The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) welcomes President Duterte’s call for cooperation with the revolutionary forces against widespread drug trafficking.
Indeed, the revolutionary forces have long been carrying out a campaign against illegal drugs. The New People’s Army (NPA) is guided by the standing order of the CPP Central Committee to disarm and arrest the most notorious criminals including the biggest drug traffickers, in order for them to be subjected to prosecution and just punishment.
The NPA has been assiduously implementing the orders of the CPP. The most recent outstanding case is that of a chief of police in Davao Oriental province who was arrested by the NPA last May 29 and is currently under detention and undergoing investigation for involvement in the illegal drug trade.
The revolutionary forces share in President Duterte’s reprehension of the illegal drug trade and its grave effects on the Filipino people. The proliferation of illegal drugs, especially shabu, and the concommitant rise in incidents of violent crime serves the perpetuation of the ruling system. The biggest and most notorious drug traffickers are those in the top echelons of the AFP and PNP, who are also in cohorts, with key officials in the local and national bureaucracy. It is apparent that President Duterte is fully aware of such.
Historically, the colonizers and ruling classes have deliberately encouraged the propagation of drugs as a means of desensitizing the oppressed and exploited masses. Drug abuse numb them of the acute effects of poverty, hunger and state violence. Drug abuse disunites the people and prevents them from effectively carrying out revolutionary struggle.
The use of drugs as a weapon to oppress the people is starkly clear in areas where the AFP conducts its counter-insurgency operations. Wherever there is heavy military presence in so called “civil-military operations”, illegal drugs are allowed to proliferate together with other anti-social act.
Prior to conducting combat operations, soldiers often take a hit of shabu. Such practice is tolerated if not openly encouraged by field officers believing that drug use give soldiers a false sense of courage in carrying out their mercenary war.
In contrast, in territories where the CPP and the people’s democratic government hold sway and exercise political authority, the illegal drug trade has been effectively put to a stop. Through their organizations, their armed self-defense committees and the NPA, the masses oppose the entry and operations of drug traffickers with utmost vigilance and militance.
The CPP, through its branches and revolutionary mass organizations, have long been carrying out a campaign against drug use and drug trafficking. It carries out a cultural revolution among the masses in order to encourage them to reject drug use and instead wage collective struggle. It employs armed violence against the biggest traffickers of illegal drugs.
In a speech yesterday before the top brass of the military, Duterte addressed the revolutionary forces and sought its cooperation in the campaign against drug trafficking. He said: “Drugs have reached the hinterlands… what if you use your kangaroo courts to kill them to speed up the solution to our problem.”
While the CPP does not accept his reference to the duly constituted people’s courts as “kangaroo courts”, and reiterating the right to due process of criminal suspects, the CPP and the revolutionary forces accept President Duterte’s offer of anti-drug cooperation.
In positive response, the CPP reiterates its standing order for the NPA to carry out operations to disarm and arrest the chieftains of the biggest drug syndicates, as well as other criminal syndicates involved in human rights violations and destruction of the environment. The NPA is ready to give battle to those who will resist arrest with armed violence.
In line with peace talks, the revolutionary forces anticipate the possibility of a mutual ceasefire in the coming weeks as a result of negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Philippine government.
Until then, the NPA can continue to carry out select operations in defense of people’s rights and welfare, especially against the biggest criminal syndicates and their nefarious military and police cohorts.