The Filipino people are not fooled by Duterte-AFP’s ‘Red October’ psy-war

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Statement | October 5, 2018

(Photo by Richard James Mendoza/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Filipino people are not fooled by President Rodrigo Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ desperate psy-war ploy of a so-called “Red October” plot by various progressive, patriotic and opposition groups.

Malacañang and the AFP are on a rampant spree to spread the silly notion of a conspiracy to oust Duterte through a combination of alleged planned tactical offensives and parliamentary mass actions expected to culminate on October 11 to October 17. The AFP even went so far as to announce that the “Red October” plot is aimed to “force Duterte to declare martial law”, and hence announcing said plot would serve to “preempt” and “warn” against actions that may “put the public in danger”.

These pronouncements have been viewed as incredible, fantastic and downright fishy by various groups, democratic sectors of society and the general public. At this point, it is clear that Malacañang and the AFP are not convincing anyone but themselves.

Instead, the Filipino people do not have to be convinced twice that the sinister “Red October” plot is a psy-war and red scare campaign meant to justify Duterte’s desire to declare martial law nationwide and fulfill his plan to install a Marcosian fascist dictatorship.

The Filipino people are convinced that the “Red October” ploy aims to suppress the ever-strengthening broad united front against tyranny and mass murder, economic hardship, poor governance and social injustice under the US-Duterte regime. Faced with growing dissent and dissatisfaction, even from his allies and former supporters, the delusional Duterte is now laying the ground for more frenzied attacks and suppression of the broad united front and political struggle of patriotic and progressive forces and the broad masses of the people.

The AFP has singled out Davao and Caraga regions, saying that groups involved in the fictional “Red October” plot would come mostly from these areas through alleged campaigns such as “Bakwit Lumad” and “Lakbay Lumad”. This is a very dangerous depiction of mobilizations, protests and other legitimate expressions of the Lumad people’s assertion of their rights against the military’s atrocities.

Lumad people are being forced to “bakwit” (evacuate) from their ancestral lands due to militarization and human rights violations by the AFP. The Lumad organizations that Duterte and the AFP are now branding as “communist plotters” were the same organizations that Duterte invited to Malacañang in the same year as the Lakbayan ng Mindanao in Manila. Even the schools that the AFP are now subjecting to red scare and red-baiting were the same schools that hosted the “Lakbayanis” and supported the call to end martial law in Mindanao.

Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao has resulted in the extrajudicial killings, terrorist-tagging and vilification of legitimate organizations, including the fabrication of charges against leaders and members of progressive organizations to criminalize the struggle for the people’s legitimate demands. But martial law in Mindanao has failed to silence Duterte’s critics and only served to ferment the people of Mindanao’s resolve to fight tyranny, repression and intensified fascist attacks, especially on Lumad communities, their supporters and sympathizers.

For Duterte and the AFP to brand democratic and legitimate expressions of protest as part of the psy-war “Red October” ploy is nothing but a desperate move by a highly insecure, dysfunctional and terrified regime against the inevitability of its ouster. A last attempt at survival of a drowning man.

Like his idol Marcos before him, Duterte is now faced with widespread public dissent and discontent caused by unabated high prices and record-breaking inflation, failure to fulfill his electoral promises and his policy of mass murder. There is growing unrest within the ranks of the military and police who are highly demoralized and pitifully overstretched because of the regime’s all-out war and ambitious counter-insurgency program. Cracks within the ruling elite continue to grow and become more exposed due to the consolidation of the Duterte-Arroyo-Marcos alliance. Public mistrust of Duterte’s capacity to lead the nation is escalating because of his obviously deteriorating health and questionable mental faculties.

The Filipino people cannot be fooled. Duterte is merely employing such psy-war and red scare tactics with the hope of isolating the revolutionary movement and the broad united front from the broad masses of the people, but has only succeeded in further isolating himself.

The Filipino people know that only Duterte, his imperialist bosses and his minions in the AFP stand to benefit from this red scare. They continue to have faith in the revolutionary movement that has their interests and aspirations at heart. This is why despite and in spite of attempts by previous regimes and the present Duterte administration to crush its forces and mass base, the NPA continues to grow in strength and wage the longest armed struggle in the world because it aims to carry on the people’s war to victory and overthrow the ruling system that has perpetuated a backward, pre-industrial, import-dependent and export-oriented economy.

It is also no secret that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has been wanting to oust Duterte and overthrow his administration since he exposed himself as a greedy tyrant, mass murderer and a “fake Leftist”. This position of the CPP is not part of any sinister plan, as the delusional Duterte is now attempting to distort. The CPP has been very vocal of its support of the struggle of the broad anti-Duterte united front because it advocates the demands and struggles of the oppressed, exploited and disgruntled sectors of society under the US-Duterte regime.

If anything, the Filipino people are now collectively being roused into realizing that the AFP can never hope to crush or neutralize the NPA and the revolutionary movement. The CPP and NPA continue to have the support and trust of the broad masses of the people, and this support is ever-growing and ever-broadening especially now within the ranks of the anti-Duterte broad united front.

Only Duterte stands to benefit from his “Red October” ploy, but the Filipino people have everything to gain from Duterte’s ouster.

The Filipino people are suffering from deteriorating socio-economic conditions, they are clamoring not only for regime change but system change. Fictional “Red October” aside, the present situation can only be ever-favorable for waging armed revolution and all forms of protest and resistance calling for the ouster of a wannabe fascist dictator such as Duterte. ###

Ka Maria Malaya
Spokesperson
NDFP-NEMR

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