NDFP: Du30 tirade vs US unprecedented
DAVAO CITY—The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) lauded President Duterte’s tirades against the US government, calling it unprecedented for a Philippine President.
NDFP, an umbrella group of leftist underground organizations that include the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army, urged Mr. Duterte to translate words into action and junk what it said are unequal agreements between the Philippines and United States.
“No other Philippine President has ever publicly censured and taken US imperialism to task,” said NDFP in a statement signed by Rubi del Mundo, spokesperson of the rebel movement in Southern Mindanao.
NDFP, which had declared a truce with the government to hasten peace talks, said Mr. Duterte should follow on his words with concrete action, like abrogating two agreements with the United States—Mutual Defense Treaty and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
NDFP said the United States had been accustomed to being regarded as a “colonial master.”
Previous administrations, the rebel movement said, had just served as “puppets” of the US government.
It said the United States’ “sham concern for human rights is being challenged with open hostility by a government it considers as its reliable lackey.”
In a press briefing before leaving for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Laos, Mr. Duterte, responding to a question from media about how he would respond if US President Barack Obama asks him about human rights, said he does not think the United States should dip its fingers into Philippine internal affairs.
“The Philippines is not a vassal state,” Mr. Duterte said. “We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States,” he said.
He said it would be hypocritical for American officials to question him about human rights when the United States has not even apologized for the deaths of up to 600,000 Moros during the American pacification campaign in Mindanao in the early 1900s.
“Until now, there’s no apology (from the United States),” Mr. Duterte said.
“I do not, I said, I do not kneel down before anybody else, except for the Filipinos in Quiapo walking in misery and in extreme hunger and poverty,” the President said.
NDFP said while Mr. Duterte’s tirades against the United States is a “fundamental step,” it should translate into the abrogation of “colonial agreements.”
The rebel movement said the US government is now wary about the progress of peace talks between the government and communist guerrillas because the success of the talks would mean the United States “losing control” of the Philippines.
Communist rebels are demanding a drastic shift in economic and social policies under a proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (Caser) that is being considered as the single most important topic for discussion during the peace talks.
Under Caser, a new land reform program could lead to confiscation of land wealth and distribution of parcels of seized lands for free to farmers. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao
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