Duterte regime using an old, dirty tactic as bomb threats plague Metro Manila universities days before Sept. 21 - Karapatan

Both Mapua University and the University of Sto. Tomas were on high alert after bomb threats sent via text messages circulated on social media on September 18 and September 19, respectively. The threats were allegedly sent by the New People’s Army (NPA), a matter vehemently denied by the group, even calling the bomb scare as “cowardly threats”.

Authorities who investigated the reports said that it was a false alarm in both cases.

“This is déjà vu, similar to the Marcos regime’s tactic to justify the imposition of martial law back in 1972. This is also a chilling attempt to instill an atmosphere of fear and discourage individuals and organizations from participating in upcoming demonstrations to protest Duterte’s attempts at installing a dictatorship and likewise demand justice and accountability for this government’s crimes,” said Roneo Clamor, Karapatan’s deputy secretary general.

Clamor also noted that the UST is also the site where the Lumad from Mindanao are currently holding their bakwit school. “This is not just a coincidence, but an orchestrated plan to intimidate individuals and organizations. This is an old, dirty tactic! ” he added.

These bomb scares are strikingly similar to the events leading to Marcos’ martial law declaration back in 1972. According to no less than the Official Gazette, the official publication of the Republic of the Philippines, President Ferdinand Marcos had already drawn up a plan to declare nationwide martial law, using a series of bombing in Metro Manila, including the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing, as justification.

Marcos declared martial law over the entire country on September 21, 1972, issuing proclamation 1081 which suspended civil rights and enforced military rule.  The late dictator insisted that martial law was a necessity to control the violence allegedly perpetrated by communists.

“The Duterte regime is indeed a self-professed fanboy of the dictator Marcos. Desperate for justifications, both Marcos and Duterte have conjured up the “communists” and the “terrorists” as their scapegoats, hiding the real monster of State terrorism behind the curtain,” added Clamor.

On Friday, the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Marcos’ martial law, groups, individuals and advocates are set to march towards Mendiola and Luneta to amplify the calls #NeverAgain, #NeverForget.

“We call on everyone to join the Sept. 21 protest amid the regime’s desperate and cowardly attempts to subdue our resolve. The parallelism between the regime of the dictator Marcos and his wanna-be fanboy Duterte is becoming more apparent. Thus, it is incumbent upon us to raise our voices and vehemently register our protest against the imposition of another martial law. Never again to martial law!” Clamor concluded.