Only death definitely awaits those who stick to sword and destruction. This is why our Constitution bans war as an instrument of public policy, and recourse to it may only be resorted to protect the people and secure the state.
Unfortunately, there are still stragglers of outmoded ideologies and obsolete technologies who insist on the broken promises of the 20th century.
I can understand why Corazon Aquino whose husband Ninoy co-founded the New People Army would release Jose Maria Sison and Bernabe Buscayno.
But in heavens name, I cannot reconcile why Fidel Ramos, a West Pointer who worked himself up to eventually become the president of the Philippines, agree to repeal the 1957 Anti-Subversion Act (Republic Act (RA) 1700) by RA 7636 and the government declared a policy of amnesty and reconciliation, after his own cousin Ferdinand Marcos had broken the backbone of the Communist rebellion, and he himself serving as the chief implementer of martial law.
Unless of course he has been instructed by the unseen forces that removed Marcos and installed Cory, a vested interest that since they came in 1898 has been making sure our society lives in dissonance so that they can control our policies.
Alas, the repeal of the shield of the Filipino people against saboteurs of the Republic was breached and was even ironically called a “breakthrough” in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines took place on October 11, 1992.
Today we know that we had been hoodwinked and bigtime at that!
This was quickly followed by the Hague Joint Declaration of September 1, 1992, in which the Government of the Philippines and the Communist Party of the Philippines (through the National Democratic Front) agreed to work towards formal negotiations and “a just and lasting peace.”
The Filipinos’ love for words is overpowering my patience because instead of a lasting peace, what followed were endless “peace” negotiations.
This is maybe why Digong never postured as a philosopher wanting to engage Jose Maria Sison into dialectics, a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned methods of argumentation.
When President Rodrigo Duterte agreed with Sison to revive the peace talks, the man was in earnest about ending the Communist insurgency of more than 50 years, once and for all.
On the other hand, it seems Sison’s intentions were also far from the only thing Digong will agree to – the laying down of arms by the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New Peoples Army, and the National Democratic Front.
Sison merely want to bide for time to enlarge his ragtag army, increase his leverage for funds through lawfare and information wars (erstwhile known as propaganda), and wait for another BS Aquino-type of leader who will serve as his next village idiot.
So when Duterte open peace talks once again, the first thing Sison does is throw the books on the peace panel, starting with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement to Respect Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) that were signed in 1995 and 1998 respectively.
As if that would not take another 50 years to study and discuss, the communist houdini followed them up with a proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Social Economic Reforms (CASER). I am happy Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. did not buy the idea even if right in the Cabinet, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was whispering “amen” to the President’s ears.
Now the President himself does not see any ceasefire or peacetalks happening on a national level. Digong is output-oriented. The reason why he spent his time watching movies in Metro Manila theatres when he was a congressman, was that he could not stomach the endless disputations in the lower house, often ending up with legislative dystrophy.
“Ano ba talaga ang gusto nila?” asked Duterte. (What do they really want?
For him the only successful result of a peacetalk is the Kumander Dante solution.
After he was released by Cory Aquino, Bernabe Buscayno, ceased to be an insurgent, did no longer bear arms against the government and took on ploughshares to till the land.
In short, the man turned to productive pursuits.
Reversals met him at the start primarily because of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, but in 1999, the Department of Agrarian Reform awarded Buscayno and his family certificates of ownership for their own land. After a year, he set up another cooperative, the Tarlac Integrated Agricultural Modernization Cooperative (TIAMC) which seeks to promote the mechanization of farmwork, from sowing the seeds to harvest.
In short nag-balikloob ang pinaka-kinatatakutang NPA!
But we also all know what Jose Maria Sison did. He went on a supposed self-exile in Netherlands becoming chief political consultant to the National Democratic Front, But in 2001, he re-engineered himself and organized the International League of Peoples, worldwide organization that seeks to coordinate anti-imperialist and democratic movements around the world, in short effectively converting his NDF into a multinational front, assuring livelihood in a foreign country onto his octogenary years.
It is now common knowledge that the same bosses, not necessarily communists, who made Fidel Ramos their proxy, have been bankrolling Joma in Utrecht, Netherlands to continue destabilizing our government.
Christmas is real peace
Meanwhile, on ground zero here halfway around the globe, ten former CPP-NPAs made it in the nick of time to celebrate Christmas with their families this year, after they finally saw the wisdom of giving up their arms and returning to the fold of law.
Fifteen days before Christmas, nine regular NPA terrorists and one Sangay ng Partido sa Lokalidad (SPL) member voluntarily surrendered to combined military and police forces.
The surrenderees are now undergoing debriefing and profiling as part of the enrolment process in the President Rodrigo Duterte’s Balik-Loob or the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).
The former rebels turned in eight (8) assorted firearms composed of an M653 rifle, M16 rifle, calibre .30 US M1 garand rifle, 12 gauge shotgun, calibre .45 pistol, two calibre .38 revolvers, homemade 12 gauge shotgun, three rifle grenades, two anti-personnel mines, one magazine, assorted cartridges for various firearms and terrorist propaganda materials.
Major General Henry Robinson Jr., who heads the Joint Task Force Bicolandia, acknowledged the growing proactive support of the Bicolano communities in the steep rise of surrenderees, even as the government intensifies its programs to end insurgency.
“Sa mga kapatid nating dating myembro ng communist terrorist group na nagbalik-loob na ngayon sa pamahalaan, hindi kayo nagkamali sa inyong desisyon. Welcome back! Alam kong napakasaya ng inyong pamilya dahil ngayong darating na Pasko at sa mga susunod pa ay kasama na nila kayo. You can now sleep soundly because you are finally home,” MGen. Robinson said.
Under Balik-Loob, the former rebels will be compensated for the firearms they turned in, as well as benefit from a package of assistance some cash, others in kind. Twenty-seven government agencies have ready platforms for the surrenderees and their immediate families including employment or livelihood, housing, medical and educational assistance to expedite their integration back to normal lives.
Rebels are now coming in no longer as individuals but groups. It can be recalled that just last September, twenty-six cadres and one supporter also surrendered and publicly denounced the communist terrorism in Masbate province, which is also under the Joint Task Force Bicolandia.
Analyzing what’s trending, MajGen Robinson explained that “This only proves the defeat of the communists here in Bicol. They already lost their mass bases and their manpower and firepower have already crumbled down. There is no way they can ever recover from this.”
Suffice it to say, even the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent natural disasters appear to conspire against their remaining members, that Robinson admonished those who are still straggling to follow the footsteps of their former comrades who have seen the light of Balik-Loob. “Their testimonies are proofs that the government is sincere to help you have a new beginning. Huwag na kayong patuloy na magpalinlang sa mga lider ng inyong kilusan na ginagamit lamang kayo para sa kanilang pansariling kapakanan,” he added.
Informal settlers, relocated
The Joint Task Force Bicolandia did not stop at extending a meaningful holiday season for rebel returnees.
Christmas bells also rang for those who have been informal settlers inside Camp Elias Angeles for the longest time.
Last December 8, MajGen Robinson Jr PA, who is 9th Infantry Division (9ID) , together with the officers of the Spear Division attended the blessing and inauguration of the newly constructed model house in a relocation site at Barangay Caroyroyan, Pili, Camarines Sur specifically built for Camp Elias Angeles’ informal settlers.
The model house goes to the first recipient family. Construction materials were also given to three more families to help them build their own. Before their relocation, 9ID coordinated with the National Housing Authority (NHA) which awarded them lots inside the Sodusta Village.
For the meantime, one of the highlights of the event was the gift-giving to the said families who were also victims of the recent string of calamities. They happily received food packs given by the 9ID Spear Troopers.
They were also given cash assistance by the provincial government of Camarines Sur in addition to Spear Troopers chipping in from their allowances to fund the construction of the houses. Aside from monetary donation, the Spear Troopers also invested time and physical labor (sweat equity) as the Command’s counterpart for the house building.
Robinson said: “We made sure they will eventually stay in houses they can legally call their own without fear of getting evicted anytime. ‘Yong lupa galing sa NHA at yung bahay na ipinapatayo natin, sa kanila na ‘yon. We conducted this gift-giving activity to remind everyone that we, the Spear Troopers, are in solidarity with the community ready to extend them a brotherly helping hand.”
“Christmas after all is about compassion, respect, kindness, and love,” he quipped.