National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) chief political consultant and Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison discusses his thoughts on the September 2 explosion incident in Davao City’s populous Roxas night market.
The attack made shockwaves across the Filipino nation. Many people viewed this attack as a strong challenge to the authority of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“I condemn it in the strongest terms. It is a heinous crime of terrorism. No one can gain any political following by committing such crimes of murder. It victimizes innocent people. It is unjust,” commented Prof. Sison.
“President Duterte is justly outraged by the terrorist act. He probably recalls the CIA agent Michael Meiringand US-instigated bombings at the Davao International Airport and the Sasa Wharf bombings in March and April 2003 respectively,” he added.
Abu Sayyaf angle
The Abu Sayyaf through its spokesperson Abu Rami admitted responsibility for the bombing, as reported by a dominant media network on September 3. Later that day, the spokesperson said that theiy ally group Daulat was behind the bombings as they sympathize with the Abu Sayyaf. The Abu Sayyaf said this will be the first of many bombings. Duterte, a week earlier, has declared intensified operations against the Abu Sayyaf after the 15 Philippine soldiers were killed in Patikul, Sulu in an encounter with the bandit group.
Prof. Sison reiterated that Abu Sayyaf is a notorious creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“There may be shadowy forces at work with Abu Sayyaf, like the CIA, the yellows and the anti-Duterte groups within the AFP. But I think that Abu Sayyaf has its own strong motive to divert the AFP battalions which are attacking it in Sulu and Basilan,” Sison surmised on the perception that the terrorist group is colluding with big-time drug syndicates, criminal elements, and remaining political underlings of the past administration in challenging President Duterte’s authority.
“From the very beginning, the Abu Sayyaf is an evil creation of the CIA and AFP. It was intended to counter the MNLF,” he said regarding the group’s origins as a foreign-sponsored Islamic fundamentalist group.
“Bereft of a wide mass base for its few hundreds of men, it has used kidnapping for ransom to obtain revenues and collaborate with certain local officials and military officers,” he elaborated on the group’s subsequent use of terrorist tactics in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
Islamic fundamentalists and Islamophobia
Sison pointed out that the US had been using Islamic fundamentalist groups to destabilize countries and regions and justify US military intervention and the making of unequal agreements like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in the case of the Philippines.
He pointed out that the US and Philippine dominant media were aligned with the strategic objective of the US in fomenting troubles and exaggerating them to justify US military intervention.
“Terrorist acts can never be intimidating to sane leaders and to an entire nation. They are self-discrediting and self-defeating,” he surmised on terror tactics.
Sison clarified though that they should not be used as excuse for disregarding human dignity and for harping Islamophobia.
The use of Islamic fundamentalists for power interests such as those of the US has bred Islamophobia, making Muslims and people around the world suffer from violence of war and in their social lives.
State of lawlesness
A nationwide state of emergency for the ground of lawlessness was declared in response to the attack. That declaration went into serious clarifications due to concerns that authorities may use it for repressive measures.
Prof. Sison followed up that calling out the troops because of a state of lawless violence was the prerogative of the commander-in-chief (CIC).
“Next in the calibration of the CIC powers is the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and still further is the declaration of martial law,” he added.
According to Prof. Sison, “It is true that CIA operatives and assets (especially the yellows in and out of the AFP and Philippine National Police) are already busy stirring up public opinion for the overthrow of Duterte for supposedly violating human rights in a gross and systematic way and yet failing to arrest the drug lords and stop the drug menace.”
He explained that this kind of fight between the yellows and the Duterte camp is quite well-known.
Prof. Sison finally said that his attention now is focused on moving forward the peace process between the GRP and NDFP.
According to him, “I do not think that the recent Davao city bombing can disrupt the anti-drug campaign of Duterte and the government’s peace negotiations.”