From the Philippines:

Thwart Plans to Restore Direct Military Rule!

The following article is excerpted from the November 2002 edition of "Ang Bayan," the official news organ of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The Macapagal-Arroyo regime continues to expand and intensify the fascist suppression of democratic rights. Militarization is being intensified both in the countryside and cities. "Anti-terrorist" terror and disorder are relentlessly being fomented. Macapagal-Arroyo's bureaucratic-military rule is rapidly leading to the restoration of outright military rule in the Philippines.

Despite the absence of a formal declaration of a state of emergency or martial law, there is relentless fascist suppression and dominance of military power in the various aspects of social life.

Within the span of a few days, curfews, checkpoints, body searches and inspections of personal belongings were approved and implemented in Metro Manila and other cities. There are likewise plans to arm the barangay tanod and deploy "secret marshalls" in buses, airplanes and other places. Students in schools where activists abound are subjected to strict inspections after such schools were declared as "likely targets of terrorist attack."

Also included among the measures that Macapagal-Arroyo so eagerly wants to put in place is the National ID System, which is set to be implemented following a decision by the National Security Council. It is a means to facilitate surveillance and control of the people. Fidel Ramos pushed for this measure in 1996 as did Joseph Estrada in 1999. But they both failed due to the people's all-out resistance as well as opposition from other politicians.

The anti-terrorism bill is likewise being deliberated again in congress. It aims to legalize the suppression of civil rights, just as what the Marcos dictatorship did through martial law. There is also a proposal to grant Macapagal-Arroyo "emergency powers." ...

[This campaign is] within the framework of the Bush doctrine. The campaign was initiated as early as August-September and marked by the propagation of utterly baseless stories meant to tarnish the integrity of the Party and New People's Army. Its sinister objective is to incite hatred and fear against the revolutionary movement. ...

Macapagal has been creating widespread terror to make it appear that repressive measures are necessary to protect the people "against terrorist threats." Macapagal-Arroyo wants the people to accept, or create the impression that they accept, the imposition of anti-democratic measures.

She also wants to rationalize the imposition of a state of emergency that would lead to outright military rule.

This psywar campaign, with its attendant bombings, are all part of the regime's intensified counter-revolutionary war. Dubbed Oplan Gordian Knot by the AFP, its principal target is the armed revolutionary movement as well as legal organizations and parties, particularly Bayan Muna.

By putting "anti-terrorist" measures in place, the Macapagal-Arroyo regime aims to use them primarily against the people and their revolutionary movement. In the face of the people's spreading anger and protests against the oppressive and exploitative policies of the reactionary state and the rapid advance of the armed revolutionary movement in the countryside, the regime has grown more desperate to defend the rotting and bankrupt ruling system.

On the other hand, as the social crisis further intensifies due to the policy dictates of US imperialism, the reactionary regime clings ever desperately to the coattails of its imperialist master. The Macapagal-Arroyo regime is the most reliable endorser in Southeast Asia of the Bush government's bellicose foreign policy. It now takes the lead in pushing the US agenda in the region.

Macapagal-Arroyo supports US maneuvers to obtain "access rights" for its troops to enter countries in Southeast Asia. For this, Macapagal-Arroyo has been pushing for an "anti-terrorism accord" among the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and other countries in the region.