Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison virtually admitted his defeat when he said that Executive Order 70 or the “whole nation approach” in ending the local communist armed conflict is the “most comprehensive obstacle to peace”.
Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations, said Sison, which was made during an interview with ABS-CBN on Dec. 12, showed that he is deathly afraid of Executive Order 70 and its creations which include the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
“Keeping in mind the duplicity and ambiguity of these communists, we just have to deduce the reverse of most of what they utter. Sison is once again propagandizing, if not blatantly lying when he declares that EO (70) is an obstacle to peace talks. What this liar actually meant is that the EO is too comprehensive for them to even come up with an effective and acceptable counter-narrative. EO-70 is damn too precise that it hits all the CPP programs, including recruitment of cadres, International Solidarity Works, UN infiltration, foreign funding, AgRev (agrarian revolution), mass mobilization, and all,” he added.
Add to this is the series of defeat being experienced by communist rebels and their allies in the countryside which the CPP-New People’s Army (NPA) attributed to poor leadership and quality of their cadres, Parlade said.
“In the ‘Limang Taong Programa ng Partido (2017-2021)’ which was recovered in an encounter in Samar, an entry dated 15/01/2019 actually asks ‘why there are so many who are going down the hills to surrender?’ In their own assessment, they said it’s the lack of leadership and poor quality of their cadres. This is very revealing as they have been suffering from tactical defeat after defeat, all over the country. Senior cadres getting killed, thousands of arms captured, 11,697 surrenders, and child recruits (aged 12-17) forced to replace them,” he said.
With the Local Peace Engagements (LPEs) which was initiated and conducted by local government units, mass surrenders of NPA fighters and supporters have been the normal course of events in the past months, he added.
This initiative, he said, has been aided further by stakeholders genuinely interested in peace and accompanied by initiatives and programs for poverty reduction, livelihood and basic services, infrastructures, local government empowerment, law enforcement, and sectoral unification to mend “cultural wounds” inflicted as a result of tribal infiltration and in-fighting.
“All of these programs are being implemented without the presence of armed state forces. They are designed to catalyze development in environments of genuine peace. For the most part, they are being implemented by former soldiers in the cabinet who knew exactly what this insurgency is all about — Good Governance. Sison is either too stupid or naive not to see the difference between the peace we are already achieving and the fake peace they are trying to offer again,” he added.
All these efforts were highlighted last December 10 in the Zamboanga Peninsula where 51 NPA rebels surrendered to the government after successful LPEs.
Aireen Mentaloroc alias “Boni”, former member of the Main Regional Guerilla Unit, Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee and the group’s spokesperson said they all opted to surrender as they could no longer take the hardship in the mountains.
Also, they found it a pleasant surprise that the government gave them protection from the NPA rebels who are trying hard to prevent them from surrendering.
“Obviously she found out that there is just too much propaganda and lies in the party when they were told they will be hurt by the government if they surrender,” he said.
Mentaloroc, he added, urged other NPAs to surrender peacefully so that they can all help in uplifting the misery of impoverished Filipinos in other non-violent ways, adding that armed violence or weapons are not always the means to achieve change,
“That is what genuine peace talks, localized at that, means Mr. Sison. To understand that, first drop that title of a professor because you are not. Second, lay down your cards and tell the people what is your end state in this peace talks. Is it about peace or is it about your political objective of seizing power and imposing your communist agenda? Will you dismantle your NPA or will you dismantle AFP? (Art 7 and Art 8 – CASER Agenda Bayan-Muna USA). You can also share to us what Luis Jalandoni has been saying all along about the peace talks: it is a means to an end- National Democratic Revolution. (https://youtu.be/WWK9OMISh0s),” Parlade added.
He said peace negotiations with communist rebels are an exercise in futility as their main tool to achieve their goal of affecting change is through armed struggle.
The said warning, he said, was given by the late Father Conrado Balweg, founder of the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army.
“The late Father Conrado Balweg also warned us about talking peace again with communists, especially if brokered by another ‘communist’. (Https://m.youtube.com. In a very rare interview with Balweg). Decades of talks brought us nothing because to the CPP, the peace talks are merely a means subordinate to the main tool – armed struggle. It is only a ploy to effect the release of ‘political terrorists’ cum consultants. A perfect alibi to allow cornered NPAs, hanging by the ravine, injecting dextrose and fluids for sustenance, to gain some space and time to nourish themselves, after months of abandonment by their former mass bases,” he said.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
“That’s the reality on the ground, Mr. Sison, and you know it. That’s the reason why you are employing a ruse through (Department of Labor and Employment) Secretary (Silvestre) Bello (III),” he said.
Sison’s admission of defeat was further highlighted when he called President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s initiative against the communist rebels as harsh and should stop this immediately.
“When Sison told ABS CBN that ‘Duterte did the big harsh moves. He should back out from them as suavely as he can,’ I already knew, in my personal opinion, that we have won and history will judge us if we vacillate now and fail once more,” he added. (PNA)