Reactionary military, paramilitary, police and private armies grew rapidly under Arroyo regime

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines said that even as reactionary politicos' private use of military, paramilitary, police as well as their own hired goons has historically been part and parcel of traditional reactionary politics, these armies have grown by leaps and bounds under the Arroyo regime.

The CPP said that this culture of wanton violence was blatantly displayed last Monday in the Maguindanao massacre that brutally wiped out at least 47 lives, and is bound to escalate as the election fever heats up in the next several months.

"The feudal-fascist politicos' private armies of government military, paramilitary, police and other hired goons was especially promoted by the Arroyo regime as it relied largely on these type of warlords to cheat in the elections," said the CPP.

"This is especially true in Muslim Mindanao where most of these 'government cum private armies' proliferate and most of the decisive last minute cheating in elections are made," added the CPP.

The CPP elaborated that "The Ampatuan clan, as prime example, already had feudal-fascist horns even before the present ruling regime came into power, but their horns rapidly grew in length under the Arroyo regime. The clan's private army building rapidly escalated under the Arroyo regime as part of its deal with the clan to deliver solid votes for the candidates of the regime and ensure zero votes for opposition candidates in the 2007 elections."

"The Ampatuans' build up of their large feudal-fascist army was authorized by Arroyo's Executive Order 546 issued in October 2006, which allowed local officials and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deputize 'force multipliers' in the fight against 'insurgents.' This EO was followed up by a memorandum issued by Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno authorizing Civilian Volunteer Organizations (CVOs) to bear arms and attaching them to local government executives. The Ampatuan clan now has a 500-strong army, which includes 200 special armed auxiliary forces in the guise of Civilian Volunteer Organizations (CVO) to help in the 'counter-insurgency' campaign, as well as entire regular military and police units assigned to ensure the security of the clan members," the CPP added.

The CPP warned against even greater intensification of military, paramilitary and "trapo" violence in the course of the current election campaign. "More so, progressive parties and candidates will be targeted, especially as the buildup of feudal-fascist politicians' private armies are supposedly being done along the line of the regime's 'counter-insurgency' campaign."

"Already, Philippine army commanders are openly warning against the participation in the elections of 'communist fronts'–referring to progressive parties and candidates," the CPP added.