June 12, 2021 – The Akabayan Partylist dared yesterday the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives to denounce all the atrocities and abuses committed by the New People’s Army (NPA) over its “wanton use of violence” that caused the death of several Filipinos, and not just its killing of a national athlete.
Makabayan released a statement condemning the NPA’s use of an improvised explosive device that killed Kieth Absalon, a football player of the Far Eastern University, and his kin, SENTRO trade union leader Nolven Absalon, but it also praised the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for acknowledging and accepting full responsibility for the deaths.
Akbayan Spokesperson Dr. RJ Naguit found the Makabayan gestures as insincere and incomplete, “While the Makabayan bloc’s condemnation of the NPA’s killing of civilians in Masbate is a welcome respite to its long silence at the armed group’s violence and impunity, it should denounce all the atrocities and abuses the NPA has committed against the public, including its extortion activities, recruitment of child soldiers, and the assassinations and threats of violence against progressive leaders and organizations,”
Akbayan also asserted that Makabayan bloc could not condemn and praise the NPA at the same time, “the Makabayan bloc could not be ‘selective’ by “condemning a single act of violence because of strong public backlash, and ignore the rest of the NPA’s crimes because they don’t land on today’s front page.”
“Selective condemnation is permission,” Naguit quipped.
Naguit likewise called out the Makabayan bloc for recommending the filing of complaints with the non-existent Joint Monitoring Committee, saying it was a “non-starter.” Akbayan said the primary action should be surrendering the rebels who are behind the death of the Absalons to the Philippine National Police, implying that the perpetrators should not just be subject communist terrorist kangaroo court.
“The Makabayan bloc owes this to the people who are sick and tired of the NPA’s impunity. Justice is only truly revolutionary when it is enjoyed by all. If it only belongs to a few, the bloc’s so-called ‘condemnation’ of the NPA remains a shallow and opportunistic gesture. Much like the apology the NPA issued on the killing of civilians in Masbate,” Naguit added.
Moreover, Akbayan urged the Makabayan bloc to denounce the 2005 hit list issued by the CPP/NPA-NDF terrorists against progressive leaders whom they tagged as “class enemies.” Significantly, former Commission on Human Rights chairperson and Akbayan chair emeritus Etta Rosales was included in that list.
The political party also challenged the Makabayan bloc to condemn the NPA’s extortion activities including the collection of permit-to-campaign (PTC) fees during elections and the “revolutionary tax” imposed against the business community.
The Masbate explosion, which the overseeing Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) admitted, is the doing of its armed component, the New Peoples’ Army (NPA), was condemned nationwide, widely by several sectors — from the Commission of Human Rights, international rights organizations, and opposition leaders.
NPA’s critics have noted that it should adhere with the International Humanitarian Law, which bans the use of anti-personnel land mines as it cannot distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. (SPH/Ado Paglinawan)