NTF-Elcac has caused great harm to people’s rights and freedom

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The Filipino people’s clamor for the abolition of the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac continues to mount, buttressed by the recommendation made yesterday by United Nations Special Rapporteur Irene Khan, and a recent similar recommendation by fellow UNSR Ian Fry.

In tandem with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP), the NTF-Elcac represents one of the worst facets of the Philippine reactionary state’s drive to suppress the people’s democratic and patriotic movement. It is one of the bloody legacy of the Duterte regime, which Marcos has firmly embraced, promoted and supported with billions of pesos. Marcos’ continued support for the NTF-Elcac and its tactics of state terrorism raises questions as to his sincerity in addressing the social, economic and political roots of the civil war through peace negotiations.

The NTF-Elcac engages in wholesale anticommunist witchhunting, Red-tagging or terrorist-labeling against practically anyone who speaks with patriotic and democratic convictions. It abets outright fascist suppression, and applauds extrajudicial killings by state agents against civilians. Representing the armed strength of the fascist state, it directs its campaign against workers’ unions, school and community organizations, peasant associations and others entities representing the democratic interests of the broad masses of the people.

In resorting to such heinous and anti-democratic measures, the NTF-Elcac manifests the increasing desperation of Philippine government to suppress the people’s national democratic movement which continue to grow amid the worsening socioeconomic crisis and widespread restiveness among the toiling masses.

The NTF-Elcac epitomizes the dominance of military power over the civilian authority. Justified by the “central objective” of ending “the local communist armed conflict,” virtually all civilian agencies of the government are placed under the commanding control of the NTF-Elcac which directs the work of these agencies to serve “counterinsurgency.”

With former military generals at its helm, the NTF-Elcac does not tolerate questions of its authority and compels everyone to toe the line, at the pain of being Red-tagged or accused of “aiding the terrorists.” It is a haven of corruption with billions of pesos of military pork barrel purportedly for “barangay development” which, in fact, line the pockets of corrupt military officers and bureaucrat capitalists.

The NTF-Elcac is an instrument of big foreign multinational companies and local ruling classes of big bourgeois compradors and big landlords. It aims to eliminate all opposition to the aggressive entry and expansion of mining companies, big plantations, energy, ecotourism and other infrastructure projects which invariably dispossess the peasant masses and the ethnic communities of their agricultural and ancestral land.

The “strategic victory” claimed by the NTF-Elcac is a big sham. One can say that it represents the degree to which they have taken away the people’s social, economic, cultural and political rights, but at the same time, the degree to which they have incited people to fight back.

In fact, the longer that the NTF-Elcac exists and employs its tactics of brutal suppression, the more that it stokes the outrage of the broad masses of the people and steels their determination to wage national democratic struggle. The more that it employs fascist threats and brutality, the more that the people realize that they can only defend their rights by bearing arms and joining the armed revolution. Like martial law in 1972, the NTF-Elcac today provides the Filipino people with one of the strongest impetus to join the New People’s Army.

NTF-Elcac has caused great harm to people's rights and freedom