President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 70 institutionalizing the peace talks between the national and local government will weaponize the civilian populations against the communist rebels, Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said Wednesday.
“The EO limits the Philippine government to the framework of military suppression and psywar use of fake surrenders and fake encounters, misrepresented as localized peace talks,” Sison said in a statement.
“EO 70 seeks to weaponize the civil bureaucracy for the armed counter-revolution or military suppression of the revolutionary government and movement of the people.”
Sison made his statement even as an official said New People’s Army fighters were targeting Indigenous Peoples for recruitment as they did not know the rebel group.
Armed Forces of the Philippines public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato made the statement when asked why the rebels were focusing their recruitment efforts on the IPs in Mindanao.
Sison said EO 70 would pave the way for more arrests of NDFP peace consultants and the deployment of Duterte death squads in both urban and rural areas against suspected revolutionaries and critics of the “tyrannical and corrupt” Duterte regime.
He said the administration was already sabotaging the peace process with the appointment of former Armed Forces chief Carlito Galvez Jr. as Presidential Peace Adviser.
“The OPAPP is now emphatically militarized with the appointment of a rabid anti-communist general as secretary,” Sison said.
“EO 70 is one more presidential issuance to terminate and prevent the resumption of peace talks at the appropriate national level between authorized representatives of the Philippine government and NDFP. It is in furtherance of the de facto martial rule and the scheme of imposition a full-blown fascist dictatorship on the people.”
Duterte terminated the peace talks with the communist rebels in November 2017 by issuing Proclamation 360.