents.

At present, KNH supports around 7,000 children through collaboration with 24 partners in the Philippines with 17 local partners supporting 957 self-help groups.

The participants of the activity were more or less 35 different heads and financial officers of KNH local partners nationwide.

The partner organizations who attended the said activity were Child Protection Network and ACF from the National Capital Region, LASAC, ICEOFI, Stairway Foundation, Simon of Cyrene, Bicol Center for Community Development and Caritas – Masbate from Luzon.

From Visayas were the PATAMABA, MAG, PKKK, Ilog Kinderhome, Bakyas Kinderhome, KAPASKI, CFIM, SIKAT and from Mindanao were the CPTCSA, Nagdilaob Foundation, Mahardika Institute of Technology, BULAK, FDAI, Balay Rehabilitation, OND - Hesed Foundation and Tribal Leaders Development Foundation.

NDF/NDF-Mindanao: Generating fake surrenders, a lucrative source of corruption for promotion-hungry AFP officials

NDF-Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front (NDF) Website (Nov 17): Generating fake surrenders, a lucrative source of corruption for promotion-hungry AFP officials

Ka Joaquin Jacinto

Press Statement
14 November 2018

Churning out and parading fake “surrenderers” through the so-called E-CLIP scheme is nothing but a lucrative money-making venture and a source of corruption for ambitious AFP officials gunning for promotion and privileges. The more “surrenders” they stage, the more likely it becomes for these corrupt AFP officials, especially those in Mindanao, to get their commander-in-chief Duterte’s favor, which practically hands them the license to dip their hands not just into funds allocated for E-CLIP but into the billions of pesos that can be minded from DILG, OPPAP and Duterte’s intelligence funds as well.

Under these AFP official’s lust for rank and privileges, the basic rights of hundreds of innocent civilians from different barrios all over Mindanao are waylaid as they are coerced, often at gunpoint, to appear or play-act as “surrenderers.” The AFP often targets former Red commanders and fighters who have left the revolutionary movement ages ago, pressuring and harassing them with arrest or death should they resist or refuse to yield to this deceptive scheme. Other individuals who may have relatives in the NPA or who are in the process of clearing their names as “suspected enemies of the state,” are also forcibly induced as “surrenderers.”

Hundreds of individuals are being duped with the promise of “cash assistance, free housing, risk-free loans, livelihood, and even, stable jobs.” Evidently, this is a sick joke because the US-Duterte regime has done from inanely poorly to virtually nothing to resolve the country’s problems on unemployment, hunger, lack of decent housing and so on. While millions of Filipinos continue to wallow in poverty, it is quite unimaginable for Duterte and the AFP to favor so-called “surrenderers.” The money or livelihood, if indeed there are any, are only for show as part of the drama, virtually a one-time, big-time “pasikat” to lend the ECLIP scheme “credible reality,” which is pure and utter deception.

There have been a few Red fighters who may have actually surrendered themselves to the AFP, but did so under heavy pressure from their families and relatives. In many cases, the AFP also employs the dirty psy-war tactic of holding the families and relatives of NPA fighters hostage in order to force their son, daughter, sibling or cousin who are with the NPA to leave the revolutionary movement.

Red commanders and fighters and the revolutionary masses, however, will never surrender to the fascist US-Duterte regime! If Duterte and the AFP think that it can decimate the national democratic revolution by 2019 after 50 years of hard and dedicated struggle, they should think again and keep on dreaming. AFP pronouncements of mass neutralization and the decimation of 7 fronts in Eastern Mindanao are nothing but pure lies and braggadocio and, again, for promotion and more money. Reports from the field confirm that not a single NPA front nor unit in Mindanao has been wiped-out due to AFP military operations! Despite heavy enemy attacks, all NPA fronts remain in fighting form.

Thus, the NDFP-Mindanao calls upon the people, especially in Mindanao, to expose and oppose the E-CLIP scheme of “fake surrenderers” and resist its deception and attack against basic human rights and welfare!

NDF/Sison: Reasons for the NDFP officials not to proceed to Manila

Jose Maria Sison propaganda statement posted to the National Democratic Front (NDF) Website (Nov 19): Reasons for the NDFP officials not to proceed to Manila

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

November 19, 2018

Fidel Agcaoili, chairman of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, Coni Ledesma, member and Luis Jalandoni, senior adviser to the panel, have decided not to proceed to Manila for reasons of security.
They have been threatened with arrest by military and police authorities of the Duterte regime and Duterte himself has given no assurance of safety and has publicly expressed lack of interest in any effort to resume the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. NDFP lawyers have also warned of court summons being served as a result of Proclamation 374 designating the CPP and NPA as “terrorists”.
The resumption of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations runs counter to the scheme of Duterte to carry out martial law nationwide, de facto or under formal proclamation, and establish a fascist dictatorship in order to control the results of the 2019 elections and push charter change to a bogus kind of federalism as cover for the fascist dictatorship.

The Duterte kind of federalism is bogus because it centralizes powers in his hands as fascist dictator and allows him to handpick the dynastic lords and warlords as his regional and provincial agents.

Duterte is misrepresenting as localized peace talks the mass intimidation of barangay officials and rural communities and the staging of fake surrender ceremonies whereby the DILG, the local public oificials, military and police officers privately pocket public funds under the cover of paying the fake surrenderers.

The Duterte regime is politically bankrupt. It uses mass intimidation, deception and murders to suppress the legal opposition and the revolutionary resistance of the people and to clear the way for a fascist dictatorship ala Marcos.

The Duterte regime is economically and financially bankrupt. The conditions of mass poverty, unemployment and low income have worsened. The tax burden has been increased at the expense of ordinary consumers in order to escalate funding for the military and police, feed bureaucratic corruption, make graft-laden infrastructure projects, cover trade and budgetary deficits and pay for the rising debt service. Thus the prices of basic goods and services have been soaring.

The Duterte regime is on the traitorous path of auctioning off to China the natural resources of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea and elsewhere in exchange for high interest loans for overpriced infrastructure projects. All these privately profit Duterte and his cronies in terms of contract shares and finders’ fees at the expense of the current and future Filipino generations.

Under the current dire political and economic circumstances, the Filipino people are incited by the Duterte regime to wage all forms of struggle in order to liberate themselves from the tyranny, brutality, corruption, plundering and mendacity of the regime.

CPP/NDF-Mindanao: Justice is nowhere to be found still for the Ampatuan Massacre victims nine years after

NDF-Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 15): Justice is nowhere to be found still for the Ampatuan Massacre victims nine years after

Ka Joaquin Jacinto
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
November 15, 2018

Nine years after the brutal massacre in Maguindanao of more than fifty media men and women, justice continues to be far beyond the grasp of the family and friends of the victims as the Ampatuan warlords remain unpunished, even under the Duterte regime.

The NDFP-Mindanao condemns the Duterte facist state for being party to the continuing delay and denial of the exaction of justice against the Ampatuans, especially so now that the current occupant in Malacañang is allied with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a known patron and protector of the Ampatuan warlords. With Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo back in power, as Speaker of the House no less, justice for the victims will remain elusive.

Duterte remains deaf to the cries for justice of the loved ones and friends of the victims of the bloody Ampatuan massacre. Worse, Duterte, being at odds with mass media institutions on several occasions, tolerates the extra-judicial killing of media men and women. It also emboldens the perpetrators of EJK’s to perpetuate such dastardly act of killing media people, especially those who have an anti-Duterte stance on the issues of drugs, human rights and his dictatorial tendencies.

Duterte continues to be on a war path against certain media institutions he considers antithetical to his regime’s policies and impositions. Rappler, for instance, which has been at the receiving end of Duterte’s ire, is the target of cases and several threats. Under the US-Duterte regime, there is apparently a crackdown on the media, which can be rightfully viewed as an attack against the freedom of the press. especially in Mindanao where martial law prevails.

Even after the bitter lessons of the Maguindanao massacre, the media continues to be under siege. Under martial law, media and broadcast institutions in the island are made to carry – hook, line and sinker – the Duterte line in many issues in order to dodge Chief Executive’s retributive attacks. During the Marawi siege of 2017, for instance, no news or information came out of that area that did not pass the heavy and high-handed scrutiny of the AFP.

The Duterte regime is desperate in making sure that the general impression that “martial law is good for Mindanao” and “that there are basically no complaints of rights violations.” That is precisely so because news and information that say otherwise are either repressed or viciously attacked.

Thus, the NDFP-Mindanao calls upon the people to resist the US-Duterte regime’s continuing repression of the mass media. We must continue to press the US-Duterte regime, if it still has regard for the rights and welfare of the media, if it still has the ear for the families and friends of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, to exact justice against the Ampatuan warlords. Nine years is too long a time — justice delayed is justice denied!

CPP/NDF-Mindanao: The US-Duterte regime employs terror tactics and scare propaganda to create scenarios for martial law’s extension and its probable imposition nationwide

NDF-Mindanao propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 15): The US-Duterte regime employs terror tactics and scare propaganda to create scenarios for martial law’s extension and its probable imposition nationwide

Ka Joaquin Jacinto
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
November 15, 2018

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)-Mindanao strongly condemns the US-Duterte regime for employing, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police (AFP/PNP), extreme militarist measures, black ops, terror tactics and scare propaganda to create scenarios that lay the ground for the extension in Mindanao of martial law, which, highly probably, would be imposed on a national scale by early 2019.

These include, to wit:
  1. The series of bombing incidents in Mindanao, such as those that occurred in the province of Sultan Kudarat and the municipality of Midsayap, which conveniently fit into this scheme, whose scare effect was even bolstered by spreading rumors of possible “bombing by terrorist groups” in other areas in the country, including the national capital region.
  2. Duterte and the AFP has also conjured and foisted the “Red October” plot, which was a preposterous piece of fantasy about a conspiracy between “the Magdalo mutineers and the Communists” that went ignominiously pffft. This “plot” also became Duterte’s convenient albeit flimsy excuse to skirt from his earlier promise to resume the NDFP-GRP formal peace negotiations in October.
  3. To make it appear that “the NPA threat” goes beyond Mindanao, the US-Duterte regime, in its desperation, accused the NPA for the massacre of hapless Sagay sugar farmers, a dastardly crime that, known to many, was perpetrated by state security and paramilitary forces in cahoots with the goons of big landlords in Negros.
  4. Under the pretext of “safeguarding the country against drugs,” Duterte has further militarized the bureaucracy, placing former Chief of Staff Gen. Leonardo Guerrero in the Bureau of Customs not to protect the bureau from billions worth of drugs from being smuggled in but to make sure that future drug shipments will enter the country without any scuffle, and secure Duterte’s reign as the biggest most powerful druglord in the country.
  5. The AFP is further selling the extension of martial law in the Mindanao as a “necessary tool” to protect the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which is to take place by January 2019. Duterte’s objective of course is to keep Moro resistance, both armed and unarmed, at bay to ensure that his regime’s version of the Bangsamoro Basic Law will get resounding approval from the Bangsamoro populace. Duterte’s BOL in truth does not guarantee genuine respect of the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination.
  6. The Duterte regime will also use the power and influence it musters under martial law to ensure victory for its bets running in the midterm national and local elections come May 2019. This is to further consolidate his power in the second half of his term, ensuring his looming dictatorship.
Martial law’s extension beyond December 31, 2018 in Mindanao is already a done deal, consequent to the extension of the US-Duterte regime’s deadline to “decimate the New People’s Army” by mid-2019. Thus, for the AFP and the PNP to hold so-called “consultations with the people” on whether or not to extend martial law in Mindanao is already moot. The result would most certainly be “lutong makaw,” as these are fake or mock consultations. Since the AFP is conducting it, the people who are supposedly consulted would only be asked under duress, “consulted” under the barrel of a gun.

That martial law in Mindanao has not shown its ugly head is a complete and utter lie. In fact, basic political and civil rights are violated daily in military and police checkpoints that dot every corner of the island, continuing to hassle, intimidate and harass the general public. Consequent to the imposition of martial law, extra-judicial killings as well as the filing of trumped up charges against professionals, church people, mass leaders, media people, activists, peasant and Lumad masses and other innocent civilians have escalated.

The killers, obviously death squads and hired mercenaries coddled by the AFP and the PNP, are emboldened by martial law to perpetrate these dastardly crimes, and launch a crackdown on legal and progressive organizations in all regions in the island. In the Mindanao countryside, the Duterte regime’s Oplan Kapayapaan has further intensified its militarization, raining hell with aerial bombings and shelling that result in deaths, destruction of farms and houses and the massive evacuation of thousands of peasants and Lumad, such as the incidents in Misamis Occidental, Surigao del Sur, Compostela Valley, Bukidnon and North Cotabato.

With martial law in effect, the further persecution of the Bangsamoro people continues. Marawi remains off-limits to the Maranaw people as its full rehabilitation and restitution is intentionally delayed to continue emasculating the Moro people from bouncing back to resist state oppression. But the real reason for this frenzy to extend martial in Mindanao and most probably declare it on a nationwide scale: the US-Duterte regime has not yet fully brought to the fore its fascist dictatorship because the AFP will not be unable to comply with its directive to decimate the NPA by end of 2018.

The NDFP-Mindanao calls upon the people to unite and resist Duterte’s martial law and his looming fascist dictatorship. Oust Duterte now!

CPP/NPA-Northern Negros: Mahitungod sa Peke na Engkwentro sa Sitio Puting Bato, Bgy. Washington, Escalante City

NPA-Northern Negros propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 19): Mahitungod sa Peke na Engkwentro sa Sitio Puting Bato, Bgy. Washington, Escalante City

Cecil Estrella
NPA-Northern Negros (Roselyn Pelle Command)
New People's Army
November 19, 2018

Dakong bakak ang giingon sa 303rd Brigade sa kumand ni Col. Benedict Arevalo ug 79th IB sa kumand ni Jesson Agaton nga nakaengkwentro sila og pipila ka membro sa New People’s Army (NPA) sa Sityo Puting Bato, Bgy. Washington, Escalante City adtong Nobyembre 16, 2018. Walay operatiba o hangaway ang NPA Roselyn Jean Pelle Command sa mao na lugar. Walay na-klining na armas sa NPA. Walay casualty kay walay engkwentro na nahitabo.

Matud sa mga pumuloyo alas 4:00 pasado sa kaagahon nagposisyon na ang pasistang army sa maong lugar ug ilang giadto ang mga panimalay. Ang tinuod nga panghitabo nga sila-sila lang ang nagpaarak sa usa ka kawayanan diin giingon nila nga nahimutangan sa NPA. Bisan ang mga pumuloyo maka-witness nga sila lang gyud ug walay balos nga binuthanay sulod sa 5 minutos. Human sa maong giingon “peke” nga enkwentro, mipadayag dayon nga naay nakuha nga mga pusil didto sa encounter site. Namakak pa sila nga naay 2 patay sa habig sa NPA ug nakasakmit og armas nga pulos lang gihapon bakak. Sayo sila miposisyon sa lugar unya alas 10:00 na ang buto-buto?

Nagmadaugon na ang pumuluyo sa Barangay Washington sa pagpapahawa sa 303rd CMO nga composed sa 62nd IB PA sa kumand ni Lt. Col. Castro niadtong 2017. Apan karon ang bag-ong napuli nga 79th IB mao gihapon ang ilang gihimo nga pagpanghasi sa mga pumuloyo kay kuno supporter sa NPA. Sama sa Sagay 9 nga pugos nilang patuohon ang katawhan nga ang mga NPA ang naghimo sa maong massacre. Karon ingnon na pud nila ang pumuloyo sa Puting Bato supporter sa NPA. Desperado na gyud kaayo ang militar nga bisan unsa nalang ang ilang himoon. Pero dili sila makapugong sa katawhan nga mosalmot sa rebolusyonaryong kalihukan. Sila ang nagtudlo nganong mosukol kanila ang katawhan. Makigbisog, ayaw kahadlok!

English version:

The November 16 “encounter” in Sityo Puting Bato, Bgy. Washington, Escalante City is nothing but a big fat lie. Army officials led by Col. Benedict Arevalo of the 303rd Brigade and the 79th Infantry Battalion led by Jesson Agaton are just spinning lies about this made-up encounter between their fascist troops and the NPA. No operative or fighter of the New People’s Army Roselyn Jean Pelle Command was in the area. The NPA did not lose any firearms. We did not incur any casualties because no encounter ever took place.

Civilians say that the fascist troopers were already in the area as early as 4:00 in the morning and loitered near their homes. The truth is, these soldiers were shooting at their own shadow, at a bamboo grove where they say the NPAs were at. Witnesses say that there were only soldiers because there was no return fire for the whole five minutes of the made-up “encounter.” After this fabricated gun battle, the army quickly announced that firearms were recovered and the NPA suffered two deaths. These fascist soldiers know no honor that they can only invent battles and create one lie after another. They were already in position at 4:00 am but the “gun battle” happened only at 10:00 am?

The citizens of Barangay Washington already successfully petitioned against the presence of the 303rd CMO and counter-insurgency “Peace and Development Team” composed of the 62nd IB under the command of Lt.Col. Castro in 2017. But now the new unit composed of the 79th IB is also involved in harassment of civilians that they allege to be NPA suporters. Likewise with the Sagay 9 massacre, they try so hard to make the people believe that the NPA was behind the killing but nobody believes their lies. Now thay want to harass and tag the people of Puting Bato as NPA supporters. This only shows the desperation of the miilitary, that they can only invent so many tall tales. It is because they cannot stop the people from joining the revolutionary cause. Their fascist actions only teach the people to fight back. Makibaka, huwag matakot!

CPP/NPA-Bicol: Hinggil sa matagumpay na ambush sa Libmanan

NPA-Bicol Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 19): Hinggil sa matagumpay na ambush sa Libmanan

 New People's Army
Raymundo Buenafuerza
NPA-Bicol Region (Romulo Jallores Command)
November 19, 2018

 Binabati ng Romulo Jallores Command-BHB Bikol ang Norben Gruta Command – BHB West Camarines Sur (NGC-BHB) sa matagumpay na ambush na ilinunsad nito laban sa mga elemento ng 1st Provincial Police Mobile Force Company (PPMFC) at 9th IBPA. Naganap ang ambush sa Brgy. Mambulo Nuevo, Libmanan, Camarines Sur nitong Nobyembre 17, alas-kwatro y trenta ng hapon. Anim ang sugatan sa hanay ng kaaway sa naturang taktikal na opensiba habang ligtas na nakamaniobra ang mga kasama.

Taliwas sa nais palabasin ng kasundaluhan at kapulisan, may pagtatangi ang pulang hukbo sa target nito. Partikular sa insidente, tanging ang mga armadong pwersa lamang ng PPMFC at militar ang tinarget at walang nadamay na sibilyan sa kabila ng kanilang pahayag na mayroong mga doktor mula sa Bicol Medical Center na kasabay ng kanilang mga sasakyan. Lehitimong target ng taktikal na opensiba ng BHB ang mga elemento ng PPMFC at militar bilang bahagi ng Task Force Bikolandia na binuo upang gapiin ang rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa rehiyon.

Ang totoo, ang sinasabing misyong medikal ay bahagi ng mapagkunwaring civil military at humanitarian missions ng militar upang pabanguhin ang kanilang pangalan habang ikinukubli ang sukdulang pandarahas nila sa mga komunidad. Kamakailan lang, pumutok sa balita ang pagtuligsa ng mga masa sa Libmanan laban sa presensya ng militar sa kanilang mga komunidad at ang bantang hatid nito sa kanilang kabuhayan at buhay.

Ang mga serbisyong medikal at iba pang kahalintulad na proyekto para sa masa na isinasagawa ng mga lehitimong ahensya ng gubyerno, ahensya sibil at non-government agencies ay pinahihintulutan at sinusuportahan ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan.

Sa disenyo ng US Counter-Insurgency Guide (COIN Guide) na siyang tinatalimaan ng Oplan Kapayapaan ng rehimeng US-Duterte, isinasagawa ng mga militar sa mga pinopokusan nilang erya ang mga operasyong TRIAD (civil military operations, intelligence operation at combat operation) upang maghasik ng panunupil sa mga taumbaryo sa pamamagitan ng karahasan at psywar at hadlangan ang pagkilos ng mga yunit ng pulang hukbo. Masinsing ilinalatag ng kaaway ang mga yunit ng mapagkunyaring Peace and Development Team (PDT). Bumababad ang mga ito sa mga komunidad upang kontrolin ang masa sa pamamagitan ng magkatambal na pamamaraang matigas at malambot, mapanindak at mapanlinlang at dumudulo pa sa tahasang pamamaslang at lahat ng uri ng lagim ng abusong militar.

Kabilang sa pamamaraang matigas ang tuluy-tuloy na panggagalugad sa mga sonang gerilya at kabit-kabit na mga operasyong kombat, interogasyon at paninindak, pagkontrol sa rekurso ng masa, hamletting o pagkontrol sa araw-araw na aktibidad ng masa, panonortyur, pagdukot at pagpatay. Samantala, ilan sa mga pamamaraang malambot ang pamumudmod ng cash transfer sa ilang pamilya sa mga komunidad kung saan malakas ang pagsasamahan ng mga rebolusyonaryong organisasyong masa, paglulunsad ng mga proyektong pang-isports, sibilyang imprastruktura, misyong medikal, pana-panahong relief operations at iba pa. Mga proyekto at sosyo-ekonomikong aktibidad, na kung tutuusin, ay dapat ilinulunsad ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng gubyerno – hindi ng militar at kapulisan.

Sa pagpapaigting ng kontra-insurhensyang programa ng rehimeng US-Duterte, tinutungo ng militar at kapulisan ang pag-imbwelto at panghihimasok sa iba’t ibang mga aktibidad ng mga sangay at ahensya ng gubyerno, maging ang mga ahensya sibil at non-government organizations. Ikinakamada nila ang mga aktibidad ng mga ahensyang ito upang maglingkod sa kanilang mga operasyong militar at sa kanilang atake sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan at mamamayan.

Ngunit hindi palilinlang ang masa. Malinaw sa kanilang palamuti lamang ang pagkakawanggawa ng mga berdugong militar at kapulisang siyang salarin ng sunud-sunod na kaso ng pananakot, panonortyur, iligal na pag-aresto at pagpatay sa mga masa. Ang pahayag ng mga masa sa Libmanan laban sa presensya ng militar sa kanilang lugar ay hindi ang unang beses na nagpahayag ng pagkundena at pagtutol ang masang Bikolnon laban sa presensya ng militar. Patuloy na bumabaha sa mga lansangan ang nagbabalikwas na mamamayang lumalaban para sa kanilang karapatang mamuhay nang payapa nang walang anumang banta ng paglabag sa karapatang tao mula sa mga mersenaryong militar at kapulisan.

Kaugnay nito, hinihikayat din ng RJC-BHB Bikol ang mga kagawad ng midya na imbestigahan ang tumitinding pasismo ng militar laluna sa mga eryang sinasaklaw ng PDT. Dahil sa napakalaking pondong ibinubuhos sa kampanyang saywar ng kaaway, napakadali para sa mga militar na kagyat magpalabas ng sari-saring datos at kwentong pabor sa kanila at magkukubli sa tunay na naratibo. Kapos sa ganitong rekurso ang masang lumalaban. Gayunpaman, pinagsisikapan pa rin nilang mailabas ang kanilang mga hinaing at panawagan. Bilang mga tagapagtaguyod ng patas at balansyadong pagbabalita, marapat lamang na pagtuunan din ng pansin ng mga kagawad ng midya ang kwento sa likod ng mga pangyayari – ang panig ng mga masang apektado ng walang patumanggang paglabag sa karapatang tao at terorismo ng militar sa ilalim ng rehimeng US-Duterte.

Sa huli, mananatiling tapat ang buong rebolusyonaryong kilusan sa Kabikulan at sa buong bansa sa interes ng masang inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan.

CPP/NDF-NEMR: AFP peddling fantastic lies to justify martial law extension anew in Mindanao

NDF-North East Mindanao Region propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 19): AFP peddling fantastic lies to justify martial law extension anew in Mindanao

Maria Malaya
NDF-North East Mindanao Region
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
November 19, 2018

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-North Eastern Mindanao Region (NDFP-NEMR) condemns in strongest terms the fantastic lies being spread by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to justify its proposal to extend martial law in the island.

AFP chief of staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. in a recent statement said that he will recommend that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte extend martial law in Mindanao in response to clamor by local government units.

He also said that martial law had successfully “diminished the communist threat” and paved the way for so-called successful localized peace talks that resulted in the surrender of more than 11,000 New People’s Army rebels in Mindanao.

These claims are nothing but fabrications by the AFP. The military and the Duterte government are lying through their teeth in a desperate attempt to absolve state forces of atrocities brought about by martial law in Mindanao.

Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao has resulted in the extrajudicial killings, terrorist-tagging and vilification of legitimate organizations, including the fabrication of charges against leaders and members of progressive organizations to criminalize the struggle for the people’s legitimate demands.

Contrary to the AFP’s claims, not one NPA front in NEMR or even Mindanao, has participated in localized peace talks. The NPA in NEMR and all units under its command had been very vocal in rejecting the bogus localized peace talks. It abides absolutely and sincerely by previously-signed agreements of NDFP-GPH peace negotiations, namely the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL), Joint Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and The Hague Joint Declaration.

NDFP-NEMR maintains that the US-Duterte regime’s localized peace talks are meant merely to deceive and force the revolutionary movement into capitulation. Every front in NEMR correctly views the US-Duterte regime’s localized peace talks as a scheme to obscure the root causes of the armed struggle and perpetuate the oppressive and exploitative ruling system.

The US-Duterte regime’s localized peace talks is part of the comprehensive psy-war operation campaign along the design of Oplan Kapayapaan, together with state fascism and terrorism through all-out war, martial law and “war against drugs”. It is but part of the regime’s counter-insurgency strategy to destroy the revolutionary movement and realize its ambition of establishing a fascist dictatorial rule.

Only the AFP, police, local government units and other related agencies have stood to benefit from the localized peace talks by pocketing millions of funds intended for alleged surrenderees. Each “surrenderee” is allotted a cash assistance worth P10,000. Except for a handful of “NPA regulars”, however, all alleged surrenderees pertain to unarmed civilians in barrios, majority from the peasant sector and Lumad communities, conveniently alluded to as “members of the NPA”.

These hundreds of “surrenderees” have not been charged in court nor has evidence been put forward against them. In most cases, they were forcibly rounded up by soldiers, made to sign blank “attendance sheets” and then presented to the media as “surrenderees”.

Despite the AFP’s blatant lies, the people of Mindanao, especially the peasantry and the Lumad, continue to wholeheartedly support the armed revolution. Martial law in Mindanao has also failed to silence Duterte’s critics and only served to ferment the people of NEMR’s resolve to fight tyranny, repression and intensified fascist attacks, especially on Lumad communities, their supporters and sympathizers.

The AFP and the US-Duterte regime can bloat the numbers and concoct one fantastic lie after another, but it will fail to diminish NPA mass support in NEMR and elsewhere in Mindanao.

CPP: Duterte is dragging Philippines in middle of brewing US-China war

CPP propaganda statement posted to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Website (Nov 15): Duterte is dragging Philippines in middle of brewing US-China war

Duterte’s claims that he does not want the Philippines to be dragged into a possible break-out of war in the South China Sea (SCS, also referred to as the West Philippine Sea) are belied by his actions. In fact, his double-sided betrayal of the country’s national sovereignty puts the country at great risk of getting caught right in between a likely outbreak of armed hostilities between the American and Chinese imperialists.

Duterte’s shameless subservience to the US, sell-out of Philippine sovereignty to China and inability to pursue a policy of active peace has led to his failure to oppose the militarization of SCS by both powers. The country’s territories, both land and sea, have become among the potential battlegrounds, both as targets and platform of war to the detriment of the Filipino people’s national sovereignty.

On the one hand, Duterte is set on surrendering the country’s sovereign rights to China with the planned signing of a contract for “joint exploration” of SCS and “co-ownership” with China, which China insists on being presupposed on its sovereignty over the territories. This will amount to a complete sell-out of trillions of dollars of Philippine marine and mineral resources in the SCS in exchange for a few billion dollars worth of high-interest loans for corruption-laden infrastructure projects. By going on a binge of borrowing China loans, Duterte will make the Philippines subject to Chinese debt-bondage. The decision to give the state-owned China Telecom franchise to operate in the country further gives China increasing control of the country’s economy.

Hiding behind the claim that “the Philippines cannot afford to go to war with China,” Duterte, moreover, has chosen not to raise a whimper of protest in the face of the frenzied Chinese construction of military facilities and territorial assertion within Philippine sovereign seas and maritime claims. Duterte is complicit in China’s militarization of the SCS.

On the other hand, he is complicit as well in the US parallel militarization of the SCS. He has allowed more and more US nuclear-capable warships to use Philippine docks as military facilities and springboards (in what are benignly referred to as “routinary port calls”) in line with its so-called “freedom of navigation operations.” These involve the deployment of armadas of US aircraft carriers in the SCS and elsewhere in the Pacific. The US aim is to project military power, contain the expansion of China and challenge its power in the SCS even at the risk of sparking armed confrontations.

Duterte is a hypocrite for pompously declaring he does not want any country stockpiling weapons in Palawan, when, in fact, he has not spoken out against US involvement in the construction of the Ulungan Bay Naval Base and other naval bases in Palawan which the AFP has long “offered” for use of the US military under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). He has also allowed the US to build its military facilities in at least five other AFP camps for stockpiling of weapons and stationing of US troops. The US claims these facilities store material for “humanitarian and disaster response” to conceal its real military purposes.

At the same time, Duterte has allowed the US to more and more tighten its operational control of the AFP through so-called joint trainings and providing it with US weaponry to ensure “interoperability” where AFP units can easily be integrated with US operations. There are 200-300 American military advisers permanently stationed in the Philippines under the US Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines (OPE-P). The US military is on top of AFP “counter-insurgency” operations, providing it with field equipment, drones, trainings for special combat units as well as advise and equipment for the AFP’s information and social media warfare. Duterte has made no attempt to revoke the various one-sided military treaties with the US such as the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement and the EDCA assuring the US of continued military dominance.

For being a US semicolony in the past seven decades, the Philippines has long been used as a pawn in US hegemonism. In the 1950s, US military bases in the Philippines were used as jump-off points for deployment of American troops in its interventionist war in Korea. In the 1960s, the country was used as a platform for its large-scale intervention in Vietnam. In both US wars of intervention in Korea and Vietnam, the Philippine government sent troops and personnel. In the 1970s and 1980s, in its interventionism in the Middle East. It is widely believed that the US deployed nuclear weapons in Clark and Subic but kept a policy of “neither confirming nor denying” the matter. In the 1980s, it also used the country to organize the Abu Sayyaf and recruit so-called “jihadists” in its war of subversion in Afghanistan.

As a US semicolony, the Philippines has been a constant target of US imperialist archrivals and its declared enemies. In World War II, the country was attacked and occupied by Japanese imperial forces. In the 1960s and 1970s, Clark and Subic military bases were always among the targets of Russian missiles and nuclear war heads.

A few weeks ago, a former US military general in Europe issued a statement foreseeing a US-China war in 15 years. Regardless of the time frame, an international armed conflict among imperialist powers is indeed the likely outcome of the rising contradictions and conflict over trade, as well as control of spheres of influence and fields of investments.

Amid heightening US and China economic and military tensions and worsening crisis of the world capitalist system, the Philippines is becoming both a tool and target of both imperialist powers. Without a radical shift in Duterte’s policy of subservience to imperialist powers, the country will ultimately be dragged into the middle of future inter-imperialist conflicts.

This can only be prevented by heeding the Filipino people’s demand that Philippine national sovereignty be firmly upheld and a policy of peace and non-alignment be actively pursued.