Fishers brace as Duterte orders to go after “leftist organizations”
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Saturday lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte for his order to go after leftist organizations that he maliciously tagged as supporters and legal fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA). PAMALAKAYA said the order is dictatorship in the making and an open fascist rule.
Although the group said it is nothing new because even without the order, people’s organizations and activists fighting for the democracy have always been the target of harassments and persecutions from the state. But the order, according to the group will institutionalize and a license to attack the dissents and everyone who is critical of the administration.
“We fear for intensified military operations in the rural communities especially those with active local mass struggles. Filing of trumped-up charges and extra-judicial killings against local members and leaders will worsen under Duterte,” Fernando Hciap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said instead of military approach, still the best option to resolve the civil unrest is to return to peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and even other groups waging war against the government.
“In fact, returning to peace negotiations is better than a fascist approach. After series of consultations from our regional chapters and various sectors, we believe that the proposed reforms of the NDFP in the aspects of socio-economic and political will benefit the Filipino people and will achieve a total peace in the land,”
“Otherwise, if Duterte is really close-minded in talking peace, then the patriotic Filipino people have no option but to choose the path of intensifying our resistance and struggle to oust him in power. We have already done that to two past regimes, just to remind him,” ended Hicap. ###