DEALING WITH DUTERTE’S PARANOIA

A burning Duterte effigy at the #WalkoutPH protest last February 23.

The Duterte regime’s blatant red-tagging to legitimate dissenting actions is a cheap ploy out of the old Marcosian playbook to save the already-ailing administration from the crises it perpetuated. The Red October scare is an insensitive scapegoat to the every corruption, economic chaos, and political persecution it is pressed to face.

Recently, Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo affirmed Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s warning of a Red October ouster plot by the Communist rebels against the administration, said he is working from "good information."

Since last year’s commemoration of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' Martial law, which then Duterte turned into a National Day of Protest, the administration hinted on a conspiracy of opposition forces to sack the president from position.

Later in a tête-à-tête with his Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Pañelo (Read: https://bit.ly/2Qp0243), Duterte exposed himself to have allowed wiretapped conversations that foreign intelligence used to report about such ouster plan.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) then warned the public of a Red October (a reference to the 1917 Russian revolution which toppled a Tsarist state) that the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) will stage against the Duterte regime. And yet, the latter denied such allegation as a "poorly concocted story" made by the AFP.

The barrage of military propaganda before and after the September 21 big protests is worth noting. The National Capital Region Police said in a media briefing last Thursday that the mobilizations was led by the CPP-NPA. In an exclusive ABS-CBN interview with Tina Monzon Palma, AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez, Jr. said that the military is asking the President to create an inter-agency body to end the communist rebellion. Further, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade told GMA News alluded the "aklasan" or the massive workers' strikes to be an orchestrated move in part of the so-called ouster movement.

The Duterte regime’s blatant red-tagging to legitimate dissenting actions is a cheap ploy out of the old Marcosian playbook to save the ever-ailing administration from the crises it perpetuated. The Red October scare is an insensitive scapegoat to the every corruption, economic chaos, and political persecution it is pressed to face. Nevermind further that it also manifests the insincere approach of the government to address the root causes of rebellion that is perpetuated by chronic poverty.

Duterte should reflect himself before a mirror and see that the only one destabilizing the government is himself alone. He is already isolated at the occasion of various political forces uniting to rouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses into protests against tyranny and dictatorship.

Using the military to unleash intensifying fascist schemes against the Filipino people reflects as well his paranoia, that he cannot establish his despotic whim of dictatorship for his elite and imperialist lords. The mass dissent to his anti-poor policies and programs will indeed dent his relationship with his puppet masters.

The old military trick should not hound our sight to the pesky maneuvers of Duterte and his cohorts in paving a tyrannical rule. Before us are de-facto martial law, the resurgence of the diabolical Marcoses, a rampaging TRAIN law, bloody Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan and Martial law in Mindanao, a skyrocketing inflation and deterioration of our democratic spaces.

The poet Dylan Thomas reminds us: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

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