“It is us who are sick of your shenanigans, Pres. Duterte,” Datu Jerome Succor Aba, co-chairperson of Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination said today in response to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s threats to crack down on progressive organizations such as Bayan and declare the New People’s Army (NPA) as a terror group.
“Such threats only expose Pres. Duterte’s desperation to silence the growing discontent of the Filipinos. If Pres. Duterte thinks that the national minorities and the rest of the Filipino people will be intimidated to oppose his fascist and puppet government, he is gravely mistaken.” Aba said.
“Declaring the NPA as a terror group will only intensify the attacks on national minorities in the Armed Forces of the Philippines counter-insurgency operations especially in far-flung communities. The possible crack down on progressive organizations will also target national minority organizations that include Sandugo. We are one of the first to declare the Duterte government a fascist regime and indicted the President for his crimes against the national minorities ,” Aba said.
“True enough, the fascist Pres. Duterte responds to legitimate opposition against his anti-people and pro-imperialist policies and programs by threat, intimidation and more violence,” Aba said.
“We, the national minorities, have been subjected to repression and pacification for centuries. Our people in history survived massacres. We even survived the brutal attacks of the Marcos’ martial law. Many of our kin and leaders sacrificed their lives to protect our tribes and ancestral lands and territories,” Aba said. “As we speak, Lumad communities in Socsksargens are being bombed by the AFP while 10,000 have already evacuated in Maguindanao and North Cotabato due to ongoing aerial bombings,” Aba said.
Sandugo calls the Duterte regime to spare more lives and put a stop on the rabid attacks on Moro and indigenous peoples’ communities. “Instead, Pres. Duterte quit his shenanigans and start to address the roots of the armed conflict and people’s discontent,” Aba concluded. ###