President Rodrigo Duterte proved, through the cancellation of planned meetings with the CPP-NPA-NDF, that he is never interested in pursuing genuine socio-economic reforms that will address the root cause of armed conflicts in the country. Furthermore, this shows that he has fully bowed down to the dictate of Donald Trump and the United States.

Amid several progress in the talks in the previous months, the US-Duterte regime has blatantly been only interested in a bilateral ceasefire. But even during the declaration of unilateral ceasefire, it is his own military which have continuously committed ceasefire violations. The Armed Forces of the Philippines have illegally camped in several communities in the countryside and harassed, illegally arrested and killed leaders, teachers, students and children, in peasant and indigenous communities. It was even this regime who launched an all-out war in these communities under Duterte’s directive to “flatten the hills” and worse, to bomb Lumad schools.

Currently, Duterte threatens the legal democratic movement on his crackdown plan not only to the armed wing of the Communist Party but also to civilians and activists showing mere expressions of disgust and dissent to his regime, a move similar to the tactics used in Oplan Tokhang — his crackdown on drug users which has killed more than 13,000 people.

Duterte enjoys being shackled in the neck by imperialist power US and is ardent with the financial aiid and military support to be given, stupid enough to think this will solve the root cause of armed conflict in the country. Instead, this will sink the Philippines to a deep depth of debt and more forms of unequal treaties with the US. Previous regimes, which have all been backed by the US with the same tactics, failed and were faced by bigger protests and stronger resistance by the Filipino people.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines calls on its chapters to continuously be critical, especially with the increasing number of threats and fascist attacks of the government. The Guild calls on the Filipino youth and the people to mobilize in even greater numbers and form as many united front to fight the continuous imperialist plunder and iron-fist tyrannical rule of the US-Duterte regime.

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