Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Why has the insurgency lasted this long?

SHOOTING STRAIGHT By Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star)

Exactly a week ago we wrote a column entitled “What’s the strength of the NPA these days?” We asked that question because of the bold attacks by the NPA in so many places in Mindanao where the NPA already number from 100 to 200 fully armed rebels. What gets our gall is that, the NPA has already been using improvised explosive devices (IED) against the Philippine Military and it’s just disturbing to many of us who are against Communism that the Aquino Presidency has not issued any condemnation against these attacks that has killed many Filipino soldiers and civilians.

Sensing perhaps that Filipinos already know the ties of the President with the Commies, a few days ago President Aquino hinted that another high-profile wanted person would fall very soon. Pundits began guessing who it would be… the fugitive Ruben Ecleo or Gen. Palparan? Well, as if on cue, the breaking news was the arrest of Benito Tiamzon, chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) and his wife, Wilma Tiamzon who holds the rank of Secretary-General of the CPP-NPA in Barangay Zaragosa, Aloquisan, Cebu.

It was a surprise even to the Cebu media that the Tiamzon couple was arrested in Southern Cebu last Saturday on standing warrants of arrest for crimes against humanity, murder, and frustrated murder charges. Of course, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista revealed that the Tiamzons and their group were arrested while on board a Starex van and a Toyota Innova in Southern Cebu.

Since 2005 Cebu has been declared as insurgency free during the time of then Gov. Gwen Garcia. Perhaps the Tiamzons were merely passing through Cebu from Leyte on their way to Negros Oriental when they were arrested. As of press time, Malacañang spokesman Edwin Lacierda issued a statement saying, “We’ve captured the Tiamzon couple who head the CPP-NPA here in the Philippines. We are aware of the possibility and we are ready to protect the citizenry, our population, and the Armed Forces are always ready to defend them.” Call this the official word from Malacanang.

But what about the President and his Cabinet? Any word from them? Surely they must be elated that the top leadership of the CPP-NPA has been arrested. What I would especially like to hear is a statement from the Presidential Political Adviser Ronald Llamas who former ANAD Party-List Rep. Pastor Alcover told me had close ties with the officials of the CPP-NPA. Now it would be interesting to note how the Aquino regime would handle these celebrity prisoners. Would they be given a special treatment ala Janet Lim Napoles or give them a hospital arrest?

Now the National Democratic Front (NDF) is screaming “illegal arrest” by the military. They insist that the Tiamzon couple was covered by a safe conduct pass under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) while the peace negotiations continue. But where is the Peace Talks with the Commies? They are merely using the peace talks to gain immunity while the NPAs continue sowing terror in the countryside killing soldiers and civilians. They even had the gall to say that they would pay for the deaths of those soldiers that they killed. But they would use money that they extorted from businessmen who are scared of the NPA.

Opinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

If we’ve had the Communist insurgency lasting four decades long, it is only because our politicians never had the guts to quell this insurgency. A large part of the problem is the injustice done to our people. But the greater injustice is the killing of innocent soldiers and civilians all in the name of a communist ideology that died with the fall of the Soviet Union. Sure, Philippine democracy has been overtaken by a political elite that openly took liberties with the government coffers, making our political leaders rich beyond their dreams and making the majority of the Filipinos poor.

But what are the Communist offering to us is a system that is far worse than democracy could offer and I don’t have to enumerate to you which communist countries have fallen because of its centralized system of governance. In fact, it is this same centralized system of governance under the Aquino regime that has only worsened. What we need is a change of system of government…by a federal system… not one under communist rule.

Mind you, the last time we had an Aquino president in Malacañang, CPP-NPA Chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison who was jailed by the Marcos dictatorship for murder charges (notably the famous Plaza Miranda bombing of Aug. 21, 1971) no less than President Corazon Aquino freed him in exchange for nothing… not even in exchange for peace. Today, the communist insurgency has been with us for four decades now because we never focused on stopping this insurgency. Perhaps now is the time!

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