It is Duterte himself who is in a conspiracy with militarist elements to install himself as a fascist dictator a la Marcos, said the youth group Anakbayan as it joined other progressive groups in a picket at the Department of Justice and protest march to Mendiola today. This is in response to the president’s threat to arrest members of progressive groups that he alleged to be “legal fronts” conspiring with the Communist Party of the Philippines to overthrow his government.

“It is Duterte who is in a conspiracy with militarist elements, using the bogeyman of communist ‘legal fronts’, to justify a so-called ‘revolutionary government’ and criminalize all dissent. This is not the change the Filipino people want but a throwback to Marcos’ terroristic and tyrannical rule. Duterte’s hubris is bound to stoke even greater people’s resistance,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

Crisostomo said that Duterte’s witchhunt against progressive groups that has been at the forefront of opposing the Duterte regime’s state terrorism and human rights violations, anti-people neoliberal economic policies, and heightened US intervention is also a mark of his subservience to US imperial interests, adding Duterte has been especially vocal about such puppetry after his cozy meeting with US President Donald Trump.

“It is no mere coincidence that Duterte, parrotting US security doctrine, cancelled the peace negotiations with the NDFP, declared the CPP-NPA as terrorists, and threatened a crackdown on legal progressive groups after his meeting with Trump. Duterte believes US backing for his regime will keep him in power amidst rising unrest over his anti-people and terroristic rule. But he is dead wrong,” said Crisostomo.

“History has shown that proscribing progressive groups as alleged communist fronts and eliminating legal avenues for dissent has ironically turned out to be the biggest recruiter for armed revolution. By proudly calling himself a fascist and threatening a crackdown against legal activists, Duterte is only push more people to revolt against his tyrannical and despotic regime,” added Crisostomo.

The youth leader condemned the surge of arrests, threats, harassment, and intimidation by military and police forces against legal activists across the country the week after Duterte’s crackdown threat against legal groups, including the arrest of 11 human rights workers as documented by Karapatan. “Makibaka, wag matakot! We call on the Filipino youth and people to stand up against the terroristic and tyrannical regime of self-declared fascist and US puppet Duterte,” said Crisostomo.


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