Duterte’s hollow Halloween yarn

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OCTOBER has passed and no revolution or uprising has taken place in the country, contrary to what the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has claimed to be a classic plot to oust President Duterte from power.

Called “Red October,” the outlanding plot is clearly Duterte’s way to celebrate Halloween at the expense of the universities.

Even as the wild claims of the AFP have failed to materialize, the military and its commander in chief have continued to mock themselves and subjected the institution to further humiliation by revising “Red October” to “White December” and resetting the uprising from October to December, when the Communist Party of the Philippines is supposedly set to mark its 50th year.

In its “Red October” conspiracy yarn, the AFP tagged UST and a number of universities in Metro Manila as breeding grounds of revolution where communist rebels were allegedly recruiting students to join a grand plot to overthrow Duterte.

It has come as no surprise for the AFP to tag UST as one of these schools, as the University has shown support for the Lumad cultural communities of Mindanao, whose schools Duterte has threatened to bomb. Many UST students, faculty, and alumni had also joined mass protests commemorating the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law last Sept. 21. All of these protest actions were legitimate and exercises of democratic rights. They weren’t subversive.

It is appalling how the military made public the controversial list without presenting hard evidence. Nor did it make the effort first to consult school administrators first, thereby subjecting students who study in these institutions to danger by exposing them to danger, much like those in drug lists of the government have been killed or clerics critical of government have been shot dead.

Clearly, the AFP in the administration of Rodrigo Duterte has a long way to go before it grasps the idea that activism does not automatically equate to communism—dissent is not destabilization.

Institutions and officials that shudder at and are shaken by criticism and dissent instead of being open to them and treating them constructively are clearly those who are insecure and weak; they are the forces of anti-democracy that are subverting the constitutional order.

And the AFP likewise should realize that it is its own commander in chief who’s fanned the red scare out of the communists he himself has resurrected.

Duterte has styled himself a socialist since the start: his costly programs of doubling the salaries of cops and the AFP and underwriting the full tuition of students in state colleges and universities are the reasons why the Train tax law has been passed, so that prices of commodities and services have skyrocketed, resulting in much public unrest.

The AFP should realize that it is Duterte himself who has raised the communists from the dead when becoming president,he reunited with his mentor at Lyceum, communist leader Jose Maria Sison, and appointed members of the communist movement to key positions in government.

It is also Duterte who has toadied up to Communist China and committed the treason of allowing Beijing to basically invade Philippine territory and occupy and militarize islands in the West Philippine Sea.

So if there’s a communist conspiracy, it is hatched right there in Malacañang whose resident is literally a Peking duck!

One need only to take away the blinders off from one’s eyes to see that this alleged conspiracy to topple the Duterte government is a ploy to distract the public from the true concerns of the country: hyperinflation, erosion of the purchasing power of Filipinos, Beijing gaining ground in islands that lie within Philippine’s economic zone, and the genocide sponsored and perpetrated by Duterte in his mad war against drugs.

The AFP must consider the real sovereign problem facing the nation: that its own commander in chief has basically allowed totalitarian and anti-democratic Communist China to successfully invade the Philippines and set up military facilities whose guns are trained at Filipinos themselves. The commander in chief has committed high treason pure and simple.

The AFP is the defender of the Filipino people, not a factory of fiction writers whose task is to generate enough fear from the public so as to obscure the problems of the country and enable them to simmer down until the next unrest.

Sooner or later, this administration will collapse. But it will not be from the result of an armed uprising as AFP claims, but from its own madcap messianic policies and programs that are destroying the country.

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