MO 32: Duterte’s “Modus Operandi” that intensifies militarization and human rights violations in Negros Island
Rodrigo Duterte’s memorandum order (MO) 32 is actually his “modus operandi” that uses bloodthirsty violence and outright chicanery against the people to prolong his cling to power. This is ground work for nationwide martial law and ensures that the outcome of the May 2019 elections will be in his favor. With Congress and Senate under Duterte’s control, his trick federalism will easily pass legislation indicating the consolidation of his fascist dictatorship. The imperialist US, also China, and the local big compradors and landlords will surely take advantage of the situation to protect and further their economic and political interests.
MO 32 signals the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify militarization, extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in Camarines Sur, Samar, Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental. This gives them authority to forcibly suppress the legitimate struggles of the peasants, workers and other exploited classes and sectors. Ironic to Duterte’s justification of fighting “lawless violence” in Negros, the 47 political killings in the Island under the US-Duterte regime are closely linked with the forces of the law. MO 32 was announced thirty-three days after the brutal massacre of nine farm workers in Sagay City by elements of AFP-led Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary.
Today marks the first year after Duterte declared Presidential Proclamation 360 unilaterally cancelling the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The prospects of genuine peace talks under the US-Duterte regime is grim especially with the MO 32 announcement. Duterte only uses ‘peace’ as bait for the cooptation of the revolutionary movement and shows no interest in addressing the roots of armed conflict.
The Filipino people’s rage against Duterte and his clique is mounting with every fascist measure. This outrage must become a political force that will frustrate full scale martial law and, in time, overthrow the US-Duterte regime. ###