Volume IV, Number 12. 30 June 2022.
Gen. Delfin Lorenzana, National Defense Secretary of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, advised last month president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to continue focusing on the Duterte government’s counterinsurgency plan and defeat the revolutionary forces.
This is a superflous advise. Marcos Jr has already began setting up a regime more suppressive and abusive of the Filipino people’s rights than both his predecessor Duterte’s and even his father Marcos Sr’s. His choice of top officials for his incoming administration is already an adequate indication.
He appointed Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the main architects and administrator of Marcos Sr’s martial law dictatorship, as presidential legal counsel. His National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos already slammed the door on peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, and professed to retain the notorious National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
But the more ominous appointment is that of Gen. Jose Faustino Jr. as the new Secretary of National Defense. Gen. Faustino is the worst of the fascist generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, responsible for the brutal campaign of aerial bombings, extrajudicial killings and gross abuses of human rights in Mindanao, especially after Duterte placed the entire island under Martial Law in 2017.
Indoctrinated and directed by the US, and serving under Duterte, he successively led the 10th Infantry Division, Eastern Mindanao Command and Joint Task Force Mindanao of the AFP – which are all notorious for the bloody war against the indigenous Lumad and other communities in Mindanao. These AFP units launched massive campaigns of suppression and pacification against the communities, hamletting villages and dismantling community organizations, in order to ease the entry of capitalists, notably US companies, to grab their land and plunder the natural environment.
Gen. Faustino as the Secretary of National Defense will intensify and expand the dirty war in Mindanao to the rest of the country, in the vain attempt to annihilate the people’s defender the New People's Army.
But Gen. Faustino is waging a lost war. The Communist Party of the Philippines reveals that “the number of NPA fighters continue to multiply, its territories continue to expand to new and old areas, even as they enjoy a mass base of millions of people, which provide support for their army.”
In fact, the Gen. Lorenzana’s advice for Marcos Jr. to focus on counterinsurgency is an unequivocal admission that the Duterte regime failed miserably in its boast of crushing the revolutionary army before the end of its term.
Marcos Jr. will also find the revolutionary forces would grow much greater at the end of his own term. Just as it did, at the ignominous end of his father, the dictator Marcos Sr.