Youth group Anakbayan today slammed Duterte’s most recent threat of launching a crackdown against legal progressive groups affiliated with leftwing alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or Bayan, of which Anakbayan is a member.

“That Duterte is contemplating a crackdown against activists and progressive groups speaks much of his antipathy to any criticism and his thirst for absolute power. Repression is the logical consequence of equating all dissent with destabilization,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

In a recent speech expressing reaffirmation for the United States’ terrorist listing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army, Duterte also threatened a crackdown against progressive groups like Bayan for allegedly being “in conspiracy with the [communist-led] rebellion”.

“Progressive groups have been at the forefront of opposing Duterte’s war on drugs, all-out counterinsurgency ops, and martial law in Mindanao that trample on human rights as well as his perpetuation of anti-people neoliberal policies. Duterte’s threats will not intimidate us into submission,” said Crisostomo.

The youth leader called on all Filipinos to stand up against all moves by the Duterte regime to curtail civil liberties and democratic rights to organize, free speech, and free assembly in the guise of going after rebellion, saying such moves are telltale signs of a looming dictatorship.

“First they came for the communists, and we did not speak out because we were not communists. Then they came for the activists, and we did not speak out because weren’t activists. Then they came for us and there was no one left to speak for us. Let us not allow this to happen ,” said the youth leader paraphrasing Martin Niemöller.

He said the public should not let Niemöller’s lament over the rise of the Nazis happen in the Philippines. “We must unite to oppose and fight the fascist US-Duterte regime’s intensifying attacks against the people,” he concluded.


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