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Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison warns of Duterte imposing fascist dictatorship

EXILED Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison warned today that the country is facing “the perfect storm” for fascist dictatorship.

In a message sent to the Morning Star, Mr Sison said the political and socio-economic crisis engulfing the Philippines was becoming extreme, with the ruling class “once more incapable of ruling in the old bourgeois-democratic way.”

He drew comparisons with the brutal regime of president Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled the Philippines under martial law between 1972 and 1986, during which time thousands of political opponents were killed or disappeared.

Mr Sison said current President Rodrigo Duterte — “an openly brutal and corrupt reactionary politician” — is now “hell-bent on imposing a fascist dictatorship on the people.”

Earlier this month the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, a coalition of revolutionary organisations, appealed to foreign governments to remove the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), from their terror lists.

It came after the introduction of new anti-terror laws that could be used to clamp down on trade unions, non-governmental organisations and rights groups.

Mr Sison said the latest move, alongside the implementation of martial law under the guise of emergency coronavirus restrictions, exposes the government’s weakness “and its ripeness for revolutionary change.”

He accused Mr Duterte of corruption, enriching himself while his “cunning criminal mind” has bankrupted the country and left millions in poverty and hunger.

Mr Sison dismissed claims that he had ordered the NPA to punish corrupt state officials and said the accusations were propaganda to justify a new military offensive.

“But I acknowledge the fact that the escalating murder of unarmed urban poor and peasants, social activists, critics, human-rights activists and other people have generated a public clamour for the people’s army to punish the criminals in authority,” he added.

He said he remained committed to peace, but slammed Mr Duterte for halting negotiations arbitrarily and said the leader’s removal could get talks back on track.

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