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June 25, 2018 - Unjust Judges Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time Father Edward McIlmail, LC   Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus sa...

Monday, February 13, 2017

Retired Airforce General to Rebels: They thought that Duterte was just another of the same mold as the previous presidents the country had, they are terribly wrong

As a former soldier - combat helicopter pilot and ground combat commander who fought bloody battles against the communists, I always considered the NPAs as worthy adversaries. To me, they were rebels fighting for valid causes against the government. To me, they were rebels, not terrorists. Even when the AFP tagged them as communist terrorists, even when they treacherously killed hundreds of soldiers, even when they murdered civilians and hundreds of their comrades (OPlans Missing Link and Ahos), even when they bombed or killed businesses just to get revolutionary taxes, and even when they bombed a political rally in Plaza Miranda resulting to many casualties, including senators.

Like them, I rationalized, then, that their methods of rebellion, though brutal and hateful were means to political ends and were par for the course.

Not Now. Not with Duterte. Like President Duterte (he supported and even praised the NPAs), I now declare these communists as Terrorists. Why? Their valid grievances against the government were lost with Duterte as the leader of the country. US imperialism (president as tuta ng Kano?), oppression, injustices, corruption, cronyism, military abuses – all of these were lost. 

Equality for all? Come on! Ask the Russian and Chinese communists.

When Duterte assumed office, one of the first things he did was offer the communists choice Cabinet positions, including Secretaries. He declared a ceasefire and initiated peace talks between them and the government. He released top NPA leaders, as a gesture of goodwill and sincerity. He gave safe conduct passes to communist leaders. Duterte did all these, even against the advice of his military and security advisers, just to give peace a chance in order to end the 50 year old insurgency.

Despite all these gestures of goodwill and sincerity, despite the ongoing peace talks, and despite the ceasefire, what did the NPA do?

The gall, the arrogance and hubris of these communists. These did them in. 

They thought that Duterte was just another of the same mold as the previous presidents the country had. They thought that Duterte will give in to all their 

demands, however unreasonable and preposterous, because Duterte was “kasama" who once supported and praised them. They are terribly wrong. Duterte hated oppression and senseless deaths of his soldiers. As a result, he terminated the ceasefire and cancelled the peace talks.

What will happen to the NPAs? They will die painful deaths, and this will happen very soon. Why?
- There are no more valid grievances against the government.
- Under Duterte, the countryside, especially the guerilla zones, will be developed. The government will pour in massive funds to educate the people, improve their economic conditions and remove the reasons for the insurgency. 
- Communists now in government can be “asked” to convince their former comrades to cooperate with the government.
- The military is now more professionalized, better equipped, and highly focused. Intelligence funds and units will be better used in locating, tracking and neutralizing the enemies - the armed communist terrorists, not the administration’s political enemies, as was the practice in previous administrations.

What should the CPP/NPA/NDF do? 
Concede to the government, and get some brownie points in return. A good poker player knows when to stand up and go, or lose everything.

What should the AFP commanders do? 
Stop being development officers, stop playing golf and find and eliminate the biggest propaganda of the communists – the NPAs, for Chrissake.

By: Retired Airforce General Romeo V Poquiz


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