MANILA, Philippines — The one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao and its possible nationwide implementation will lead to the withdrawal of support of security forces from President Duterte, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison warned yesterday.
In a statement, Sison warned Duterte that dissatisfied factions in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will coordinate their moves to overthrow him in the same way that former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada were removed from power.
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“In such an eventuality, the CPP and NPA (New People’s Army) would be happy with the limitation of bloodshed and with the resumption of peace negotiations … under a new president or a transitory people’s commission,” Sison said.
Sison said Congress merely proved that it is a rubber stamp of the Duterte administration when it approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao for one year.
He warned the gross and systematic violation of human rights in Mindanao would certainly escalate.
“As the unnecessary and egregious martial rule by Duterte will expand nationwide, the violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the people will surpass the rate and proportions of martial rule under the Marcos fascist dictatorship,” Sison said.
Sison blamed Duterte anew for the collapse of the peace talks.
“Duterte chose to label the CPP and NPA as terrorist, impose martial law and his fascist dictatorship on the people exactly at the time that the peace negotiations between the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front were advancing at a rapid rate,” he said.
Sison said the notoriety of Duterte as the “No. 1 terrorist and butcher of the Filipino people” is well established.
He cited the “mass murder” of more than 14,000 suspected drug offenders, the destruction of Marawi City and death of many of its citizens and the growing number of assassinations of critics.
He said that the objective of Duterte is to destroy the CPP and NPA before the end of 2018 by first concentrating attacks on the guerrilla fronts in Eastern Mindanao and elsewhere in Mindanao and then proceed to Luzon and the Visayas in the expansion of martial law nationwide.
In a separate statement, the CPP warned the imposition of the one-year martial law in Mindanao “will result in unmitigated death and destruction.”
Duterte earlier declared the CPP, its armed wing the NPA and its political front NDF as terrorist organizations.
“His unbridled hostility to the legal democratic movement, speaks loudly and clearly of his intention to impose nationwide martial law,” it said.
The CPP said Duterte is setting up his “fascist dictatorship to perpetuate himself in power.”
“The people and the revolutionary movement are ready to defend themselves and will meet him head on,” the CPP said.
Sison said Duterte would suffer the same fate as Marcos in fighting the NPA.
When Marcos proclaimed martial law in 1972, Sison said the NPA had only a few guerrilla zones concentrated in Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Tarlac and Pampanga provinces.
“But thanks to Marcos and his martial rule, his terror tactics and flagrant human rights violations drove the patriotic and progressive mass organizations and thousands of activists to the underground for deployment in the countryside for armed struggle. As in the time of Marcos, the battle cry of the revolutionaries today is: people’s war is the answer to martial law,” Sison said.
Sison said some of the “patriotic and progressive” military officers are concerned that Duterte is misusing the AFP and PNP as if these were his personal armies.
“They are critical of the promotion of officers on the basis of their friendship and personal loyalty to Duterte. But they are most aghast by his termination of the peace negotiations,” he said.
Sison said the faction in the military and police are worried that Duterte is practically forcing the communists to fight back under conditions favorable to them.
“They are alarmed that the NPA is frequently launching tactical offensives from more than 100 guerrilla fronts on a nationwide scale. Each guerrilla front is usually as large as a district of several municipalities. It carries at various levels the party organizations, the various types of underground mass organizations, NPA units, people’s militia, self-defense units and organs of political power. When a guerrilla front is under encirclement and concentrated enemy attack, it is directly and indirectly assisted by other guerrilla fronts,” Sison said.
He said the NPA units could fight and defeat the government by seizing the initiative in a war of fluid movement, involving major tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting according to circumstances.
“In close to five decades, they have waged extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. They can deliver annihilative blows where their enemy do not expect them. And they can use annihilative tactics in order to force the enemy into a defensive mode or guard duties,” Sison said.
He said the latest weapons that Duterte has boasted of having acquired from the US and other countries will eventually end up in the hands of the NPA.
“Any new type of firearms carried by his troops fall soon enough into the hands of the NPA. Military trucks and armored carriers are noticeable from the time they leave military camps and approach from a distance their target areas. They are vulnerable to mines and other explosive devices,” Sison said.
Elsewhere, communist gunmen shot down a militiaman and his son in Quezon on Wednesday.
Maj. Gen. Rhoderick Parayno, commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division identified the victims as militiaman Manolito Alcantara and his son Randy, all of Sitio Hacienda, Barangay Inabun, San Francisco town.
The father and son were having dinner at around 7:30 p.m. when three NPA gunmen, one of them identified as Joseph delos Santos, alias Ka Bingot, barged inside their house and shot them at close range.
In Carranglan, Nueva Ecija, government troops engaged the NPA rebels in a running gun battle that left an “undetermined number” of insurgents wounded, the military said. – Artemio Dumlao, Jaime Laude, Ding Cervantes, Ed Amoroso, Ric Sapnu
The Philippine Star
Updated December 15, 2017 – 12:00am
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