Clamor For Peace
Defend Human Rights
Quezon City, November 24, 2018
Prof. Jose Maria Sison
On Memorandum Order No. 32
November 23, 2018
Press Statement by Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
November 23, 2018
Memorandum Order No. 32 is formally and actually a declaration of a state of national emergency.
This is in furtherance of the ongoing tyranny and de facto martial law nationwide. It is preparatory to formal proclamation of martial law nationwide, the screwing up of the 2019 elections, chacha for bogus federalism and establishment of fascist dictatorship ala Marcos.
The lawless violence that now reigns in the Philippines is actually a monopoly of the AFP and PNP, especially with their perpetration of mass murders with impunity and with presidential protection and cash incentives from the intelligence and discretionary funds of the Office of the President.
In sharp contrast, the NPA follows strictly the laws of the people’s democratic government, the International Bill of Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
Duterte has generated the lawless violence under Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Kapayapaan in order to lay the ground for further brutal military and police operations and for justifying martial law nationwide and establishing a fascist dictatorship. Having authorized MO No. 32, Duterte is unwittingly admitting that the NPA is strong not only in Mindanao but also in other parts of the country contrary to the psywar claims of the AFP and PNP that the NPA is nearly finished. In fact, not a single guerrilla front in Mindanao has been finished, despite the deployment of 75 of the 98 maneuver battalions of the AFP.
The NPA is expected to wage more tactical offensives on a nationwide scale. Outside of Mindanao, the AFP and PNP have targeted so-called focus areas. But their offensives have been blunted and have uttterly failed in Luzon and the Visayas. Duterte and his armed minions do not understand the guerrilla warfare being carried out by the NPA. They think that the NPA is already finished when it evades the enemy offensives with superior strength. They forget that the NPA can launch tactical counteroffensives after evasive actions and it can avail of its nationwide strength to launch tactical counteroffensives elsewhere on a wide front in a war of fluid movement.
If only to stop Duterte’s scheme of fascist dictatorship, the NDFP maintains its standing policy of being open to peace negotiations with the GRP even under Duterte. Most importantly, it is putting forward its proposal for social, economic and political reforms to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.
At the same time, the revolutionary forces represented by the NDFP have made absolutely clear that they will continue to carry out the people’s war for national and social liberation in response to Duterte’s termination of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, his persistent all-out war policy and his scheme of fascist dictatorship. The NDFP is well aware of the instability and fragility of the Duterte regime.
The tyrant Duterte has worn out and fatigued his limited military and police forces and cannot increase them because of the worsening economic crisis and financial bankruptcy of his regime, aggravated by debt enslavement to China which will start to weigh heavily on the Philippines next year.
Within the AFP and PNP, there is only a small criminal gang loyal to Duterte. This is directly opposed by pro-US and anti-China military officers. At the same time, there is a growing number of patriotic and democratic-minded AFP and PNP officers who aim to withdraw support from the Duterte regime in concert with the people’s uprising as in 1986 and 2001 against the Marcos fascist regime and the Estrada regime, respectively.
Duterte seems to be aware that he is sitting on a throne made of bayonets. Thus, now and then, he publicly expresses fear of a coup d’etat. Indeed, he is vulnerable to a coup d’etat by the group of pro-US and anti-China officers or to a combination of people’s uprising and military withdrawal of support as he takes further steps in making his own authoritarian coup against the GRP Constitution. ###
Communist Party of the Philippines
November 23, 2018
Without formal declaration, Duterte is already implementing nationwide martial law with the order today to deploy additional military troops and police to the Bicol region, Samar and Negros islands.
Duterte’s exercise of de facto martial law powers is based on the flimsy 2016 “declaration of a state of national emergency” to supposedly “suppress lawless violence.” However, it is clear that the order is a desperate attempt to stop the rising tide of peasant unrest and nationwide growth of the NPA.
This order will surely lead to the further worsening of the state of military and police abuses and attacks against democratic rights in these regions, especially against the peasant masses. The Bicol region follows the Southern Mindanao Region in terms of the number of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by state armed forces. The newly deployed 96th IB has already gained notoriety for brutal peasant killings.
There is also a rising number of peasants killings, marked by the recent massacre of nine peasants in Sagay City in Negros by paramilitary forces attached to the AFP. Duterte has endorsed the massacre after ordering his men to shoot peasants asserting their rights to land.
Human rights abuses are also on the rise in Samar and the whole of Eastern Visayas where at least 10 battalions of AFP troops have been deployed. The people of Northern Samar towns of Lao-ang, Las Navas and Catubig are demanding a stop to the militarization of their barangays where the AFP are setting up detachments and carrying out combat operations.
Duterte’s deployment of more troops to suppress rising armed resistance and other forms of struggle is counter-productive and self-defeating. The aim is to use overwhelming force against the peasant masses and the guerrilla forces of the NPA. However, by committing widespread abuses against the people and imposing martial law across the countryside, the AFP is succeeding only in rousing the people to take up arms and join the NPA.
Duterte’s orders to deploy more troops to Bicol, Negros and Samar stretches the limits of his militarist solution to the rising armed resistance of the Filipino people. Since early this year, Duterte has already deployed his new ten battalions of combat troops across the country, four of which are in Mindanao. He has no more troops to deploy, unless he reduces the number of soldiers deployed in other regions or spends even more public funds to form additional combat units.
Duterte cannot afford to reduce significantly the number of troops in Mindanao, both in the NPA and Moro areas. Duterte and AFP officials endlessly brag about thousands of “NPA surrenderees” but know these are merely for psywar effect. In fact, many of the so-called “surrenderees” are seeking the NPA to report military abuses and demand justice.
The AFP has hyped the “end of war” with the MILF. However, Moro armed resistance is bound to spread and rise as the Moro people continue to suffer from grave oppression and abuses under martial law rule and as their land and resources are being taken away Duterte’s combat troops on the ground are becoming increasingly tired and restive over incessant but fruitless military operations, as well as by the abuses they are ordered to commit against the masses and rampant corruption among their officers.
Duterte’s pipedream of ending the NPA by mid-2019 is completely baseless. The conditions are increasingly favorable for the NPA to continue its nationwide growth and spread of the people’s war.
Resume Peace Talks Now
Struggle for Genuine Agrarian Reform and National Industrialization