CPP vows intensify attacks to force gov’t to talk peace
LUCENA CITY, Philippines—The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Sunday vowed to intensify the attack of its military wing, the New People’s Army rebels, against government forces to compel the government to talk peace with the revolutionary movement.
“Indeed, the only way to compel the enemy to engage in serious negotiations is to inflict major defeats on it and make it realize the futility of its attempt to destroy the revolutionary movement, especially the people’s army,” the CPP Central Committee said in its founding anniversary statement sent to Inquirer.
The CPP said: “However, we continue to express our desire for peace negotiations in order to prevent the enemy from claiming falsely that we are not interested in a just and lasting peace and also to keep open the possibility that the enemy regime would be compelled by the crisis and/or by our significant victories in people’s war to seriously seek negotiations.”
The CPP will celebrate its 43rd anniversary on December 26. Its military arm, the NPA, has been waging a protracted war against the government for the past four decades to establish a socialist state.
The communist guerilla war, one of the longest and deadliest in Asia, already claimed more than 40,000 lives, according to government figures. Despite a series of peace talks by successive presidents, peace remains elusive.
The CPP said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the political arm of the communist insurgents, is willing to return to the negotiation table to address the roots of the armed conflict by forging agreements on social, economic and political reforms in order to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace.
“But the Aquino regime is hell-bent on using the US-instigated Oplan Bayanihan to destroy the revolutionary movement of the people. It is obsessed with using the peace negotiations as a mere tool for psywar and as a way to seek the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces,” the CPP said.
The on and off peace talks between the government and the communist rebels have been stalled since 2004 because both parties were adamant in pushing for their respective preconditions before the start of the talks.
The government and the communist rebels have yet to return to the peace table months after they first met in Oslo last February under the new Aquino government.
The last attempt to talk peace recently reached an impasse following a disagreement over the release of detained communist rebels. The government countered that the discordant demands from the rebels impede the resumption of the peace talks.
The CPP accused the Aquino administration of not being seriously interested in peace negotiations with the NDFP by “preconditioning the peace negotiations with demands for the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary movement and by backtracking on and invalidating previous bilateral agreements by qualifying and putting them aside.”
“The reactionary government recurrently demands ceasefire for this or that reason in order to avoid negotiating the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations and in effect, obtain the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary movement. But it refuses the NDFP offer of truce and alliance on the basis of a 10-point general declaration of common intent regarding national independence, democracy, economic development, social justice and other important demands of the people,” the CPP added.
In October, communist rebels staged a series of attacks against three big mining firms in Mindanao
Some 300 NPA guerrillas attacked the compound of the Taganito Mining Corp. in Claver Surigao de Norte, briefly taking several employees hostage and burning trucks, excavators and a guest house.
The mine is owned by Nickel Asia Corp., the Philippines’ largest nickel ore producer.
An affiliate, Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp., and the nearby Platinum Metals Group were also attacked, in what the NPA claimed was payback for years of alleged environmental damage and abuse by the firms.
Last week, President Aquino announced an 18-day holiday ceasefire starting from 12:01 a.m. of December 16, 2011 until midnight of January 3, 2012.
The CPP reciprocated by ordering all NPA commands and units across the country to stop offensive operations against police and military forces starting from Dec 24 up to midnight of December 26 and on December 31 up to midnight of January 2, 2012.
Communist rebels in northern Mindanao have silenced their guns earlier and for a slightly longer period – from December 21 to January 3, 2012 – in deference to the victims of tropical storm Sendong.
After an ideological split with a 1930’s era pro-Soviet communist party that was militarily defeated in the 1950s, former University of the Philippines professor Jose Maria Sison set up in December 26, 1968 the revitalized CPP with Maoist-oriented ideology.
The first NPA recruits were armed with only 9 automatic rifles, 26 single-shot rifles and handguns. By carrying out tactical offensives, the communist guerillas were able to accumulate arms through ambuscades and raids of police stations and military detachments in remote areas.
The rebel group reached its peak of 27,000 fighters in the late 1980s but dwindled following a bloody internal purge in the 1980’s that led to the murders of hundreds of cadres suspected of being government spies.
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