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CPP: No 'Red-Yellow' conspiracy

The CPP said it has no formal ties with the Liberal Party, which used to be led by former President Benigno Aquino III. Philstar.com/File photo 
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte might be attempting to justify silencing dissent with his claim of a conspiracy between "Yellows" and "Reds," the Communist Party of the Philippines said Thursday.
 
In an e-mail, the CPP's Information Bureau said there is no formal alliance with the Liberal Party, the former majority party whose numbers have dwindled due to defections since 2016. 
 
The communist party said, however, that it "can recognize their initiatives and action as serving the same purpose of resisting Duterte's tyranny." 
 
It said, "it appears that such claims (of a conspiracy) aim to set the stage to clampdown on the political opposition and all other forces standing up against moves to establishing Duterte’s authoritarian rule."
 
The party, which was in peace talks with the government through the National Democratic Front of the Philippines until earlier this year, said "what Duterte claims to be a 'conspiracy' is, in fact, the broad community of various political and social groups which have been roused to make a stand."
 
It said that among the issues raised against the Duterte administration are "relentless killings by police, soldiers and vigilantes, aerial bombardment against communities, militarization and threats to bomb Lumad schools." 
 
The CPP said the government's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and martial law in Mindanao as well as "heightened campus repression and other acts of fascist tyranny of the Duterte regime" have earned it criticism and protest.
 
 
The declaration of martial law in Mindanao was a major issue that led to the breakdown in talks in July when the New People's Army stepped up attacks in opposition to martial law.
 
"Duterte wants to clampdown and silence all who disagree with his policies and methods. He has threatened to impose martial law. His officials and loyalists have openly declared plans to use all means to have all those who dissent to be imprisoned," the party said.
 
In a separate statement, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, called the alleged conspiracy a fake issue raised to divert attention from criticism against the government.
 
"They're looking for something to divert the attention of media and of the public from the issues of corruption, drug smuggling by the Davao group and failed drug war that kills people every day," Pangilinan said.
 
 
On Wednesday, Duterte claimed the CPP and the LP are working together. The LP used to be led by President Benigno Aquino III, who was strongly criticized by the CPP-NPA-NDFP and by national democrat activist groups on issues like agrarian reform and the government's anti-insurgency campaign. Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita was a rallying cry against Aquino and his administration and is still brought up as agrarian reform of part of the sprawling plantation continues. 
 
"But what is really very clear is that the Left and the allies of the Left... the Yellows. They want me out of Malacañang," the president claimed. The color yellow has been associated with the LP and its allies since the 2010 election campaign.
 
Solicitor General Jose Calida also claimed a broad conspiracy exists between critics of the administration.
 
"Before, it was the Yellows. Then they changed the color to white, and now there are also reds coming in, and members of the clergy are also joining the fray," he said.
 
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