WORSE THAN “TOKHANG”: NPA-EV slams Duterte for threatening mass arrest and mass murder in “counterinsurgency”
The Efren Martires Command of the New People’s Army in Eastern Visayas today condemned GRP President Rodrigo Duterte for telling the military to carry out arbitrary arrests as well as to carry out extrajudicial killings against NPA members in his talk to the 803rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army this October 2 in Catarman, Northern Samar.
“Duterte’s statements show how he is becoming even more despicable each day that passes in his drive to become the dictator of the Philippines,” said Ka Karlos Manuel. “What else could his backing of warrantless arrests mean except sanctioning the mass arrest of all deemed to be members of the New People’s Army? What else could “neutralization” mean except promoting the mass murder of alleged NPA members?
“This is worse than the bloody anti-drug war “Tokhang” which was against a part of the poor who were desperate and dabbled in drugs. Now Duterte wants to arrest or kill all who opposes his regime, who could even be conveniently shot dead and described in police parlance as ‘NPA na nanlaban’ (NPA who fought back). This will be carrying out mass murder because the police and military are steeped in fanatical anticommunism and do not see any difference, such as between a student activist and an NPA Red fighter.”
The NPA-EV spokesperson noted that Duterte’s words violate even the laws of the reactionary government, and show his regime’s desperation to fast-track a more repressive constitution or else declare martial law. “Duterte and his minions have been scrambling to install a fascist dictatorship through a shift to federalism, charter change or declaring martial law. That’s why they make noise about the bogus “Red October” plot to oust Duterte. They want to accumulate arbitrary powers of arrest and detention and even over life and death. Thus we see the regime’s calls for longer detention of terror suspects without charges, warrantless arrests and “neutralization.””
Ka Karlos Manuel urged the people to resist Duterte’s fascist overtures and defend their basic rights. “The people are in turmoil over the socio-economic crisis engendered by Duterte’s neoliberal and despotic diktat. We call on them to fight for their basic issues and defend their basic rights. We call on civil libertarians, human rights advocates, lawyers, church people, peace advocates and other concerned democrats to oppose Duterte’s rising authoritarianism.
“We also urge the police and military to respect human rights and international humanitarian law and disobey Duterte’s illegal and anti-people orders. They can choose to leave the reactionary service to avoid harming the people, and they can also join the NPA to fight on the side of the people for national freedom and democracy.
“In response to Duterte’s threats, the NPA will strive to intensify tactical offensives to defend the people and to punish the police, military and paramilitary units that are the worst human rights violators and promoters of mining, logging, land grabbing and other plunder. The NPA will surely become bigger and stronger because Rodrigo Duterte himself is fast becoming the best NPA recruiter as his human rights violations and dictatorial powers are convincing more people to take up armed struggle and overthrow the reactionary ruling system.” ##