Fri. May 20th, 2022

By (Ret.) Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr.

During the past week, we were amazed at how political parties scampered to assemble their respective lineups for the presidential, vice presidential and senatorial slates.

Once again, we saw how political butterflies moved from one party to another, depending on several factors, the most important of which is their political survival. The least important of these considerations is, ironically, the platform of governance.

Political analysts, bloggers and observers have already pointed out how parties ended up fielding rabid political enemies under one slate.

As columnist Bobi Tiglao described it, “coalitions of the accusers and accused, and of the unprincipled.” Whatever happened to delicadeza? Do these candidates, let alone the frontrunners, even think of what kind of clowns they will all look like in the eyes of the people?

That was a sickening experience to most of us who value the significance of this very crucial upcoming political exercise. We wonder if what we are today as a nation is the result of this condescending attitude of our politicians, of thinking of human beings with inconsequentiality, the effect of which will be another six years of political strife and squabbles.

What was so striking, however, was how one opposition party led by VP Leni Robredo and her 1Sambayan, repackaged themselves as non-yellow — as if distancing themselves from the severely damaged (possibly beyond repair) Liberal Party will help.

I can say with conviction that this was the result of Senators Franklin Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and the rest of the gang’s assault on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) with red-tagging allegations. They pushed their luck by pursuing further efforts at defunding the task force, particularly hitting the Barangay Development Program (BDP).

Unfortunately for these Liberal stalwarts, the people in the boondocks and other depressed areas have been expecting these BDP funds so many administrations ago. This is what the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been harping on the government to do ever since we were lieutenants.

The senators don’t realize the program was not called BDP for nothing. It is, for all intents and purposes, for the development of these long-neglected barrios. Yes, the projects are focused on barrios in the former red zones, or sonang gerilya (Soger) already cleared by the AFP.

These barrios represent areas where the barrio revolution council (BRC), the shadow government created by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in the baseng gerilya (Bager), used to exist.

They are not regular barangay because they could be the most isolated sitio or purok of four or five adjacent barangay, or three or four adjacent municipalities joined in the upper recesses of rugged mountains and terrain, which are often the political tri or quad boundaries of provinces.

The operative word is “recesses” and if you Google its meaning, they are what Collins defines as “hard to see because light does not reach the more they are hidden from view.”

In short, my dear senators, they are the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (Gidas) that many of you have never gone to. AFP soldiers, including this writer, who spent their careers trekking these areas aptly describe these places with the phrase: Piso na lang, langit na. That’s the reason they’ve become favorite nesting places of these CPP termites in our society.

Senator Drilon, Senator Pangilinan or Senator Binay will never understand what we are talking about here. As they kept the program hostage during budget deliberations, people overwhelmingly reacted in disgust; the apathy, ignorance and “stupidity” of the senators were exposed. And then VP Robredo decided to dump the yellow label.

Ang laking sampal ito sa mga yellowtards.

Worse was how VP Leni dumped the bid of Bayan Muna’s Neri Colmenares for a slot in the united opposition.

After former cadres took turns exposing these CPP members who are again gunning for elective posts, either for party-list representatives or senators, VP Leni was left with no choice but to avoid the fire. Colmenares and his CPP colleagues were too hot to handle.

Kapali, said VP Leni’s camp to Neri. That’s Turkish for “closed.”

The announcement says a lot actually, considering that Neri Colmenares was one of the prominent members of the 1Sambayan which was exposed as a bunch of fake nationalists. 1Sambayan actually told Neri to back off.

At this point, they knew him too well: an opportunist, insisting to be part of a group consumed with the objective of uniting the opposition against Duterte no matter what. 1Sambayan told Colmenares: You are excess baggage — with your reputation as a hardcore CPP cadre, and as a member of the underground Lupon ng mga Manananggol ng Bayan (Lumaban) of the CPP’s National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) and Bayan.

Kapalan mo pa, the sign says. The 12th slot is still open, and they might reconsider you. But still, you are such a liability, Mr. Colmenares. Bayan or Bayan Muna has never won a senatorial slate after several tries, even when NTF-Elcac had not yet been activated. And with the task force in full swing now, what is Neri expecting? People can now accurately distinguish red from yellow or green. Try harder, Colmenares.

We all know that to be a nominee of KMU you have to be part of the underground. Go check the website and you will see that along with the terrorist New People’s Army (NPA), this RCTU and Lumaban are all together under one roof.

With these are France Castro’s Kaguma of ACT, Arlene Brosas’ Makibaka of Gabriela, and Sarah Elago’s KM of Kabataan and Anakbayan. This is the reason why none of the Kamatayan bloc members can condemn the atrocities of the NPA. They all sit together when Jose Ma. Sison convenes them for their plan of action.

Why then should you, Mr. Jose Ma. Sison, question VP Leni Robredo for her non-inclusion of your candidates in her slate?

As for Sara Elago, she was smart enough to pass the baton to another young, gullible person to carry the Kabataan standard, Raoul Manuel. Incidentally, this summa cum lugaw graduate is too naïve to see that he is about to inherit a party which, first, will hardly win a seat; second, will most likely be disqualified before the start of the polls for being part of a terrorist organization; and third, will face a bunch of criminal charges for violations of provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

When that happens, Neri Colmenares will have a heyday lawyering for Raoul Manuel, if the former will not be in jail himself. Even then, I can recommend a Turkish delight that the two will surely enjoy.

Baklava, anyone?

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