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CPP renews vow to oust Duterte

Communist rebels on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to remove President Rodrigo Duterte from office, belittling the chief executive’s supposed "independent foreign policy" aimed at reducing reliance on the United States.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) made the statement on the 72nd anniversary of the Filipino-American Friendship Day on the 4th of July, which coincided with the 242nd anniversary of American independence from British rule.

According to the CPP, Duterte’s promise in 2016 to lessen dependence on the US, which previously criticized his war on drugs, has not translated to policy.

“Over the past two years, he has perpetuated US neocolonial rule in the country.” 

“Despite his anti-American histrionics, dramatic declarations of an ‘independent foreign policy,’ and theatrics of ‘shifting to China and Russia’ early in his term, he has proved himself no different from previous puppet presidents since 1946, who all have steadfastly defended US semicolonial rule,” it added.

The CPP cited Duterte’s appointment of economic managers who are “champions of the neoliberal policy” which “prevents national economic development and aggravate the oppression and exploitation of the broad toiling masses of workers and peasants, as well as middle-income earners.”

Likewise, it mentioned Duterte’s alleged refusal to abrogate deals such as the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, the Visiting Forces Agreement of 1998, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement of 2014.

“He also made no formal protestation against the presence of US military troops and advisers in the country. Balikatan war exercises, which epitomize US military command and control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, have been held twice since Duterte proclaimed he no longer wants them,” the CPP said. 

“This year alone, several nuclear-capable aircraft carriers and warships have docked in Philippine waters, including the USS Carl Vinson and guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy, amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard and the USS Ronald Reagan.”

“Through its agents,” the US has pushed the Duterte administration to cancel peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political arm of the CPP.

It called on the Filipino people to “expose and oppose the US-Duterte regime’s relentless machinations aimed at maintaining the status of the Philippines as a strong neocolonial foothold of US hegemonic power in the Asia-Pacific.”

“The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces reaffirm their determination to advance the struggle for national and social liberation, seek the overthrow of US imperialism and the puppet Duterte regime and establish a fully independent people’s democratic state,” it said.

CPP founding chairman Jose Maria (Joma) Sison earlier said the communist movement would be better off working for Duterte's ouster and prepare for peace talks with the next administration.

The CPP also warned Duterte will be forced out of Malacañang “by way of a surge in anti-fascist protest actions or some other means.”

Duterte shrugged off Sison's threat, and Malacañang advised the self-exiled communist leader Joma to stop dreaming about ousting Duterte, saying he has been away for too long that he is out of touch with realities in the country. —Virgil Lopez/LBG, GMA News