MANILA, Philippines — Communist rebels denied any alliance with the Liberal Party and others in the political opposition but “recognize their initiatives and action as serving the same purpose of resisting” what they called the “tyranny” of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Nevertheless, the Communist Party of the Philippines warned that Duterte’s claims of a conspiracy of the “Reds” and “Yellows” to topple him were a prelude to a crackdown on both “the political opposition and all other forces standing up against moves to establishing … authoritarian rule.”
On Wednesday, October 4, Duterte alleged that the left, including the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and the “yellow,” the derogatory term often used to refer to the Liberal Party and the previous administration, had joined forces because “gusto nila ako paalisin dito sa Malacañang.”
Duterte and his allies have openly attacked administration critics, among them Senator Leila de Lima, who is detained and being tried on criminal charges over her alleged links to the drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison.
Lately, he has locked horns with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and, on Wednesday, wondered if Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, whom he wants impeached, were “part of the concerted effort” to oust him.
Bayan scoffed at Dutete’s claims, saying he was “creating his own ghosts” as it dared him to explain the support of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and Public Attorney Persida Acosta for “what appears to be a pro-Duterte vigilante group,” the “Citizen National Guard” that recently introduced itself in public, and the “proliferation of disinformation using government resources.”
The CPP accused Duterte of being “intolerant of all opposition and dissent” and said the conspiracy he sees “is, in fact, the broad community of various political and social groups which have been roused to make a stand and act against relentless killings by police, soldiers and vigilantes, aerial bombardment against communities, militarization and threats to bomb lumad schools, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and martial law in Mindanao, heightened campus repression and other acts of fascist tyranny of the Duterte regime.”
The CPP also accused Duterte of seeking to monopolize political power and, thus, “wants to clampdown and silence all who disagree with his policies and methods.”
It cited Duterte’s earlier threats to declare martial law nationwide and those of his “officials and loyalists” to “use all means to have all those who dissent … imprisoned.” It also pointed to the Citizen National Guard, which it said “is more brazen in encouraging attacks against declared dissenters whom they declared as ‘enemies of the state’,” among these the CPP and New People’s Army, and the “seditious political opposition (yellowtards).”
But the CPP said “Duterte’s resort to such strong-armed tactics show desperation and underscores his political isolation” and “have roused widespread people’s resistance” even as “calls for his ouster continue to mount.”