Youth group Anakbayan condemns in the strongest terms the latest fascist attacks of the US-Duterte regime against progressive leaders which saw the arrest of transport leader George San Mateo, killings of two church leaders and the massacre of eight Lumad in a span of two days.


On December 4, armed elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) barged in the national office of Kilusang Mayo Uno at around 9:00 p.m. to serve a warrant of arrest against San Mateo, national president of PISTON, based on trumped-up charges. Transport group PISTON has led successful nationwide transport strikes this year to protest the government’s plan to corporatize the jeepney transport in the guise of modernization.


Meanwhile, Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez, coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) in Central Luzon, was shot dead by suspected state forces at around 8:00 p.m., of the same day in Jaen, Nueva Ecija. Earlier that day, Paez helped in facilitating the release of Rommel Tucay, a political detainee and organizer of the Alyansang Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson-Nueva Ecija (AMGL-NE), from the provincial jail in Cabanatuan City. Paez was known for his progressive advocacies which include the campaign for the removal of US bases in Central Luzon and other parts of the country in the 80s.


A pastor, Lovelito Quinones, was also killed after being shot in the chest by elements of the PNP Regional Mobile Group (RMG) while riding a motorcycle on his way home in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro on December 3. Prior to the incident, the military has reported an alleged encounter between the RMG and the New People’s Army (NPA) near the site where Quinones was shot. Furthermore, the 203rd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) insisted that Quinones is a member of the NPA, an allegation refuted by his family and congregation.


On the same day, eight Lumad people belonging to the T’boli and Dulangan Manobo tribes were brutally massacred by the elements of the 27th IBPA and marines in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. Among those killed are Victor Danyan, Victor Danyan Jr., Artemio Danyan, Pato Celardo, Samuel Angkoy, To Diamante, Bobot Lagase, and Mateng Bansal. The said indigenous people’s groups were occupying parts of their ancestral domain landgrabbed and used by the Consunjis as a coffee plantation.


In just a period of 48 hours, the murderous regime has killed 10 people in its bloody crackdown on progressives. This spate of human rights violations indubitably shows that Duterte’s fascist dictatorship is becoming clearer by the day. As popular dissent against Duterte’s anti-people policies and pronouncements continue to grow, the murderous regime utilizes all machineries at its disposal to wage a bloody war against the Filipino people, all the while affording his family and cohorts the political accommodation to get away with their crimes.


Anakbayan calls on every youth to join the massive protests on December 7 and 10 to strongly register the people’s opposition to Duterte’s tyrannical and terroristic rule. As we call for justice for all the victims of the US-Duterte regime’s violence, we must link arms and unite to thwart the real threat of a US-Duterte dictatorship.


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