‘Red October’ gives way to ‘White December’
What plot will they think of next: Blue January?
While it has fizzled out, the “Red October” plot may yet be mounted in November and December, when the communist rebels mark the 50th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), a military official said on Monday.
By bringing it to light, the Armed Forces of the Philippines had effectively nipped the plot in the bud, according to AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo.
But then again, the communist insurgents’ plot to topple the President from power is a “rolling plan,” Arevalo said in a radio interview.
He claimed that the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), have drawn up a “rolling plan” with an eye for a big celebration during the CPP’s golden anniversary on Dec. 26.
“We are conducting continuous intensified intelligence and combat operations to ensure that we weaken the NPA,” he said over radio station dzMM.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday admitted that the Red October plot was quashed from the time it was discovered.
Lorenzana said there was no other plot brewing.
“Maybe there’s still ‘White Christmas’ because the holidays are coming,” he added in jest.
Arevalo said the military’s disclosure of the plot prompted its scuttling.
“We were able to warn groups, which were part of the so-called united front that was being formed, and they had the opportunity to back out,” he said.
The President, in a televised interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo last month, said he had evidence of a “loose conspiracy” by opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the Magdalo party-list group, Liberal Party and the CPP-NPA to overthrow him.
All the parties had denied his claim.
Shortly after, Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., AFP assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, claimed that the ouster plot would be set off by a “nationwide coordinated tactical offensive” between Oct. 11 and Oct. 17.
This did not happen.
Parlade also claimed that communist rebels were recruiting students from 18 universities and colleges in Metro Manila to be part of the ouster plot.
Arevalo agreed that the recruitment was going on and pointed to the killing or capture of students following clashes with government troops as proof.
4 female suspects
He cited the capture on Saturday of four female suspected rebels allegedly involved in indoctrination and recruitment, including a student of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Nueva Ecija province.
“This is proof of what we have been saying that there are recruitment efforts by the CPP-NPA in our schools,” Arevalo said, pointing out that PUP is on the military’s list of alleged communist recruitment hubs.
He said the AFP and the Philippine National Police had initiated dialogues with some of the heads of the 18 colleges and universities.
“Our intention is not to slander the schools,” Arevalo said. “What we intended was to warn the parents, the schools and make sure that the students, the children are not being taught wrongdoings, especially the government’s downfall.” —Jeanette I. Andrade
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