Reds a fraud — Rody
President Rodrigo Duterte may have bared the future of the Anti-Terror Bill — which he has yet to sign — when he branded the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as a threat bigger than the terror group Abu-Sayyaf.
The Chief Executive, during a late Monday night television appearance, also disclosed his order for a military offensive against the Maoist party as his legal team reviews the controversial Anti-Terror Bill now at his desk.
The President accused the CPP-NPA of duplicity by allegedly taking advantage of the Geneva Convention — four treaties that set the standard of international law for humanitarian treatment of all persons involved in conflict.
“But only when it works for them,” Mr. Duterte said.
Before reporting on the country’s progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the President dedicated several minutes in describing the CPP-NPA as “No. 1 threat to the country, more than the Abu Sayyaf.”
“The fight against the NPA has long been there,” Mr. Duterte said. “It started in the ‘50s. It’s still there until now.”
“It has undermined the security of the country,” he added.
The CPP, however, was founded by Jose Maria Sison only on 26 December 1968 in honor of the 75th birthday of Mao Zedong — the leader of the People’s Republic of China.
Sison called it the reestablishment of the local communist front by forming a core of largely young ideologues from the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP).
The PKP was established in 1930 with the backing of the Communist Party of the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
The CPP-NPA’s formation came at the height of the Sino-Soviet split when China and Soviet Union broke their political relations due to doctrinal divergences; and differences in interpretations and practical applications of Marxism–Leninism as influenced by their respective geopolitics during the Cold War (1945-1991).
The PKP, with its aging leadership, was also a spent force at that time. Most of its leaders have either defected to the government or were in prison.
This gave Sison the momentum to split from the old party and form his own. On 29 March 1969, Sison took in remnants of the old Hukbong Magpapalaya ng Bayan to form the NPA.
The CPP-NPA has been waging what it calls as a “protracted war” against the government since then.
It marked the 50th year of its civil war against the Philippine government last year. The President may have confused this with his claim that the Maoists have been at war with the government since the 1950s.
The CPP-NPA’s peak was during the 1980s when the government of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was on the verge of collapse.
It claimed to have had 25,000 members to match the AFP at that time. But Marcos was deposed in 1986 and the CPP-NPA was marred by political and military defeats after that.
It was further weakened by splits that arose from an internal purging that caused the torture and murder of many of its members until the early 1990s.
Mr. Duterte sees the CPP-NPA as still a force that undermines the country’s peace and security.
“The fight against the COVID-19 has been taken advantage of by the forces arrayed against us — the terrorist Abu Sayyaf with no ideology, and the CPP-NPA with an ideology but whose effect is more pernicious it can transcend into the next generation,” the President said.
It is the No. 1 threat to the country and not the Abu Sayyaf,” he added. “That is why I ordered the military to go after and launch an offensive against them.”
The recent weeks saw several military operations against so-called communist groupings. Clashes between the government forces and the NPA have also been reported in the provinces.
Various left-leaning groups have accused the government forces of targeting and red-tagging non-NPA operatives during these offensives.
“These communists are high value targets,” Mr. Duterte said.
The President claimed to have initially worked harmoniously with the Maoist groups, including the CPP-NPA when he was still the Davao City Mayor.
“We didn’t even allow mosquitoes to bite them,” he said.
Several personalities linked with the various advocacy groups had served in the Duterte Cabinet. All of them left midway through the President’s term after Mr. Duterte’s falling out with the CPP leadership.
The Chief Executive’s order also comes as a review of the Anti-Terror Bill by his legal team is to be completed.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is also expected to add weight to the review as the Department of Justice reads the bill “line by line” to expel doubts about its constitutionality.
“My legal team in Malacañang is still reviewing it,” the President said. “I had it reviewed. It will recommend whether I will approve or not.”
Presidential spokesman Secretary Harry Roque reiterated that the Chief Executive has 30 days to decide on the bill.
Also asked for comments were the Office of the Executive Secretary and its OP-Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (OP-DESLA).
Malacañang received the enrolled bill from the Congress on 9 June.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, however, stressed its objection to the bill on Tuesday.
It submitted its position, calling the bill “unconstitutional,” before the OP-DESLA.— Source: Francis Wakefield / Alvin Murcia / tribune.net.ph