Designated as terrorists not only by the government of the Republic of the Philippines but also by the European Union, the United States of America, and four other countries (Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand
Former senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday reminded Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, who said she has worked with leftists, that the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) is an enemy of the state.”Simply put, an armed… Read More
Al-Baghdadi’s death does not mean extinction of ISIS: Palace
Malacañang said the death of Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was “good news” for countries terrorized by the group but noted that the government should not let its guard down.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that despite the IS leader’s death, the terrorist group still has members around the globe that could wreak havoc at any moment.
“That’s good news for countries that have been terrorized by the ISIS. But then again the leader of one group does not mean the extinction of that band of terrorists and we know that for a fact,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Monday.
Panelo acknowledged the possibility that al-Baghdadi’s death could discourage the terrorist group members from committing more atrocities.
However, he assured the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would be on high alert to foil possible attempts by terrorist groups attempting to ride on al-Baghdadi’s death.
“It may also cause discouragement on the part of the terrorist groups. But as far as we’re concerned, whether the leader dies or not, we will secure that part of our country from them,” Panelo said.
Asked if al-Baghdadi’s death would have an impact on the recruitment of IS members in Mindanao, Panelo said: “Hindi ko mabasa yung magiging response ng mga nire-recruit nila (I cannot surmise what the response of those being recruited will be) if it will affect them or not.”
Mindanao has been under martial law since May 23, 2017, the same day Islamic State-linked Maute terror group laid siege to Marawi City in Lanao de Sur province.
Like Panelo, AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the IS leader’s death will not necessarily mean the demise of the terrorist organizations.
“His death will definitely impact on local terrorist groups but not to the point of its demise,” Arevalo said.
On Sunday (US time), US President Donald Trump announced that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a US military operation in northwest Syria.
Trump said US Special Operations Forces conducted a raid Saturday night targeting al-Baghdadi, during which he killed himself by igniting a suicide vest. (PNA)
Warning of “a little trouble” in the coming months, President Rodrigo Duterte urged the military to end communist insurgency stressing the government could not afford to pass it on to the next generation of Filipinos.
“I’m serving notice to everybody that in the coming months, it will be — not really bloody, but there will be at least, a little trouble for our country,” Duterte said during the 31st anniversary celebration of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) main office in Quezon City on Tuesday night.
“So I am telling the military, ‘Can we end it now?’ We cannot afford to pass it on to the next generation. Baka hindi na nila makaya (They might not be able to handle it). It has to be now,” he added.
Duterte also hinted at imposing “very radical change” in the government but did not elaborate what these were.
“Revolution is no longer a vogue. You cannot win a fight for social justice or for a better life in your country if you go to revolution. It won’t work. Hindi nga kayo makahawak ni isang barangay (You can’t even occupy one village). And in the coming days, there will be a very, very radical change in the behavior of government,” Duterte said.
“You know, I am not challenging. You might win or you may lose, but that is something to be seen,” he added.
For him, Duterte thinks the government could no longer afford to wage a war against communist rebels for another 50 years.
“We do not have that hatred in our heart. Ang akin lang (But for me), it’s about time that you stop this revolution. If you want changes, it has to be through evolution. Dahan-dahan lang (We should do it slowly),” Duterte said.
The President also emphasized that the country would never prosper if social ills such as communist insurgency, criminality, and corruption are not curbed.
“I will not stay forever in this world, but these are two things which you must remember. If we cannot have law and order in this country and if we cannot stop corruption in government, there can be no — never will we rise to the next step as a nation,” Duterte said.
Aside from communist insurgency and corruption, Duterte also stressed the need to put a stop to illegal drugs in the country.
“We have to finish it pati droga (even drugs). And this will make us a magnet for all criticisms that are — they’re waiting us — waiting for us to do and commit a wrong,” Duterte said.
Last March, Duterte officially announced the permanent termination of the peace negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in preference for localized peace engagements.
He has also repeatedly urged communist rebels to “choose a better fight in life”, assuring that the government will provide them with livelihood assistance as long as they laid down their arms.
Earlier, Duterte issued Executive Order 70 directing the creation of a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, as well as the adoption of a national peace framework that will contain policies addressing the root causes of insurgencies.
He also designated Cabinet secretaries as Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) “to help ending regional and local communists.” (PNA)
No funding from the European Union (EU) has been spent on any communist activities, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said Tuesday as he stressed the existing terrorist tag on the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its military arm, the New People’s Army (NPA).
Last April, the delegation commissioned a firm for a financial audit on some EU contracts being questioned by the government for links to the CPP-NPA and its alleged front organizations.
Updating the media, Jessen said the firm was not able to identify any irregular or “awkward” expenditure on the part of the groups they finance.
“We asked them to review the expenditure and see if they could find anything that looked awkward and they couldn’t,” he said in a press briefing in Makati.
“So I think in terms of spending we are fine. In terms of objective, the government and us, we share completely the same objective — we don’t want to support an organization where we would be violating our own legal framework,” he added.
The envoy pointed out that the EU has several requirements before funding a non-government organization and, at the same time, conducts regular financing check.
“If we were, in any way or form, seen as supporting the CPP, we will be violating the EU legislation on terrorists. Therefore, it should be very clear to everybody that we would never do that because we would be going against our institution, our legal framework,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jessen said the bloc continues to engage with the Philippine government for further clarification, also citing their past dialogues as “constructive”.
“They’re providing new information to us which is always helpful and whenever we do get new information, we look into it and we verify,” he said.
Aside from the EU, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization.
In March, the Philippine government urged the European Union to stop funding local organizations in the country allegedly linked to the CPP-NPA. Included in this group was the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines.
Documents obtained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier revealed that EU has reportedly released its first tranche of more than 621,000 Euros (PHP36,663,840) to the said group and is expected to release 1.3 million Euros (PHP76,752,000) this year until the Philippine government flagged them.
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