DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan denounced and tagged as a lie the claim of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that there is a Red October plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The ever-evolving storyline of the AFP has become so ridiculous that it is already laughable for some. But what is not funny is the escalating trend of repression, harassment and red-tagging against legitimate dissent,” Bayan said.
“Over the past few days, we have received reports of vilification of progressive groups, human rights advocates and even churches, by suspected elements of the military. We have received reports of surveillance and harassment against labor and community organizers,” the group added.
Bayan statement’s came as another military official said that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is actively recruiting students to become members in more than 10 universities in Manila by showing films about Martial law.
For BGen. Antonio Parlade Jr., AFP’s assistant deputy chief of Staff for Operations the martial law films aim to incite students to rebel against the government.
Parlade then identified the Metro Manila schools he called as notorious for school activism. These were Adamson University, Ateneo de Manila, Caloocan City College, Earist-Eulogio Amang Rodriguez, Emilio Aguinaldo College, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, Lyceum College, Philippine Normal University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, San Beda College, University of the East (Recto and Caloocan), University of Makati, University of Manila, University of the Philippines (Manila and Diliman), and the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
One of the schools identified by the AFP—the Caloocan City College—has been non-existent as per records from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
But Bayan believes that the grand psy-war scheme of “Red October” is meant to justify more repressive measures against the growing movement to hold President Duterte accountable for his many anti-people policies.
“Duterte, not his critics, is the source of destabilization. The worsening economic situation brought about by his policies is a source of destablization. Duterte’s attacks on his critics like Senator Antonio Trillanes is a source of destabilization. Malacanang is the epicenter of destablization in the country,” the group said.
“Cause-oriented groups are waging a just and legitimate struggle against tyranny and oppression. Activism is not a crime. It should also not be treated as a mere power-grab in the service of narrow political interests. Certainly not. We fight for the interests and welfare of the people,” Bayan added. (davaotoday.com)