CPP: More abuses mean more rebels
LUCENA CITY — The creation by President Rodrigo Duterte of a national task force aimed at wiping out communist rebellion in the countryside would backfire and instead lead to a rebel force made stronger by more abuses committed in the name of counterinsurgency, a statement by communist leaders on Saturday said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which has been waging a mainly agrarian-based revolution, said the President’s “strongman tactics succeed only in pushing more and more people to join and support the NPA,” referring to New People’s Army, the CPP’s armed wing.
At a National Security Council (NSC) meeting in Cebu on Tuesday, the President ordered the national task force created to end the rebellion and “anarchical activities” of communist rebels.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President, during the NSC meeting, ordered the Department of Justice to pursue the case declaring the rebels terrorists.
In its statement, the CPP said a plan similar to the President’s had been employed by the government against rebels under President Benigno Aquino III.
It was inspired by an outdated counterinsurgency doctrine of the United States and failed, the CPP said.
But “corruption-laden” integration programs plus attempts to localize peace talks with rebels were likely to lead to the plan’s failure, the CPP said.
What the whole-of-government approach was likely to morph into was intensified crackdown on the legal opposition and dissenters, the rebels added.
“Duterte’s task force will put the entire state machinery to high gear under the regime’s effort to crackdown on all opposition,” the CPP said.
On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, whom the President had referred to in jest as an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, predicted an end to the rebellion by the second quarter of 2019.
The tactic was bound to fail because it was not targeted at addressing the root of the rebellion — injustice and poverty as a result of it, according to the CPP. —With a report from Julie M. Aurelio
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.