President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he remains optimistic that his administration would be able to achieve a lasting peace with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) at a “much earlier” time.
Duterte made the statement, as he noticed that many members of the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), are surrendering and seeking reintegration into the society.
“With the rate that the NPAs are surrendering, mukhang I think we’d be able to realize peace much earlier,” the President said during the mass oath-taking of new presidential appointees held at Palace’s Rizal Hall.
To recall, Duterte on Jan. 23 led the distribution of government assistance packages to at least 263 former communist insurgents in San Isidro, Leyte.
Duterte, in his previous speech, hinted that he might give in to the demands of the communist movement in a bid to realize long-lasting peace in the country.
The President, however, did not elaborate on the communists’ specific favors for the possible revival of peace negotiations between the national government and the CPP’s political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF).
“The most important thing is to come up and comply with the promise to the rebels,” he said.
“Kaya sabi ko doon sa mga sundalo, bitawan na lang niyo. Umalis na lang kayo diyan. Ibigay na lang ninyo sa mga NPA. Lagyan na lang natin ng… Ah ayaw kong sabihin kasi may gusto akong ilagay (That’s why I told the soldiers, just let go. Leave the place and just give it to the NPA. We’ll just place a… I don’t want to mention it but I want to place something there),” Duterte added.
On Nov. 23, 2017, Duterte signed Proclamation 360 to formally scrap the peace negotiations with the NDF due to the series of attacks waged by the NPA rebels against the government forces and civilians.
The termination of peace talks was followed by the Dec. 5, 2017 signing of Proclamation 374, branding the CPP-NPA as terror group because of the crimes they allegedly committed “against the Filipino people, against humanity, and the law of the nations.”
Apart from the Philippines, the CPP-NPA has also been tagged as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
The peace talks between the national government and the NDF have been intermittent since 1986.
But in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN on Jan. 10, Duterte said his government is ready for the possible resumption of talks with the communist party.
Duterte, during the television interview, announced that he had already formed a new government peace panel that would hold negotiations with NDF consultants for the crafting of a binding peace pact between the two parties.
The new state peace negotiators would replace the members of the national government’s now-defunct negotiating peace panel led by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello. (PNA)
Lauding the significant gains of the National Task Force to End Local Communist (lNTF ELCAC), the newly-installed Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is confident that the multi-pronged approach of Executive Order 70 will put an end to the treacherous life cycle of the more than five decades of insurgency.
Speaking during the AFP Change of Command ceremony on Jan. 4, Lt. General Felimon Santos, said unlike in the past when local chief executives left the insurgency problem solely to the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to deal with, EO involves all government agencies from the national to the barangay level with delineated roles and responsibilities in the whole-of-nation approach.
“Government agencies and their corresponding units at all levels cooperate, interact, support, provide practical solutions and solve problems and issues on the ground that are being exploited by these communist terrorists in order to stir-up our countrymen to fight against our government through armed struggle,” Santos said.
He added that EO 70, which was signed by President R. Duterte in December 2018, created NTF ELCAC that institutionalized a whole-of-nation approach in obtaining exclusive and sustainable peace-giving us an effective solution against communist-terrorists.
“This multi-pronged approach addresses the motivation for insurgency and will hopefully put an end to its treacherous life cycle,” he said, adding that by doing so, there will be no reason for the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed wing the New People’s Army, and the National Democratic Front to agitate, organize and mobilize the vulnerable sectors and communities.
Santos, who headed the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City, said he witnessed what EO provides for as it is being actually done in the provinces of Davao Oriental by Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, Davao de Oro by Governor Tyron Uy, Davao del Norte by Governor Edwin Jubahib, and Davao City by Mayor Sara Duterte.
“Good governance practices and the efficient delivery of basic services for their constituents create resilient communities that thwart the return of the communist terrorist groups in their respective provinces and city,” he added.
The AFP, he said, can now focus its resources, manpower, and firepower on the remaining communists who persist with armed struggle despite the government’s goodwill through cash assistance, livelihood training, and housing.
Santos, who is the 53rd AFP Chief of Staff taking the top military post from retired General Noel Clement, vowed to immediately neutralize groups that insist on seizing political power through armed struggle and other local terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf.
“We shall effectively counter their narratives through good governance, build community trust and earn the people’s respect, he said.
He added that vigilance, support, and cooperation in the local populace are needed in order to suppress and prevent any future terroristic plans from occurring and avoiding the unnecessary loss of human lives and damage to property.
“The AFP should always be battle-ready to counteract any threat that confronts our desire for peace,” he said, adding that the AFP remains committed to supporting and working towards a successful implementation of the agreements for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front. (PNA)
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it has asked the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to issue a ‘red notice’ to expedite the arrest of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison for his alleged involvement in the so-called Inopacan massacre in Leyte.
PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde said they are now coordinating with the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC) to start the process against Sison who is currently in self-exile in Utrecht, Netherlands.
“The PNP, thru the PCTC, is making representations with the Interpol for the issuance of a red notice for the arrest of Jose Maria Sison to face trial in the Philippines for the crime of murder,” Albayalde told reporters during the press briefing held at Camp Crame.
A red notice forces police worldwide to go after fugitives who are hiding in their respective countries.
The PCTC is the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) in the Philippines.
“Sison is in self-exile in Utrecht, The Netherlands from where he continues to exercise command and control of the New People’s Army, the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines under the umbrella of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines that is waging a terrorist campaign in some parts of the Philippines,” Albayalde said.
“His wife and co-accused Juliet De Lima Sison is with him in the Netherlands,” he added.
The PNP chief said the legal basis for an Interpol red notice is an arrest warrant or court order issued by judicial authorities in a country.
On Aug. 28, the Regional Trial Court Branch 32 in Manila issued the warrant of arrest against self-exiled Sison and 37 individuals including National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants Luis Jalandoni, Prudencio Calubid, and Geronimo Pasetes.
RTC Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina ordered the arrest of the 38 individuals for their alleged involvement in the so-called Inopacan massacre in Leyte on Sept. 2, 1985. No bail was recommended.
Based on estimates of former rebels and the victims’ relatives, the Inopacan massacre, dubbed by the New People’s Army as “Oplan Venereal Disease”, claimed the lives of about 300 residents in Leyte province.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)
CHICAGO, Illinois – Unperturbed by whatever will come his way for exposing the truth about communist lies and deception, a tribal leader said Monday he will never abandon his fellow indigenous peoples (IPs), unlike what Jose Maria Sison did more than 30 years ago.
In an interview by Filipino reporters at the Philippine Consulate General here, Datu Ramon Bayaan, of the Obu Manuvu Tribe from Arakan, North Cotabato, said he will never leave his community just to seek refuge and safety someplace else.
Bayaan was answering queries from Chicago-based journalists who floated the idea of asylum after the former placed himself in the line of fire due to revelations that he and seven other IP leaders from Mindanao made against the Communist Party of the Philip[pines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
SAN FRANCISCO, California – Her tears were not a mark of weakness but of overwhelming grief, disappointment, and love. Bae Christine Banugan, chief of Mandaya tribe in Caraga, Davao Oriental, was not able to hold her emotions when a young Filipino American (Fil-Am) stood up and chanted in US… Read More
Bayaan said he will never do a “Joma”, referring to the CPP founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison who fled to The Netherlands after peace talks failed in 1987.
“Si Joma Sison lang ang taong nakilala kong duwag. Pinabayaan niya ang Bayan niya at nagpunta sa ibang bansa (Joma is a coward for abandoning his Motherland for a foreign country),” he added.
Malacañang had criticized Sison for leaving his comrades to settle for a comfortable life in Europe, leaving his comrades to fend for themselves, and wounded comrades in the mountains left dying only for government soldiers to rescue and accord medical care.
“For IPs like me, our lives are imprinted on our ancestral lands,” said Bayaan, who is the founding chairperson of PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao. ‘Our ancestral lands are our life.”
As a former member of the NPA for 3 years, and later of the CPP for 12 years, Bayaan admitted he was able to organize 25 groups in the whole of Mindanao, and was a witness to oppression, deception of the tribes especially the killing of thousand traditional leaders who oppose communist ideology, and replaced them with revolutionary leaders.
“Tinulak kami ng napakaling problema na makarating sa malayong lugar na ito (A pressing problem prompted us to travel far and be here),” he said of his group’s ongoing speaking tour in several areas of the United States.
He said IPs were duped by the CPP-NPA into believing that they found an ally in the latter which was later found out to be undermining the government by sowing chaos with promises that the communists are their real defenders and protectors.
“Ang kultura namin nagsasabi na kung saan nagpunta ang mga tao at grupo na nagbigay ng problema sa komunidad ay kailangan naming puntahan at kausapin (We were brought here because our culture dictates that we resolve miseries caused to our tribes wherever the sources may be),” he added.
The CPP-NPA and its political arm, National Democratic Front, he said, have been getting financial support from foreign donors, not only from European Union members but also from United States (US) non-government organizations (NGO) to further their violent cause.
“Ang pinapakiusap namin sa mga kabayan sa Chicago, at ibang parte ng US na tulungan kme na huwag suportahan mga mga kaalyadong grupo, mga NGO, at iba pa na nagpapakilala na tumutulong sa amin pero wala namang nangyayaring tulong (We appeal to all fellow Filipinos in the US to refuse support for communist-linked groups who disguise using solicited funds for IPs),” he added.
Bayaan said only the National Commission on Indigenous People or NCIP can legitimately carry the voice and aspiration of the IPs, not Bayan USA and Gabriela, among others.
The CPP-NPA is also listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)
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