By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade
Same colors flock together, but why would those claiming to be mere activists, be armed to the teeth?
In December 17, 2020, the Philippine National Police served a warrant of arrest against a group of New People’s Army (NPA) members in Brgy San Juan, Baras, Rizal which resulted to the killing of five (5) NPA terrorists.
Among them was Vilma Salabao @ Sandra, a staff of Rebolusyonaryong Buwis sa Kaaway na Uri (RBKU) unit of the NPA and four other members of the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the Southern Tagalog Regional Party Committee (STRPC).
Leftist groups were quick to denounce the killing of the five whom they alleged to be simple farmers.
This is typical of KARAPATAN as well as all other front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The attempt to demonize the government forces as murderers of activists would continue until the PNP released the identities of those killed and the inventory of the items recovered.
Just to refresh our memory on that incident, it was a product of a tip from civilians in the area who were afraid of the presence of these armed group in their communities. During the law enforcement operations, it was revealed that the group was part of the NPA’s Regional Tax Implementing group, RBKU.
They were accompanied by RSOG members tasked to harass non-paying businessmen, especially contractors and quarry owners. Recovered in the search were three (3) MacBook laptops and thirty (30) cell phones, along with a sub machine gun, two (2) M16 rifles and four (4) pistols.
These laptops would soon expose the network of tax collectors as well as list of businesses, politicians, and individuals providing regular support or extortion money to the CPP-NPA.
Several ATM cards were also recovered, which identified establishments and individuals who provided the NPAs these ATM cards for easy transfer of money to the underground.
One such establishment is a favorite mall in Antipolo, Rizal. All of them are now subjects of a criminal investigation for their involvement in the funding of these “farmers”.
Five of those “farmers” escaped to Montalban, Rizal. One of which is Antonio Cule @Dads, the Finance Officer of the RBKU who has a standing warrant for frustrated murder issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 65 in Infanta, Quezon Province.
As it appears now, two of those who escaped would figure again in the simultaneous law enforcement operations in Cavite, Laguna and Batangas last Sunday, March 7, 2021. Nine (9) were killed in the shootout that ensued while six (6) did not resist arrest and are now detained.
Probably knowing that the identities of these “farmers” were already compromised, these CPP legal fronts and their allies re now shouting murder of “activists”.
This time they attribute these alleged murders to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (PRRDs’) order of “kill, kill, kill” to these people if they are armed.
Suddenly, Cristina Palabay, the Secretary-General of KARAPATAN is saying I ordered the murder of these suspects. Again, they put the blame on me after red-tagging these groups. So, we go back to this unending issue about red tagging.
Bottom line upfront: Are activists supposed to bear arms? NO.
The moment they do, they cease to become activists. They cease to be protected by our laws and constitution as they have become combatants engaged in waging a war, no matter how limited, against the state.
So what then is this noise about the state doing “overkill” in the conduct of police operations?
There is nothing we see here except for this effort to hype again the CPP’s propaganda line that the fascist government has been killing dissenters in order to silence critics against government policies.
WATCH 2-minute Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhxyUqaf6dk
Wow! Is there any other argument that the CPP and its allies can raise, except for this obviously warped and long abused narrative?
Discussing this is actually a waste of my time but if only to bring clarity on the subject, I will defer to this task and expound the difference between activists and terrorists.
Among those killed during the shootout in Nasugbu Batangas was Ariel Evangelista @Padua, the S4 (supply officer) of Platoon Silangan, Sub-Regional Military Area (SMRA) 4-C. Ana Mariz Evangelista is also a member of the same NPA unit.
Emmanuel Asunción is Secretary General of BAYAN-Cavite but why he was bearing a .45 caliber pistol is for their group to explain, he being a top CPP cadre in Cavite.
Edward Damas Esto @Emil was Vice Squad Leader of Platoon 1, Guerilla Front Cesar who encountered the troops in Uyungan, Puray, Rodriguez Rizal last March 28, 2020.
Abner Damas Esto @Buloy is an NPA Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) Special Operations Group.
Calec Bacasno @MacMac/Happy and his live-in partner Rica Doble @Kyla/Samantha are members of Komiteng Sentral Bayan-Rizal (KSB-Rizal), SRMA 4A, and is the son of NPA leader @Fernan.
Melvin Dagsinao is an NPA member of Platoon 4A under Cesar Batralo Command, and a former assistant of Sec Ermin Bellen @Pat Romano/Armando Lazarte/Alfonso of SRMA 4A who was killed in an encounter last year.
Puroy Dela Cruz is the contact of Jordon Mopon@Boyong, Platoon leader of Sentro De Gravidad (SDG) Platoon. Randy dela Cruz is combat paniktik (Intel) and courier of @Luis, Executive Committee (Exe-Com) member of SRMA 4A.
One of those arrested is Nimfa Dimalunan Lanzanas , currently the Spokesperson of KARAPATAN Southern Tagalog and former Auditor of Gabriela Southern Tagalog. Why she has a 9mm Luger pistol with a silencer, a .45 caliber pistol and an MK 2 grenade can be explained by Cristina Palabay, but it’s actually easy to understand.
Just refresh your memory of many KARAPATAN members arrested with NPAs or who were training with NPAs like Glendyl Malabanan and Alexa Pacalda. Gabriela can also explain this, understanding that many Gabriela members have died with the NPAs like Ren Manalo, Josephine Lapira, and Justine Vargas to name a few.
Elizabeth Tabios Camoral @Mags is not only a KMU Member and organizer but is also Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU) cadre. Check the National Democratic Front of the Philippine website, NDFP.org and you will see this as one of the CPP NDF’s underground organizations.
Same is true with Esteban Larwa Mendoza, an RTCU official and an alternate Secretary of the underground Trade Union (TU), ROD, STRPC.
Some of the suspects were able to escape.
Erlindo Custudio Baez @Lino is a member of the Tax Implementing Group, SRMA 4C while three others belong to other NPA outfits.
Many of the subjects for the search were arrested and they can tell the story.
But one thing is clear: if you resist arrest, you can probably end up dead because the Rules of Engagement (ROE) with which PRRD based his instructions on is crystal clear: “I told the military to shoot and kill right away if they see you holding a gun.”
That’s basic self-defense, otherwise known as self-preservation. Kill before you get killed if the enemies are armed.
So, we go back to the question and this time we can ask Madam Vice-President Leni Robredo, Senator Francis Pangilinan and Senator Leila de Lima, do activists bear arms?