MANILA – Communist rebels and their allies should not bother opposing the new anti-terror law, certified as urgent by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, if they believe that the legislation will cause more people to join the ranks of the New People’s Army (NPA).
In a statement Thursday, Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., said communists should rejoice over Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) information officer Marco Valbuena’s claims that House Bill 6875 or the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 would cause an upsurge in people joining their armed ranks.
“Valbuena and the CPP said that the Anti-Terror Law will further push people to join the NPA. If that is the case, then they should be happy with it. He should not oppose it so they will have more fighter recruits,” Parlade said.
Valbuena earlier said Duterte regime’s “intense persecution, suppression, and threats” have continued to attract ” toiling masses and intellectuals” in joining the NPA.
Parlade, a member of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), however, dismissed Valbuena’s allegations by citing reports of numerous former rebels who voluntarily surrendered due to lack of support from the CPP and its false promises.
“That’s not what the NPAs in Mindoro said. You have recruited mercenaries by exploiting Mangyans with a promise of ‘SUPAMIL’ (Suporta sa Pamilya) worth PHP1,500 a month. Well, they got PHP1,500 upon signing up and their families never got anything else after for six years, not even medical assistance when their wives got sick and eventually died. It’s the same story from surrenderers in Panay, Cordillera, Surigao, Samar, and elsewhere. So your fighters stay with the NPAs for a year or even less, and then surrender after realizing their condition in the movement is even worse,” he added.
He also scored the CPP-NPA and its allies for being too handy with branding Congress and the NTF ELCAC as “fascist diehards” for coming up with the anti-terror bill and yet quickly clamps up whenever evidence is presented showing the communist rebels’ plan to establish a proletarian dictatorship.
“You refuse to comment every time we expose to the people what your CPP Constitution Plans and Programs (May 2017) adhere to — a proletarian dictatorship, which we are sure is of the worst kind,” he added.
He added that the government will do everything in its authority to neutralize violent dissent and terrorism but is not in the business of suppressing dissent and activism contrary to claims of supporters of the communist rebels.
“Do we suppress dissent? No. Violent dissent Yes. Do we suppress activism? Hell, no. Terrorism? You bet,” he added.
Parlade asked Valbuena and the CPP if they are really promoting democratic rights and pro-people with the burning of a church and several houses in Misamis Oriental on May 28.
“Tell us Valbuena, exactly what democratic rights and pro-people’s interest are you trying to promote with your communist and godless ideology? Is that something like the burning of a Born Again church and several houses because the people there are anti-communist? Did you at least coordinate with your comrade (Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani) Zarate on how to disassociate yourselves because clearly your ideas and methods are one and the same,” he said.
He said they have been constantly challenging members of the Makabayan bloc to a debate to justify themselves.
“You ask for proof? We have been challenging the (Makabayan) Kamatayan Bloc to meet us in any fora and discuss the merits of their accusations of red-tagging but they won’t. Not in congressional inquiries, committee public hearings on Salugpungan schools, not in any ABS-CBN or any TV program, neither will you face me when I came alone to discuss your issues during your Forum on Criminalizing Dissent. You so love to vilify the government, the NTF ELCAC, and myself under the full and exclusive protection of a congressional privilege hour,” Parlade added.
He also challenged Valbuena to condemn the atrocities perpetrated by NPA terrorists as Zarate and other members of the Makabayan bloc seem to loathe.
He also dared Valbuena to disown Zarate for claiming that he belongs to a democratic and legal organization.
“Mr. Valbuena, maaring ikaw na siguro ang magtatakwil sa mga karahasan ng NPA sapagkat ayaw itong itakwil ni Rep. Zarate. Puede mo bang itakwil si Rep. Zarate na nagsasabing kasapi sila ng demokratiko at ligal na organisasyon? Ang CPP ay dapat maingat sa mga nagpapanggap na mga kasapi na nagsasabing sila ay sumasampalataya sa kumunismo, gayon namang sila pala ay mga demokratikong tao daw,” he said.
He also asked if being democratic and legal means being escorted by NPA rebels during campaigns or meetings in the hinterlands of electoral candidates, or whether it is legal for organizations to oust or topple the duly-elected government through a bloody revolution.
“Kung susuriin natin demokratiko nga ba ang mga taong napapaikutan naman ng mga NPA bilang security nila tuwing may kampanya o miting sa bundok? Ligal nga ba ang mga organisasyon na naglalayong pabagsakin ang gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng madugong rebolusyon? Ligal nga ba ang mga grupong ‘Panday Sining’ na ang pinagaaralan naman ay pano gumawa ng molotov bomb upang guluhin ang ating katahimikan? Ligal nga ba ang Anakbayan at LFS na ang sinisigaw sa kalsada ay ‘Sumapi sa Hukbo at Isulong ang Rebolusyon’?,” he said.
Parlade said he finds it odd that while communist rebels and their allies are consistent in accusing the government of instigating the killing of activists, these very same people seem to loathe to have these investigated as witnesses might possibly point to them as the masterminds and perpetrators as evidenced by the confession of former Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) hitman James Durimon alias “Juros” who earlier owned up to the killing of several activists in Panay.
Durimon’s series of killings, ordered by the communist leadership, were routinely claimed by the CPP-NPA as the work of government agents.
Parlade also cited the cases of SPARU assassins, Roldan Malucon alias “Jande” who surrendered to government forces after experiencing discrimination at the rebel movement and of Felex Masong alias “Asga”, who operated in Palawan, and decided to turn himself over after the CPP-NPA failed to give him support.
“Nasundan nyo ba ang kaso ni (Have you been following the case of) Randy Felix Malayao (National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant) na pinatay ng (who was killed by) SPARU sa Nueva Viscaya (on January 30, 2019) dahil sa (because of) financial at sexual opportunism?” he said.
He added that the CPP-NPA is not inclined to investigate these cases as findings that they themselves are the ones responsible for killing their members, stealing money from their own coffers, and sexually abusing or molesting wives of their members, crimes they habitually accused of government troops of.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
“Sinali nyo pa ang CHR (Commission on Human Rights) sa privileged speech, wala na nga silang maisagot sa aming mga tanong kung bakit walang pagkondena ang ahensya sa dinami dami ng mga pinaslang ng CPP-NPA (You still mentioned the CHR in your privileged speech when they cannot even answer our questions on its seeming apathy to the several killings perpetrated by the CPP-NPA) ,” Parlade said.
Militant groups and their allies, he added, are finding it difficult to condemn atrocities committed by the NPA even if they themselves are professing to be fighting for democracy.
“Kung tunay na demokrasya ang iyong pinaglalaban, Rep. Zarate, at ikaw ang may sabi nyan, itakwil mo ang karahasan ng kumunismo at teroristang NPA. Ngayon na at marahil bukas mananahimik na si Gen. Parlade (If Rep. Zarate claims he is fighting for genuine democracy, then he can condemn NPA violence and atrocities now, and that will silence General Parlade),” he said. (PNA)