Karapatan: Duterte regime’s “Red October” spin meant to justify further rights violations

“This alleged destabilization plot is an underhanded move to justify further repression and rights violations against organizations and personalities considered as critics of the Duterte government. Concocting lies and fantastic conspiracy theories is natural for insecure and fascist governments . If October passes without much ado, we are almost sure “Red November”, Red December”, and “Red 2019” will be this regime’s next conspiracy theory. Ridiculous!” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on the alleged “Red October” destabilization plot against Duterte. 

Last week, officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stated a so-called plot dubbed as “Red October”, purportedly planned by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the Liberal Party (LP), and the Tindig Pilipinas coalition. AFP deputy chief for operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade even said that the September 21 protest was part of the destabilization plot but was “unsuccessful”. A recent raid in a farm supposedly owned by communists in Rizal on September 25 was also linked to the “Red October” plot, with the AFP claiming it is an “indicator” that the plan is indeed in full swing. 

Reports however claim that those arrested in the Rizal farm were actually civilians, filed with trumped-up charges and forcibly linked to an alleged ouster plot. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also said last September 27 that contrary to reports of the AFP, their raid of the farm in Teresa, Rizal had nothing to do with any “Red October” plot.

Palabay however said that political dissent, including the right to express opinions against government policies inimical to the people’s interests and the right to protest, are legitimate rights of the people. “The government is hiding behind such absurd tales because of the burgeoning protests against the Duterte government’s anti-people policies. Many sectors of society are indeed becoming dissatisfied, primarily due to the rise of the prices of basic goods, disillusionment with the government’s promises, prevailing corruption, incompetence, and escalating rights violations,” she added. 

“For Duterte, everybody is out to get him. He is insecure and he is afraid. No doubt he will make the headlines for wanting to resign yet again,” quipped Palabay, noting recent reports from Duterte and Eduardo Año, head of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), that even soldiers are now under suspicion for “conspiring” to overthrow the Duterte government. 

The Karapatan official highlighted that conspiracies such as the “Red October” function in two ways – one, it seeks to consolidate whatever support is left for the once wildly popular President against a broadening opposition and two, it is a tactic to justify attacks against those considered as critics. 

Palabay also hit the recent statement of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, urging the public to believe Duterte. She added that Arroyo “wants to share the spotlight by backing Duterte’s outbursts of paranoia.”

“The regime is conjuring its own monsters, triggered by insecurities which stem from its inability to solve the country’s problems,” Palabay ended.  

Reference:

Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831 (on WhatsApp and Viber) 

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580