On the US-Marcos regime’s weaponization of the civilian bureaucracy

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) denounces the US-Marcos regime’s recent move to weaponize the civilian bureaucracy by appointing cabinet secretaries as Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) within the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac).

Among the BBM regime’s most notable appointees are Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla as CORDS for Region IV-A. Remulla is a notorious red-tagger from a political dynasty in Cavite. He is also responsible for absolving police officers involved in the 2021 Bloody Sunday Massacre which resulted in the killing of nine activists and the arrest of six others in Southern Tagalog. Also appointed as CORDS for the Caraga region is National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Secretary Allen Capuyan who is infamously implementing anti-people policies to facilitate extractive projects encroaching on indigenous lands across the country. Meanwhile, Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao Leo Tereso Magno was designated as CORDS for the Davao Region. Magno is the grandson of the late Leopoldo Abellera who served as justice secretary during the Marcos martial law regime.

Appointing cabinet members into key positions within the NTF-Elcac draws disturbing yet unsurprising parallels to the Marcos fascist dictatorship, wherein the civilian bureaucracy was instrumentalized to serve the interests of then ruling Marcos clique, leading to its eventual downfall.

The NDFP sees this move as a clear indication of the current regime’s failure to fulfil its promise to its US imperialist masters of “crushing the New People’s Army in two years.” In all likelihood, the US conspires with the Marcos-Duterte clique to accelerate and intensify its counterrevolutionary campaign assisted by the EDCA-sanctioned presence of US military forces in the Philippines. This also comes amid intensifying regional tensions in the West Philippine Sea and is consistent with the US policy of encircling China. All in all, this equates to a renewed drive for ‘counterinsurgency’ operations by the US-Marcos administration.

While counterinsurgency operations since martial rule have changed under each GRP president – Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Bantay Laya, Noynoy Aquino III’s Bayanihan, and Duterte’s Kapayapaan and Kapanatagan – these strategies are tied by a common thread. These campaigns are patterned after the US counterinsurgency doctrine which adopts a ‘whole-of-nation’ approach mobilizing the entire government bureaucracy to transform civilian institutions and elements into weapons of counterrevolutionary war. However, because the reactionary government and its military have time and again failed to defeat the revolutionary movement, they have intentionally targeted activists and legitimate democratic organizations, labeling them as ‘terrorists’ and making no distinction between armed combatants and civilians.

The NDFP also takes exception of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ baseless claims that the NPA only has one remaining active guerilla front. This contradicts the AFP’s drive to build more combat battalions in addition to more than 150 battalions of military and police forces currently deployed in counterguerrilla operations across the country, carrying out campaigns of state terrorism against the toiling masses.

Presidents of the reactionary government since the martial law era in the 1970s to today’s fraudulent BBM regime share one thing in common: each has tried, but repeatedly and miserably failed to crush the armed revolution of the Filipino people. And the reason is patently obvious: the Filipino people’s war is a just war that can never be defeated.

On the US-Marcos regime’s weaponization of the civilian bureaucracy