Sun. May 16th, 2021

What’s the big fuss over communism and being a communist? Communism had been decriminalized a long time ago.

The problem here is that Jose Ma. Sison refused to dismantle the New People’s Army and that is the root cause why red-tagging does not evaporate into the thin air.

The agenda why Communism was decriminalized was basically to invite those who find communism and its ideology better than Socialism, Capitalism, and other isms. The arena was to be the parliament not on the battlefield.

Let’s have a quick look at the two isms.

In theory, the objective of socialism and communism is to create a society where everybody is equal. There is no social classification like a,b,c, d, and e which we are familiar with especially in survey statistics.

When Khmer Rouge overthrow the government to establish a communist regime, it did not only slaughter over 2-million people but leveled the city to remove all vestiges of a capitalist society.

There are shades of differences however. Cuba is a good exhibit of a socialist country. I love it when Fidel Castro roars, “no quieren ni libertad sin pan, ni pan sin libertad (I do not believe in liberty without food, or food without liberty)”. Indeed, liberty is vibrant in Cuba where people don’t go hungry while in other communist or authoritarian regimes basic liberties are denied.

By description and tagging there is really no difference between being a “communist” or being “red”. Red is merely symbolism.

So what’s the big issue there? It is not actionable in court. It is another story if one is tagged as an NPA for that means you bear arms to overthrow the government. In short a terrorist.

Abhorrence to the term “communist” led to the semantics “legal front”. The leftists’ political parties whose members adhere to the tenets of communism are in this category. Comes regular elections, we are made to choose a party list and not a few of these legal fronts participate. Which is good. On a personal note, I always vote for “Gabriela” because of their women’s advocacy. I always believed that the best market place to peddle one’s ideology is via parliamentary deliberation or to submit oneself to the election.

Communists are all over the globe.

They are in the Americas, Europe, Asia. Outside of Russia and China, communist parliamentarians are most active in Europe and this could be the reason why Joma is at home in his Utrecht, Netherlands.

You might wonder why he loves it there rather than China. My take is that first, this NPA chieftain is a Leninist, second, there is no love between Chinese and Russian commies. This is also his fetish for screaming red colors which we see among their street parliamentarians.

In this digital age, capitalism, communism, and socialism continue to evolve.

Sadly Joma and his commandos and comrades are stuck in a banal plot to take over the helms of power by way of armed struggle to overthrow the government. The NPAs even paint their faces red so there you are.

The current brouhaha over red-tagging is actually superfluous. A commie is red because it is. It is neither a threat nor meant to scare. A communist or Red is not a terrorist but an NPA is.

The US of A and the European countries had long tagged the Sison’s Communist Party of the Philippines and its New Peoples Army as a terrorist organization. However, it is a sublime irony, that the Netherlands cuddles Jose Ma. Sison, the CPP/NPA founder, and supremo.

The legal fronts, including the party lists, become suspects only because of their stealthy activities. Like, why and what are they doing with minor children of indigenous people in Davao del Norte herding them without parental consent then teach them how to dismantle and assemble guns, sing different anthem instilling hatred against the government, and training them to shoot.

So what will this sudden furor over Red-tagging mean to us? At its face value is pure and simple propaganda versus propaganda with some political undertones as the 2022 regular elections is drawing near.

As to its ideological values, I do not know where and how the CPP/NPA will succeed. Joma and his ilk have been peddling the idea for decades and oftentimes through “hard sell “ means aided by its armed militia, the NPA. With the evolution of communism and the emergence of new regimes in Russia and in China, Joma’s dogma had become irrelevant.

From among the peasants in China and the workers in Russia are the new rich. In Russia, the Romanovs and their palaces and the Bolsheviks have been relegated to history and spices of tourism fare. In China, following its free-market economy, the world marvels over the number of billionaires that many of them have become; a phenomenon that stuns the west and made them angry with envy to the point that they have to put barriers to their trade with China.

Losing red ground

In the meantime, with the exception of Joma enjoying first world life in the relative comforts of Ultrect in Netherlands, his foot soldiers are starving for food in the harshness of the wilderness.

For the last 10 days the  Armed Forces of the Philippines scored big against the New People’s Army of the Communist Party of the Philippines in various places in Mindanao.

It started with the killing of Jevilyn Cullamat, an armed medic of an NPA band operating in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur. Jevilyn is the daughter of Bayan Muna Party List Representative Eufemia Cullamat. 

In Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, combined military and police forces killed the NPA Regional Ordnance Chief, his wife, and three of his comrades in a firefight. 

Like in Surigao, the government forces recovered high-powered firearms from the neutralized members of the terrorist groups responsible for murder cases, arson, and bombings. 

The most significant government victory moreover was in Davao City.

Twelve hot pursuit operations assisted this time by leaders of indigenous tribes who had been fed up with the NPA recruitments of their children resulted in the killing of 10 communist armed elements.

Another nine members of the New Peoples Army either surrendered or were captured in the unrelenting drive of the government forces for the last three months.  Two of the nine who were presented to Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio by the 1003rd Brigade and its 10th Infantry Division were former teachers at the UCCP Haran, a holding place of what the religious leaders claimed as a temporary shelter for indigenous children.  

Another two were later captured in the recent armed encounter with the terrorist band in the Paquibato, a hinterland of Davao City.  They served as medic and supply officer of the NPAs operating in the area.

Also captured was a guerilla front 55  (GF55) political lecturer who turned out to be a former student from UP Diliman and is affiliated with AnakBayan and Kabataang Makabayan, resulting in the seizure of 30 high-powered firearms, four sidearms, and four improvised explosives 

In a brief talk to the captured rebels, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio asked them to help the government in convincing their former comrades to return and work with the government.  She said the “real struggle” is inside the government and not in the mountains. They will only see change if they work with or for the government,” she said. 

In the three incidents, it is quite obvious that the CPP/NPA/NDF  sow the seeds of rebellion in the university campuses, the indigenous people’s community but also the gullible religious sector.  

It appears that the Reds made a successful foray into these fertile areas for activism, to cast discontent and take advantage of the people’s ignorance of how they are being exploited. That lull pointless peace negotiations create only provide the terrorist band to use its legal fronts to regroup, recruit, retrain and rearm.

President Rodrigo Duterte in his most acerbic statement made no distinctions between Reds and Communists asserting that he personally knows those who are in cahoots with the terrorist group.

He personally singled out Congressman Carlos Zarate who had been critical of his administration at every turn. Unleashing his tirade against the party-list congressman from Davao City, he ascribed to him latrine verbiage that in English translates he looks like shit.

In the meantime, the government forces had beefed up its war arsenals with more helicopter gunships and other armaments. Significantly on the ground, the leaders of indigenous people had closed ranks with the government forces resulting in a series of successful campaigns against the Red Army. 

The dragnet has turned to certified bloodshed, making the rebels lose their red ground.

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