Home Global Village Hard-realist Duterte vs. New People’s Army (NPA): The political discourse of insurgency...

Hard-realist Duterte vs. New People’s Army (NPA): The political discourse of insurgency and new terrorism

NPA

Jumel G. Estrañero |

Lo and behold, the long run running armed and threat group in the Philippines in the guise of the New People’s Army (NPA) deserves the label: terrorists! Recently, Proclamation No. 360 was issued by the President as a warning on November 24th that formally terminated peace talks with the communist rebels.

Meanwhile, Jose Maria Sison, founder of the CPP, said there would be more rebel attacks as a result of Mr. Duterte’s decision to end the talks. The label is not fun but true to its sense, NPA is a terrorist group. They are not just plain criminals and destabilizers but evil terrorists ravaging stratified areas in the Philippines.

In connection therewith, the New People’s Army (NPA) stepped up attacks in parts of Luzon almost 11 months before President Rodrigo Duterte unilaterally canceled the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), according to an overseas security and intelligence group.

The narrative of violence and twisted ideology has already been scourging deep-seated in the minds of young ones; activists, militants, and future bandwagoners of the act of rebellion.

Furthermore, the Pacific Strategies and Assessment (PSA) has advised its clients, including construction companies, to revise plans on travel security and the mitigation of “NPA extortion activities and arson attacks.” It said the NPA was “notably more violent” in Batangas, referring to five incidents in 2016 and eight others this year, seven of which involved clashes and the torching of facilities or equipment at Pico de Loro in January.

Read more: Has Duterte really ditched the US for Beijing’s embrace?

In connection therewith, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said last week that a mere “conspiracy” with communist rebels could be the basis for arresting and filing rebellion cases against the so-called “legal fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines. A question remains: is legal front legal by all means or the CPP is just trying to lure the people that they are de jure. Well, in fact, they cannot even attain a de facto status as a well-grounded organization.

The opinion legal mooring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to have key figures in “above-ground” organizations of the Left arrested once he proves they are working with the CPP-NPA. He had first made this threat last weekend as he announced he was ending all peace negotiations with the Left, terminating a love-hate relationship that had once seen him appoint key militant figures to his Cabinet.

The narrative of violence and twisted ideology has already been scourging deep-seated in the minds of young ones; activists, militants, and future bandwagoners of the act of rebellion.

Meanwhile, there was a Bangsamoro General Assembly with Duterte held in Sultan Kudarat last November. Army troops were in full battle gear backed by armored personnel carriers as well as MILF in fatigue uniforms, but unarmed, who were securing the vicinity of the venue. They were following orders and we have to focus on this thing too while other troops are combating NPA at large.

On the other hand, there has been an increase in violent activities, particularly attacks on police stations and outlying detachments, particularly those manned by CAFGUs. And I see that a non-stop tirade will be the game of NPA; as more intensified attacks by the NPA can be expected “against innocent and defenseless targets” following the formal termination of the peace process.

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Now, NPA is too greedy in power and their label as the terrorist is true to its sense hiding in political ideology. NPA coupled with militants and left-wing organizations in the Philippines are exploiting conflicts, including land disputes, between businesses and the locals in order to drum up support for their activities and organizations.

But aside from this, what is more, disturbing is the brewing conspiracy amongst its cadres and peripheral actors like mafiosos of Godfather. People should personally listen to President Duterte’s message on the quest for genuine peace in Muslim Mindanao and the Philippines in general and the issue of terrorism and insurgency in support to all peace efforts under the Duterte administration.

Army troops were in full battle gear backed by armored personnel carriers as well as MILF in fatigue uniforms, but unarmed, who were securing the vicinity of the venue.

I am no legal luminary or expert but I believe that “conspiracy” is enough basis to order the arrest of anyone with links to the NPA after President Duterte said in an engagement in Nueva Ecija, Philippines (last week) that he would order the arrest of civilians in “legal fronts” of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Thus, one does not have to take up arms in order to be accused of rebellion (i.e. the recent death of a University of the Philippines (UP-Manila) student.

Josephine Anne Lapira, 22, a University of the Philippines (UP) Manila student, died in what the authorities reported as an encounter between New People’s Army members and government forces in Batangas province on the evening of Nov. 28. She is one of the activists who has been propagating anti-government staunch and propaganda for youth enforcement. As the President – a former prosecutor in Davao had indicated, mere conspiracy with the NPA is enough.

Read more: US: Philippines’ Duterte sparking distress around the world

Accordingly, Lapira became a full-time activist, Omaga said. She went to serve in the mountains of Southern Tagalog this August. From her co-activist’s word of mouth, they say that her death is proof that the revolution is alive– that people are actually holding their lives on the line to pave way for an alternative society free from exploitation. But then again, her death is a reminder that there is war in the countryside, and like any other war, people die in battle. We may grieve and mourn, but only to rise up again, take up their bodies, and continue the fight.

In line with this, the narrative of violence and twisted ideology has already been scourging deep-seated in the minds of young ones; activists, militants, and future bandwagoners of the act of rebellion. The worst is – insurgency and terrorism in the rural and urban spheres.

360 was issued by the President as a warning on November 24th that formally terminated peace talks with the communist rebels.

Above all these political struggles, I do know that the government is prepared to go to war with the communists who failed to reciprocate the acts of goodwill shown by his administration over the past year, like the continued pursuit of peace talks and the release of political consultants. In fact, a unilateral ceasefire had also been declared by the Duterte government, which it later withdrew after attacks on government forces. CPP, NDFP, and NPA are failures.

They cannot be trusted at all cost. To counter the violent threat groups, we need to quell them being threats of peace and security of each Filipino family before it is too late. This is condescendingly happening in other Southeast Asian member states with all discontent and twisted political ideologue that has long sought to destabilize the government. We do not want to see an unfolding society planted with so many seeds of terror.

Jumel Gabilan Estrañero is a defense analyst/researcher in the Philippine government while teaching political science, geopolitics, international negotiation, multilateral diplomacy, political economy & geography, international trade, practice and policies, and other social sciences. His specializes in defense & security, strategy & policy, South China Sea, Terrorism, global & regional politics, and special intelligence. He is proud son of a soldier & government employee, artist, poet, lover of life and blessed to have his love, girlfriend, & prayer partner – Maria Kristina D. Siuagan. His articles have appeared in Asia Times, The Global Village Space, Asia Maritime Reviews, Military Defense & Intelligence, The Nation (Bangkok, Thailand), Southeast Asian Times, PressReader, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Manila Times, and Malaya Business Insights.
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