In a statement Friday, Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said that Duterte’s witch hunt of communists and progressive groups shows his conspiracy with “militarist elements to install himself as a fascist dictator.” AP Photo/Aaron Favila

Militant groups blast Duterte’s ‘terroristic, tyrannical’ regime
(The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2017 - 3:30am

MANILA, Philippines — Militant groups on Friday slammed the termination of peace negotiations with communists and President Rodrigo Duterte’s tagging of “legal fronts” as terrorists.

In a statement Friday, Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said that Duterte’s witch hunt of communists and progressive groups shows his conspiracy with “militarist elements to install himself as a fascist dictator.”

“It is Duterte who is in conspiracy with militarist elements, using the bogeyman of communist ‘legal fronts,’ to justify a so-called ‘revolutionary government’ and criminalize all dissent,” Crisostomo said.

He added: “This is not the change the Filipino people want but a throwback to [Ferdinand] Marcos’ terroristic and tyrannical rule.”

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan also accused Duterte of “itching to impose an open fascist dictatorship in the guise of an extra-constitutional revolutionary government.”

Left-wing rights group Karapatan said that Duterte’s actions show his disinterest in achieving just and lasting peace.

“His redtagging of groups, with the accusation of terrorism, smacks of attempts to suppress legitimate opposition to his anti-people policies and to establish a strongman rule,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

Moreover, the Anakbayan national chairperson said that the crackdown of dissenters is a mark of Duterte’s “subservience to the United States’ imperial interests,” noting that Duterte has been vocal about the supposed puppetry after his meeting with US President Donald Trump.

“Duterte believes US backing for his regime will keep him in power amid rising unrest over his anti-people and terroristic rule. But he is dead wrong,” Crisostomo said.

READ: Why Duterte's 'red-baiting' of activists is dangerous

Proclamation No. 360

Bayan said that Duterte has “turned his back on the people’s clamor for a just peace” by issuing Proclamation 360, which formally terminated peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines – The New People’s Army.

“He wasted the efforts and gains made by both sides over the past two months which include the initialing of agreements on agrarian reform and national industrialization which could benefit millions of Filipinos,” Bayan said in a statement.

On Thursday, Duterte formally terminated negotiations with communists, citing the rebels’ supposed failure to display sincerity and commitment to the peace process.

“While we agreed to resume peace talks with the aforementioned group and exerted our best efforts to accelerate the signing and implementation of the final peace agreement, the NDF-CPP-NPA has engaged in acts of violence and hostilities,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

READDuterte formally terminates peace talks with Reds

The announcement came after the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process disclosed Wednesday that all planned meetings with the CPP-NPA-NDFP have been called off.

"Recent tragic and violent incidents all over the country committed by the communist rebels left the President with no other choice but to arrive at this decision," Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said in a statement.

Legal fronts as terrorists?

On Thursday, Malacañang warned the “legal fronts” of the communist rebels that conspiracy to commit a crime was enough basis to accuse them of terrorism or rebellion.

“Even if they did not physically take up arms, if they are part of a conspiracy to commit acts of terror or rebellion, then they can be held liable under the theory of a conspiracy,” Roque said.

Duterte, on Wednesday, declared he would arrest not only communist rebels but also members of non-armed “legal fronts.”

But Roque clarified that not all members of communist “legal fronts” will be arrested.

“He will be advised by security forces on which of these legal fronts should be charged with conspiracy.

Bayan and the Kilusang Mayo Uno announced that they will be holding a rally on November 30, Bonifacio Day, to reject the “revolutionary government” being peddled by the administration.

“Our anti-dictatorship action on Nov. 30 becomes necessary and urgent. We invite all freedom loving Filipinos to join us on that day in rejecting Duterte’s looming dictatorship. In the spirit of Bonifacio’s revolution, let us persevere in the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy,” Bayan said. MANILA, Philippines — Militant groups on Friday condemned the termination of peace negotiations with communists and President Rodrigo Duterte’s tagging of “legal fronts” as terrorists.

READ: Duterte 'sabotaged' peace talks, claims Joma Sison

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