Intel chief: Gov’t losing propaganda war
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the dwindling number of communist rebels, the government has been losing in the propaganda war, according to national security officials.
“They (communist rebels) are still using Marcos propaganda. They no longer apply but they are effective. They are good at it and we are at a loss,” National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica) Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo said of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP).
In a recent meeting with Inquirer editors and reporters, Monteagudo said the government was launching its own information campaign aimed at bringing in everyone, particularly mainstream media.
‘Most efficient, effective’
“We have to tell everybody the truth because if not, people will always be in the dark [as to what the CPP-NPA-NDFP is doing],” he said.
According to Monteagudo, the national task force to end local communist armed conflict is studying the NPA’s propaganda techniques “because they are the most efficient and effective in that area.”
“If there is an area where we are losing against the CPP-NDFP-NPA, it is in the arena of propaganda,” the Nica said in a PowerPoint presentation.
The Nica added that “the CPP-NPA-NDFP has exploited and deceived our people for 50 long years.”
“They have made our people believe that changing our present system of government is the only way to address the ills that supposedly plague our society,” it said.
Monteagudo noted that the communist rebels got 60 percent of funding secured by some nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), legal fronts of the CPP-NPA-NDFP, from foreign governments particularly from the European Union.
“Not all NGOs are front organizations but there are a lot, as in overwhelmingly a lot of NGOs,” he said.
A former communist rebel, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that issue-based organizations were used as platforms for CPP-NPA-NDFP infiltration with the end of overthrowing the government.
“Not all members [of the groups] are members of the underground movement, but they get mixed up together without them knowing … Some of their members are invited [by underground members calling for armed struggle] for deeper learning, political education. They are different, but not separate because they are ran by the CPP-NPA-NDFP,” he said.
Monteagudo said that while the CPP-NPA-NDFP had only about 3,790 regular fighters, “the damage they inflict on government and bureaucracy and economy is such that we cannot prosper.”
He said around half of the number of NPA members were indigenous people, who were targeted for recruitment as fighters or as mass support base.
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