LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – As President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday, Anakbayan joins the Filipino people in massive protest actions expressing indignation against the extension of martial law in Mindanao, his long list of broken promises, and his regime’s triple wars of death and destruction.
“We are one with the Filipino people in strongly condemning Duterte’s genocidal “war on drugs” that has killed an estimated 12,000 people. We strongly oppose his regime’s disastrous “anti-terror war” that has led to the destruction of Marawi. We denounce his “all-out war” against the revolutionary movement,” Anakbayan declared.
After a year of unfulfilled promises, it has become clear that no fundamental change is forthcoming under Duterte. Inspired by the ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos and fixated with bloody killings and the iron-fist as his only solution to all the country’s problems,
Martial law and fascism
Anakbayan said Duterte has stepped up increasingly virulent fascist attacks against the populace. Duterte has stacked up his cabinet with military men like Lorenzana, Año, and Esperon who are notorious human rights violators. He now threatens to expand martial law nationwide, using the revolutionary forces as scapegoat to justify open military rule.
No interest in lasting peace
Anakbayan continued: Duterte has proven himself to have no real interest in making the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) a success by discussing socio-economic reforms that will solve the roots of armed conflict. Instead, Duterte insists on finalizing a bilateral ceasefire before tackling reform measures like genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization. He has used political prisoners as hostages to force the surrender of the revolutionary movement and carried on the implementation of US-designed counterinsurgency doctrine Oplan Kapayapaan.
For all his anti-US posturing, Duterte has had no concrete steps to remove US military forces from the country. Instead, he now coyly seeks US support for martial law in the guise of fighting terrorism. His economic team continues neoliberal policies that keeps the economy dependent on foreign investments and loans, favor rich oligarchs, and hit the poor the hardest. He has not junked contractualization, failed to freely distribute land to farmers, and now wishes to impose new and harsher taxes. Meanwhile, particular concessions like conditional free tuition for students of state universities and colleges giving free homes to homeless Kadamay members, among others, were achieved not because of the benevolence of Duterte but were the results of hard-won mass struggles by different sectors for their democratic rights.
Not a friend of the Filipino masses
The US-Duterte regime is no friend of the Filipino people. As we march today in angry protest, we hold no more illusions that Duterte is fundamentally any different from past regimes that have been subservient mainly to the interests of US imperialism and the oligarchic ruling classes. The Filipino youth and people has no other recourse but to intensify our mass struggles against Duterte’s fascist, anti-national, and anti-people policies and programs. We must assert our democratic rights and interests and advance the national democratic struggle against a rotting ruling system which now has at its apex the ruling militarist US-Duterte clique. [BicolToday.com]