News reports about the killing last Sunday (March 7) of 9 unarmed local leaders of mass organizations in 4 provinces south of Metropolitan Manila, have again placed the Philippines among the top concerns of the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights. That the victims represented organizations identified by government as supporters of the maoist insurgency, does not detract from the fact that they were not combatants themselves, and that the search warrants issued by distant Manila courts and served through dawn raids by police-military composite teams have not resulted in the seizure of reported guns and grenades in the places where the victims were killed.
Apparently, government agents fed erroneous reports that led to the court issuance of search warrants that they later used to legitimize their operations which were really meant to kill the victims. As usual, post-operation reports mentioned that the victims “fought” the government raiders while resisting arrest, and that guns and grenades were found in some other places where the victims used to stay. This is almost similar to the usual narrative about the killing of thousands in the Duterte administration's anti-drug war --- that the victims “fought back” while resisting arrest, and that guns and illegal drugs were found in their possession.
Reporting to the UN Human Rights Council on February 24, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra admitted to many critical flaws in the government's anti-drug war. Among them were the lack of transparency in reports on seized drugs, the non-tracing of seized guns and the absence of paraffin tests on the victims, leading to widespread suspicions on the use of “recycled” drugs and guns in “extra-judicial-killing” operations which mainly targetted small-time pushers and poor addicts. Similarly, the present campaign against suspected maoist insurgents among local leaders of mass organizations perceived to be supportive of this insurgency, could feature impunity in the “planting” of “recycled” weapons, explosives and insurgent documents. That is, if outside observers and investigators from the UN Human Rights Council are not allowed to join the teams which the Department of Justice promised to form to investigate the killings.
The killings last Sunday came just 2 days after Pres. Duterte's speech in Cagayan de Oro City where he ordered the military and the police that in any armed encounter with the “communist” rebels, they should “Make sure you really kill them, and finish them off if they are alive. . . Forget about human rights. That's my order !” This chilling and patently illegal order to “finish them off if they are alive” was apparently followed by government operatives who proceeded to target even non-combatants.
When the president himself issues illegal orders regarding armed encounters, expect these to be followed by his fawning operatives. Much earlier, he even ordered his troopers to shoot the vaginas of female rebels in armed encounters ! Orders like these can only lead to lawless governance. And police-military operations targeting for liquidation activists who are not armed combatants is lawlessness on the part of government, and could be considered as state terrorism.
The Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP-1930, the Philippine Communist Party) condemns any killing or any malicious action by any state agent against any activist who is not an armed combatant. Activist work for winning the hearts and minds of people within the legal and parliamentary framework should never be a target for state repression or “extra-judicial killing”. Also, the PKP-1930 has always called on the government to respect its legality which was recognized since its political settlement with the government in 1974, to always stress the difference between the PKP-1930 and the maoist CPP-NPA-NDF, and to stop calling the maoist insurgency as a “communist” insurgency.
At the same time, the PKP-1930, as a legal Marxist-Leninist party striving for the building of socialism in our country, has always condemned the adventurist and senseless maoist insurgency of over 5 decades already, which has only militarized and terrorized areas of the countryside wherever and whenever maoist insurgents are gathered. The PKP-1930 condemns the self-righteous maoist CPP-NPA-NDF delusion that the armed insurgency is the only real form of struggle for communist advocacy, as well as the demented hubris of their maoist leaders who are living abroad, claiming that their armed force is allegedly “winning” the war or is about to attain “strategic parity” with state forces in the Philippines.
Since its inception in the late 1960s, the maoist CPP and NPA have been a plaything in the hands of special agents of imperialism, and have been used as a terrorist tool to destroy crony businesses not to the liking of imperialism, and to help destabilize any regime which would dare defy imperialist dictates. While never a real threat to imperialism and the neocolonial order, the maoist CPP-NPA prospered from extortion activities and protection rackets, and kept people terrorized through their self-righteous murder of thousands of those who refuse to pay so-called “revolutionary taxes” and “permit fees”, those who split from them, and whoever they would label as government informers and infiltrators. The maoist use of child-warriors and landmines only add to their record of non-respect for human rights and humanitarian laws.
In the complicated Philippine situation, the PKP-1930 always stands against both terrorism on the part of the government, as well as on the part of the maoist CPP-NPA-NDF.
Secretariat of the Central Committee,
March 10, 2021.
CPP – maoist “Communist Party of the Philippines”
NPA – “New People's Army”
NDF - “National Democratic Front”.