Youth group Anakbayan slammed Duterte’s recent calibrated attacks against the progressive movement, which include the illegal arrest of NDFP consultant Rafael Baylosis and his companion and the filing of trumped-up charges against leaders over the Trump-ASEAN mobilizations last year.

Speaking at a multisectoral press conference on February 2, Anakbayan leaders maintained that they will not be silenced to bring forward people’s issues amid the “signos” of Duterte’s crackdown.

“Duterte is clearly shaken to his core and is pulling out all his trump cards in a futile attempt to cow us into silence. But the youth movement is ever ready to face this fascist dictator head on, and with the wide support of the masses, we will prevail,” said Einstein Recedes, Anakbayan secretary general.

Illegal arrest of NDFP consultant

Recedes assailed the arrest of Baylosis on the night of January 31, saying that it is a flagrant violation of the Joint Agreement on the Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Baylosis is the first NDFP consultant to be rearrested after Duterte directed the arrest of NDFP consultants following the termination of the peace talks.

“The arrest of Baylosis and the impending arrest of other NDFP consultants speaks volumes on how insincere Duterte is in pursuing the peace talks. He is a deranged warmonger who does nothing better than to sow fear and terror,” Recedes said.

“Duterte has completely abandoned the prospect of attaining just and lasting peace in the country. After all, we cannot expect the likes of Duterte, an oligarch himself and an imperialist lapdog, to seriously address the socio-economic roots of the armed conflict,” he added.

Trumped-up charges vs leaders

Meanwhile, Anakbayan chairperson Vencer Crisostomo dismissed the trumped-up charges filed against him, Recedes, and several other progressive leaders over the anti-Trump ASEAN protest as another ploy to silence the growing mass movement.

“Duterte and his lackeys are working double time to scare progressive groups, leaders, and the masses. Unfortunately for this fascist regime, a crackdown means nothing to the organized strength and resistance of the revolutionary movement,” Crisostomo said.

On January 30, the Manila Office of the City Prosecutor issued a subpoena against Crisostomo, Recedes, Rep. Carlos Zarate and Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna, and Renato Reyes of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), among others, over charges of direct assault with physical injury, resistance and disobedience to a person in authority, and violation of Public Assembly Act of 1985.

Crisostomo added that the move reeks of subservience to the whims of the imperialist United States. “Duterte was exposed as a US lackey during the Trump-ASEAN protests, and he is now employing his fascist tactics to prevent us from further exposing the corrupt and fascist ways of the US-Duterte regime,” he said.

Intensified political harassment

He likewise hit the intensified political harassment such as the failed attempt to arrest Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) NCR Union President Joselyn Martinez using a defective warrant and the harassment of Ferdinand Gaite, national president of progressive government employees group COURAGE.

“Duterte spares no one under his fascist rampage of intimidation, threat and harassment. But the people will fight back–he will go down even before he can ascend to absolute political power,” Crisostomo warned.

“The youth has said it many times, but we will not get tired of reiterating this: No amount of intimidation and harassment can diminish our revolutionary fervor. Following the success of our Feb. 1 nationwide mobilization, the youth will again march on the streets in even greater numbers on February 23 to oppose his fascist dictatorship,” Recedes ended. #

 

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