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Philippines: On fascist cyberattacks and assault on media to silence the people

Por Communist Party of the Philippines |
February 17, 2019
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following February 17 statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The CPP denounces the heightened fascist cyberattacks and assault against the media by the agents of the US-Duterte regime.

Over the past few weeks, websites of progressive outfits and alternative media organizations have been subjected to relentless large-scale DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks which have resulted in the websites being repeatedly taken down.

Also since December 26 last year, the CPP’s website, the Philippine Revolution Web Central (PRWC) [https://philippinerevolution.info] has been subjected to similar DDoS attacks in the futile attempt to deny the revolutionary forces an online channel to broadcast its views and calls.

These DDos attacks are likely the handiwork of the AFP’s newly-formed cyber group and its social media cell, assisted and funded by the US embassy and the US Army’s Cyber Command which has been widely reported to have launched similar DDoS attacks against US adversaries in the past.

These websites are targets of AFP cyberattacks for actively publishing content which exposes widespread abuses being committed by military and police forces and the lies that accompany the Duterte regime’s brutal counterinsurgency campaign.

For quite a while now, the AFP cyber group has been actively monitoring and targeting the social media activity of activists and revolutionaries, deploying trolls and bots that spit out invectives and insults against Facebook accounts and pages which serve to expose and denounce the Duterte regime’s fascism, tyranny, corruption, sell-out to China and subservience to the US.

Alongside these cyberattacks, the Duterte fascist regime has intensified its assault on the media with the recent arrest and detention of Rappler executive Maria Ressa, a staunch Duterte critic, who has been charged with a highly questionable cyberlibel case. The Ressa arrest clearly aims to intimidate journalists and demonstrate Duterte’s limitless penchant to punish those who criticize his reign of terror.

Even before Ressa’s arrest, journalists have been targets of a Red-tagging campaign. Since late last year, malicious reports have been simultaneously published in Manila tabloids tagging the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) as a “CPP front.” Such Red-tagging of the NUJP clearly aim to intimidate media practitioners and set them up as targets of the fascist zealots and mercenary killers of the Duterte regime.

The continuing assault by state security agents against the media forms a crucial component of Duterte’s tyranny and scheme to establish a fascist dictatorship. Duterte’s de facto martial law regime aims to “control the information environment” in order to direct the headlines and set the national discourse in line with the narratives set by Duterte and the AFP.

While the media is being targeted, Duterte’s military and police continue to go on a rampage of abuses against a broad range of forces. The recent killing of NDFP peace consultant Randy Felix Malayao, himself a former journalist, aims to send a death note to those who are actively resisting Duterte’s fascism.

The regime’s attacks have been most vicious against peasants and national minorities in the rural areas and workers in the cities. In addition to journalists, students, teachers, government employees, lawyers, church people and others have also been particular targets of surveillance, intimidation and threats.

The Filipino people must firmly unite and resist these attacks against the media and defend their democratic rights. Journalists must continue to boldly seek the truth from facts to expose the regime’s lies, shed light on the real conditions of the people and echo their demand for justice and an end to Duterte’s reign of tyranny and terrorism.

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