Duterte’s creeping coup against the 1987 constitution is calculated to climax in 2019

On this International Human Rights Day, it is fitting and proper to reflect on the Duterte regime’s vicious human rights violations in its drive to impose a fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people. Thus, the appropriate and effective courses of action can be defined for upholding, defending and promoting human rights.

The tyrant Duterte, his ruling clique and their armed minions in the AFP and PNP have been carrying out a creeping coup against the 1987 Constitution of the reactionary government since he assumed office in 2016. He has steered the coup through a number of phases. These are calculated to speed up and reach climax in 2019.

1) Duterte surreptitiously began his all-out war against the revolutionary movement by extending Oplan Bayanihan until the end of 2016 and then declared his own Oplan Kapayapaan in January 2017 while he used as decoy his short-lived pretense of peace negotiations with the NDFP.

2) He implemented his scheme to turn the military and police into his private armies by promoting his favorite officers in the AFP and PNP and corrupting more officers with incentives in cash and promotions for listing and killing suspects with impunity.

3) He projected the image of a strong man with iron fist and drummed up his ability to kill people by unleashing Oplan Tokhang to kill thousands of drug suspects, declaring martial law in Mindanao and destroying Marawi City for the purpose of mass intimidation.

4) He used turncoatism and the pork barrel to take control of Congress and also used Arroyo’s and his appointees in the Supreme Court to effect the release of the biggest plunderers, thereby paying his political debts to them and keeping them as mates in a cabal of corruption.

5) He deliberately terminated the peace negotiations with the NDFP in order to scapegoat the CPP and NPA as the pretext for de facto martial law nationwide and terrorist acts of suppression and making threats of formally proclaiming martial law nationwide or a “revolutionary government”.

6) He has steadily pushed the preparations for charter change to a bogus kind of federalism by which he can concentrate powers in his hands and handpick his regional and provincial agents from among the dynasties nd warlords.

7) He has attacked the Catholic Church from time to time in order to test how far people can react to him, cursing the God and religious beliefs of the Catholic masses, causing the murder of a number of priests and threatening to kill all bishops for being critical of him and being supposedly useless.

8) He has escalated his all-out war against the revolutionary movement in Mindanao and nationwide and has in fact imposed a de facto martial law on the entire nation in preparation for fixing the results of the 2019 elections.

9) He has engaged in plunder of public funds and taken over controlling shares in private contracts with the state and even in the illegal drug trade and casino gambling under the pretext of collecting money for the benefit of ordinary soldiers and for the forthcoming elections.

10) He has boasted of being able to maintain US support and at the same time of enjoying the support of China in terms of protection from any possible coup as well as in terms of securing loans and infrastructure projects in exchange for his treasonous sell-out of the sovereign rights of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.

The Duterte ruling clique keeps on harping on the threats of terrorism and destabilization plots in order to use these as cover and pretext for the coup that Duterte himself is masterminding against the 1987 Constitution and the Filipino people.

It is the duty of the entire Filipino people to stand up, fight and frustrate Duterte’s scheme to grab absolute power as a fascist dictator a la Marcos under the guise of establishing a federal system of government. He is already culpable for the many grave crimes that he, his ruling clique and their armed minions have committed.

It is necessary for all patriotic and democratic forces and the rest of the people to unite in a broad united front and mass movement to oust the Duterte regime as soon as possible. The change can be achieved under any of the effective processes of the 1987 Constitution. The most effective is for the millions of people to take to the streets and encourage the patriotic sections of the AFP and PNP to start the withdrawal of support from the brutal and corrupt tyrant. ###