Sun. Apr 18th, 2021
Jose Maria Sison’s first press conference after being released by The Hague District Court. Sison was arrested August 28, 2007 on charges of “participation in or incitement to the commission of the murders of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Gabasan Tabara and/or Stephen Alamo Ong, as well as the attempted murders of Ruel Murakami and/or Edmundo Ruiz y Martinez.” He was released after being detained in solitary confinement for 17 days at the state penitentiary in Scheveningen,The Hague. The District Court established that these serious offences have been committed in the Philippines and relate to disagreements inside the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and that the decision to commit these murders was taken within the party structure of the CPP. The Dutch Court, however, acknowledged that there are many indications in the files which support the point of view that the accused is still playing a leading role in the Central Committee of the CPP as well as in the military branch of the CPP, the New People’s Army (NPA). But the Court nevertheless decided that there was insufficient evidence that the accused, while living in the Netherlands, committed the offences he is charged with, or incited others in deliberate and close co-operation with perpetrators in the Philippines. (Story and photo courtesy of Munting Nayon News Magazine.

As anticipated, accusations of red tagging by the government will not stop and so we also don’t stop explaining and exposing why this is so. Let us, however, explain a bit why Jose Ma Sison’s stooges won’t stop accusing the government of human rights abuses and of being fascistic and tyrannical.

The reason is “non-refoulement”, the principle invoked by the United Nations (UN) to prevent states from expatriating/repatriating political asylum seekers back to their country of origin if there is still danger of state persecution.

The perception that “all relevant conditions, including the existence in the state (in this case the Philippines) of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant, or mass violations of human rights” must continuously be portrayed by the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) propaganda machinery in order to keep him in Utrecht, Netherlands.

That’s contained in UN Resolution 47/133, Article 8, Paragraph 2 of 1992 and this is what the Dutch court has been invoking to prevent Joma from being sent home to face charges of genocide. The moment the international community, especially the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) is convinced that our country is safe for Joma to return to immediately, he will be sent home by the Dutch government.

This explains why the CPP and its propaganda machine is hell-bent on projecting an image of this administration, and all administrations in the past for that matter, as human rights violators. This the reason why when the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) consistently achieved zero human rights violation for the last seven years, the CPP was frantic.

Suddenly they started classifying the anti-drug campaign as political in nature.

It is not. It is a law enforcement campaign targeting criminal syndicates. Incidentally, many of these syndicates are also run by politicos and scions of the oligarchy. Along Taft Ave, there is a posh condominium where the sons and daughters of the rich and famous conduct their regular drug sessions.

They felt they were “untouchables” until the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (PRRD) government came.

Suddenly, the law enforcement operations against these drug syndicates have been sensationalized.

True, there were some who were innocent victims for “statistics” or “accomplishment” but they suddenly bloated the figures of those killed in the drug war to 27,000. Where did that figure come from? From fabricated reports of these CPP propaganda machinery whose objective is to project the administration as human rights violator.

This is the same story line that they tried to project during the simultaneous and coordinated law enforcement operations (SACLEO) last March 7. As if in chorus, all these front organizations of the CPP, including the usual critics of the government were quick to declare that those arrested or “murdered” were activists: union worker, labor leader, fisher folk, peasant farmer, whatever.

Not to be left behind are their contacts in the UN and the International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS) lead by its chair emeritus, Jose Ma Sison. The same condemnation was heard from many sectors including the Catholic church.    

But thanks to social media, almost at the same time when KARAPATAN was sending messages to the media, accusing soldiers of blocking the relatives of the dead from retrieving the cadaver of the four “activists” in an Antipolo funeral homes, there was also a video circulating clearly showing KARAPATAN members violently banging the gates of the funeral home, creating alarm and scandal which is a clear violation of the law, until the police arrived.

It was later learned that the real relatives were actually inside the morgue, with the dead and some security personnel, and cannot leave because they were being blocked inside by the KARAPATAN members. The latter also barred the DSWD officials from entering the compound and prevented them from talking with the relatives and providing assistance. In short, these violent KARAPATAN members were trying to retrieve the bodies, use it for their propaganda, and prevent the government from providing support to the relatives.

This tactic of KARAPATAN is not new.

This is what they do, react (quick reaction team of CPP) every time there are members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed or captured by the government. Do they care about the human rights of other ordinary individuals hurt in some way during skirmishes? No. This tactic is in fact the main indicator or gauge we have learned in the AFP to confirm whether the casualties in an armed engagement are indeed NPAs. We never miss.

Going back to the CPP propagandists’ claim that the police targeted simple activists and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) prejudgment that it was a crackdown on legitimate dissenters after being red tagged by the government, the noise was literally everywhere.

But thanks again to the social media, the great equalizer, and lo and behold, some of these pictures and videos of the fallen suspects started circulating, clearly establishing that indeed they were not activists. They were combatants wielding high powered armaments.

And then there was silence, an eerie silence from Cristina Palabay, the Secretary General (Sec Gen) of KARAPATAN who accused me of being a murderous criminal. Did she just accuse me of ordering the killings? It’s a serious imputation Ms Palabay and I really hope you have evidence. You can get away with alarm and scandal, but you cannot get away with those libelous claims.

Meanwhile, we ask Ms Palabay and other detractors to comment on those pieces of evidence circulating in the social media. In this battle called information warfare, those who possess the facts and wield the truth, win.

How then can Cristina Palabay and KARAPATAN dispute that their members are very much involved in the armed group NPA, with those pictures and video of Palawan Sec Gen Glendhyl Malabanan during her NPA training? How can Nimfa Lanzanas refute the fact that they are a family of NPAs?

What about Ariel Evangelista @Padua,  the ‘”fisherfolk” with an M203 Grenade Launcher? And the others which the Courts, by the way, had an easy time issuing the warrants because of the preponderance of evidence and testimony that they indeed possess arms and explosives?

But thanks to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), we have now have a quick statement from our UN Permanent Mission to Geneva delivered by Second Secretary Enrik Revillas which invoked our Right to Reply and appealed to our international stakeholders and to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to stop making sweeping prejudgments on incidents in the Philippines without first verifying facts on the ground.

Indeed, this violates the principles of objectivity and non-discrimination that the Council upholds.

In our reply, biased statements by the UN called the police operations as arbitrary killings.

The nine killed were “presented as activists, that is, until more information surfaced about firearms, ammunitions, and explosives in their possession, and for some of them, proof of their identities as combatants of the NPA. Statements were later recalibrated, but not before their dangerous consequences were unleashed.”

The statement reminded the UN of the allegations in 2010 of the Morong 43 whom they claimed were health workers only to figure later, after their release, in bloody encounters with government troops as NPA combatants. In June 2020, Lorelyn Saligumba @Farah was killed in another firefight with troops in Baco, Oriental Mindoro making her the 21st of the 43 alleged “health workers” to be killed or captured by government forces.

So when will these lies and propaganda of the CPP end?

Until the people are enlightened enough and declare that the 52 years of CPP’s deceit and violence are simply too much for us to swallow.

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