A boy looks at caricatures of, from left, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. during a rally to call for an end to the killings in the so-called war on drugs of Duterte as well as his alleged "tyrannical rule" of the country on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Manila, Philippines. Protesters are marking the anniversary of the 1972 martial law declaration by the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos with an outcry against what they say is the current president's authoritarian tendencies and his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs.
AP/Aaron Favila
Supposed 'Red October' plot a military fiction, CPP says
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - September 25, 2018 - 11:25am

NPA not yet strong enough to overthrow system, party admits

MANILA, Philippines —The Communist Party of the Philippines has denied the so-called "Red October" conspiracy to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, calling it a government fiction.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier warned of an ouster plan in October, which it called the month of international celebrations for communism, Marxism and indigenous peoples.

"The CPP denounces the Armed Forces of the Philippines for conjuring this fictional plot which clearly aims to set the stage for applying increasingly draconian measures against the Filipino people," the CPP said in a statement.

The communist group dismissed the supposed ouster plot as a mere "invention" of the military.

The group noted that the military came up with "intelligence information" as early as July while Duterte himself claimed that there were recorded conversation between the CPP and other groups.

The president nor the AFP, however, could not present proof their claims, the CPP said.

'Excuse to crack down on legitimate protests'

"Actually, the real question is not whether there is such a conspiracy, but what Duterte and the AFP are plotting for October? Is this a foreshadowing of a declaration of martial law by October?" the statement read.

The CPP likened the Red October plot to the "Maoist rebellion" claims of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos to justify his declaration of martial law in 1972.

"In hyping up this so-called conspiracy, the clear aim of the AFP is to justify the implementation of increasingly severe measures in the name of 'defeating the plot' to target legitimate protest actions which express the sentiments of a disgruntled people," the CPP said.

CPP founding chair and National Democratic Front chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison also clarified in a separate statement that there is no conspiracy between communist rebels and the Liberal Part, despite the claims of Duterte and the military.

"Duterte and his military minions and propagandists are now frenziedly carrying out a psy-war campaign to glorify the Marcos fascist dictatorship and to fabricate conspiracies to justify the eventual declaration of martial law nationwide and further realize Duterte´s scheme of fascist dictatorship," Sison said.

Sison, whom Duterte has been ranting against in recent speeches, is no longer a rebel leader. The CPP announced in March 2017 that it had held elections for a new set of eladers for its central committee. It said it would continue to seek his counsel and guidance.

'Insecure Duterte, AFP'

The claims of Duterte and the AFP show that they are "increasingly insecure" while the country is facing economic crisis, the CPP said.

The communists called out the president for "turning a deaf ear" to the demands of the Filipino people such as putting an end to TRAIN taxes, finding a solution to price increases, wage increases, job security, among others.

Sending Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to the United States show that the president "has gone the lengths of seeking the assurance of US support.

"All these show Duterte’s kapit-tuko desperation to cling to power amid the increasingly acute crisis and mounting clamor for his ouster," the CPP said.

'NPA not yet strong enough'

The New People's Army, the armed wing of the CPP, will continue to wage its revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside, the group said.

The CPP said it is expecting protests against the Duterte administraton to continue in the coming months given the country's economic conditions.

"However supportive of the people’s clamor for Duterte’s ouster, the NPA, at this stage, is not yet strong enough to cause the overthrow of Duterte and the ruling system," the CPP said.

It added that although the NPA was among the stongest forces against the Marcos dictatorship, it said it was the confluence of various forces that made the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution a success.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 29, 2019 - 2:18pm

Vice President Leni Robredo says a supposed 'Red October' plot by an alleged communist-led conspiracy with opposition groups are "laughable if they were not dangerous."

She says the "attempt to delegitimize various opposition groups and personalities to an alleged extra-constitutional 'plot' are alarming," she says in a statement.

"Baseless allegations that link my involvement in legitimate opposition activities with illegal actions, particularly when they come from high ranking military officials, undermine not just the opposition but also our democracy," she says.

The military had earlier claimed that communist rebels are planning to destabilize the Duterte administration next month as part of international celebrations for communism and Marxism. 

Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Armed Forces deputy chief for operations, claimed that the "Red October" plot remains even if a plan to oust Duterte by September 21 failed to materialize.

June 29, 2019 - 2:18pm

Rights workers hit the dismissal of petitions for protection against alleged state harassment.

“The dismissal of our petitions for the writ of amparo and habeas data is a gross disservice to all the human rights defenders of Karapatan who have been killed and to those who continue to remain in the line of fire. In doing so, the appellate court has refused protection for defenders at risk. This is tantamount to complicity on the attacks perpetrated against us,” says Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

The groups will continue to exhaust all legal processes to appeal and overturn the decision, Palabay adds.

October 5, 2018 - 8:40am

Filmmakers and members of the film community are expected to hold a press conference on Friday afternoon in relation to a statement signed and circulated on Facebook on Thursday denouncing "red-tagging" by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which has been saying that viewings of films about martial law under Marcos are being used to recruit students to join the supposed "Red October" plot.

The press conference will be at Cinema Adarna in UP Diliman.

Universities that the AFP said are being used as recruitment venues for activism and for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army have already denied the allegations and have denounced the military for the claim, which the AFP has admitted includes unverified information.

October 4, 2018 - 4:00pm

More than 300 filmmakers, media workers, cultural workers and members of the film and artistic community have so far put their names on a statement to protest the Armed Forces of the Philippines "essentially [accusing] us and the organizations that sponsor film screenings on martial law of recruiting for the New People’s Army."

The AFP, through Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr, claims communist rebels have been recruiting students in at least 18 universities by showing them films on martial law during the Marcos administration to supposedly influence them into rebelling against the government.

"This is red-baiting and slander of the worst kind. It impinges on our right to freedom of expression, speech and assembly, and endangers us and our audience, especially in the context of the Duterte regime’s murderous anti-war and counter-insurgency campaigns and the president’s recent pronouncement that 'rebels' are now targets for 'neutralization' or can be arrested without warrant, despite constitutional guarantees against it," the manifesto, which has been spreading on Facebook, reads.

"Our film screenings provide an invaluable service to the youth, the students and the general audience, especially since our education system has largely failed in informing them about the systemic atrocities that happened during the martial law era," they say.

"The screenings hope to provide them with knowledge and insight into that dark chapter in our history, especially since many of the actual perpetrators and beneficiaries of that fascist dictatorship have fully rehabilitated themselves back into mainstream politics and into positions of power," they also say.

October 4, 2018 - 1:26pm

Emilio Aguinaldo College in Manila "vehemently denies" that it is being used for recruitment of students to the Communist Party of the Philippines as the Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed on Wednesday.

It says neither the school nor its students have any "record of participation in any partisan political activity," adding the school is more engaged in outreach and community programs.

"Absent any proof or actual basis, the statement by the AFP should be rectified immediately," lawyer Joseph Noel Estrada, EAC legal counsel, says in a press statement.

"[T]he college adheres to peaceful and non-violent means of expressing grievances and, more importantly, to democracy," he says, adding the school will not allow itself to be used for subversive activities.

EAC, which has campuses in Manila and in Cavite, follows similar statements from De La Salle University, the University of Santo Tomas and the University of Makati denying allegations made by the AFP that their campuses are being used as recruitment areas for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.

The AFP claims films about abuses during martial law during the Marcos administration are being used to influence students to rebel against the government as part of a supposed "Red October" plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from office.

The CPP has repeatedly disavowed the supposed plot, which initially allegedly also involved the pro-military Magdalo group and the Liberal Party.

The AFP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government have both said Magdalo and LP are not involved.

October 3, 2018 - 9:13am

The government should charge supposed and unnamed Liberal Party members it says are part of a supposedly communist-led conspiracy to overthrow the government, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon of the LP says.

In a press statement, Drilon points out Gen. Carlito Galvez, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, has already said neither the LP no Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV are involved in the supposed "Red October" plot.

"I challenge Malacañang, particularly presidential spokesman Harry Roque to file charges against LP members who are allegedly in cahoots with the communists to overthrow the government," Drilon says.

In response to Galvez' statement, Roque said: "It could be true that there is no formal memorandum of agreement between the party itself and the CPP-NPA. It does not prevent leading personalities with the Liberal Party from having such collusion."

Roque also insisted that Trillanes is involved because the senator "has repeatedly called for the ouster of the president... [H]e has actually verbalized time and again he should step down. He should removed from office, he should be sent to jail."

Drilon says Wednesday: "Let me borrow Secretary Roque’s own words. We should not take Roque seriously."

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