The people should condemn Duterte's recent threat of declaring martial law


Duterte is using the outrageous lie that members of the New People’s Army (NPA) are attacking Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) troops assigned to escort government personnel distributing financial aid in the countryside to pass the blame for his own massive failure in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and to justify his further use of authoritarian power.

The NPA is in fact currently on ceasefire status giving full focus on its health and socio-economic campaigns.

Duterte and his military dogs are exploiting the COVID-19 situation to maliciously discredit and step up military attacks on the revolutionary armed movement, and shore up their bid to impose an out-and-out fascist dictatorship.

The regime’s negligent, ineffective and tyrannical ways in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought Duterte deeper in political quagmire.

More and more people are demanding that Duterte scrap his bureaucratic and militarist emergency strategies which have not only failed to contain the virus but are also bringing untold economic misery to millions of Filipinos.

The situation is potentially leading to a period of social unrest without precedent.

Yet instead of humbly acceding to the call of the people, Duterte is becoming more and more Marcosian each day. He continues to refuse to closely work with credible scientific experts who have social conscience and with the various civil society groups. He would rather stick it out with his cabal of arrogant military bureaucrats.

Invariably he does not admit bureaucratic delays and incompetence and the inherently fascist frame and utter counter-productivity of his so-called martial law-type measures. What he is quick at is putting the blame for his inadequacies and criminal culpabilities on his critics.

This growing number of Duterte critics now include the thousands upon thousands of poor families made even poorer and hungrier because of the lockdown mess.

Duterte spitefully calls them undisciplined, selfish and deserving to be shot. He is afraid that they may rise up in defense of their right to find work and eat, and link up with democratic forces, civil society groups and traditional institutions who have long been condemning Duterte’s tyranny and rotten administration and calling for his ouster.

In trying to allay this fear, Duterte is every day readying the full array of the state’s coercive apparatus to take over in what is turning out to be an imminent imposition of martial rule, bolstered by the most devious lies and fake news.

The people should condemn Duterte’s recent threat of declaring martial law. They should see through all these machinations and should strive to get the most accurate information, so that they may be able to act accordingly as citizens with social responsibility beyond being forced to follow whimsical structures imposed by the militarist lockdown.

The media, for its part, should not be cowed by the fascist military; the media itself, as we know it, would be gone as soon as martial law is finally declared.

Duterte did not mention any specific fake news of SAP-snatching NPAs. The military has so far developed several versions of such pathetic fantastic themes in its fake news offensives in Samar, Masbate and Mindanao. But it could be assumed that what he had immediately referred to in this morning’s address was the April 19 failed raid of AFP troops in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental.

The people should condemn Duterte's recent threat of declaring martial law