Duterte regime’s road to “peace” is all-out war and terror vs the people

In the past days, officials of the Duterte administration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines took turns in justifying the regime’s full-scale war against the Filipino people and suppression of political dissent, as if the current human rights situation isn’t precarious as it is with the all-out assault on civil liberties and people’s rights. 

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Orders to rearrest the peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and to pursue the petition proscribing the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army under the Human Security Act, wherein names of human rights defenders and peace advocates are included, are sounded off by the Department of Justice. Through these moves, Duterte’s DOJ promotes injustice by acting out its role in the playbook that ensures repression of critics of government’s anti-people policies - to criminalize political dissent and human rights work by manufacturing absurd, baseless and malicious cases. These are blatant and gross violations on previous peace agreements such as the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). 

By all indications, Duterte and his hordes of militarists such as Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Gen. Eduardo Ano, and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque are the main obstacles in the Filipino people’s quest for a just and lasting peace. When the government’s only solution to armed conflict and social unrest is all-out war, what usually results is a human and people’s rights catastrophe. More than 20,000 have been killed in the drug war, while civil liberties and basic freedoms including the right of church people to express solidarity for the poor are being trampled on. Through Duterte’s counter-insurgency war, at least two are killed and 17 persons are arrested every week. Draconian laws and measures that impact on the right to free expression, privacy and due process are being rushed. Martial law in Mindanao has normalised bombings and attacks against peasant and indigenous communities. 

Indeed, Duterte and his administration remain as the biggest purveyor of State terrorism and violence. As always and now more than ever, it is incumbent on the Filipino people to fight for just and lasting peace. 

For reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 09173162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 09189790580