On the tenth year of the Ampatuan massacre

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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people and the Philippine media community in marking today the 10th year anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre. The massacre of 53 people, including 32 journalists, as well as lawyers, religious and ordinary people, is the worst case of political and media violence in the country and in the world.

It is widely known that the massacre was perpetrated by the warlorld Ampatuan clan against their political rivals and the media. It is a manifestation of the rotten state of the political system in the country which is dominated by feudal landlords and warlords. They employ their armed goons which are tightly bound with state armed forces to suppress the masses and perpetuate their economic and political interests.

The Party is one with the victims of the massacre in their continuing clamor for justice. For ten years now, the reactionary justice system has failed to decisively resolve the case. It has allowed the legal maneuvers of the Ampatuans to delay the criminal proceedings. Such has been the tactic of many rotten ruling class criminals to buy time and await an opportunity to extract favors from the ruling regime through bribery.

The Filipino people mark the tenth anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre at a time that the same conditions of terror by state and feudal dynasties which led to the mass violence are now reigning over the entire country. Under the Duterte regime and its de facto martial law rule, unmitigated acts of violence and suppression are carried out by state forces against the regime’s critics, the political opposition and the mass-oriented democratic organizations.

Mass killings and massacres have been carried out with relentless frequency in the course of the Duterte regime’s fascist counterinsurgency drive and drug war hoax. The state terror campaign is being carried out to silence the people and suppress the people’s struggles to defend the country’s sovereignty and advance their democratic aspirations.

Duterte’s attacks against the Philippine media have been particularly vile. He has openly encouraged violence against independent-minded reporters, as well as against legal practitioners and religious people. He has abused the law to harangue editors and publishers who have refused to toe Duterte’s official lies. State resources have been used to troll social media and attack independent websites. Journalists have been red tagged by the military and police. Campus journalists have been targets of intimidation and harassment by military agents. There have been at least 85 attacks against journalists since 2016 with 13 murdered.

On the tenth year of the Ampatuan massacre, the Party joins the Filipino people in echoing the demand for justice for all its victims. Amid continuing state violence and suppression, the CPP calls on all to unite and defend freedom and democracy against the Duterte regime’s de facto martial law rule.

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