CPP losing public support – AFP

Published by rudy Date posted on December 27, 2008

The military sees the defeat of the communist rebellion in 2010 as rebel leaders in the Philippines are defying their superiors living in exile in the Netherlands.

However, the Communist Party of the Philippines eyes a Marxist state within five years and ordered a major offensive on its 40th anniversary yesterday.

Undersecretary Avelino Razon, National Security Council deputy director, said local communist rebel leaders are squabbling with their Netherlands-based leaders Jose Ma. Sison and Luis Jalandoni.

He spoke after meeting with members of the National Peace and Order Council presided over by President Arroyo at the Presidential Mansion in Baguio City yesterday afternoon.

Razon said the New People’s Army would have less than 10 guerrilla fronts this month from 87 last year, as a result of the government’s continued combat operations and police actions coupled with development and strategic information campaign.

However, the government still seeks the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front, the CPP’s political arm, he added.

On the other hand, Col. Daniel Lucero, Army civil military operations chief, said public sympathy for the NPA has been waning as a result of the continuous military campaign.

“Just like any insurgent group, the CPP, with its armed component the NPA and its mass base organizer the National Democratic Front (NDF), continues to promise anything to advance its political cause without any obligation and responsibility to prove it,” he said.

Lucero said people are forced to support the NPA for fear of reprisal, which is often done through terrorist acts.

“It still uses the usual deceptive measures such as lying, cheating and exaggerating, hoping that these can undermine the government’s credibility and press forward its political and social ambitions,” he added.

In its 40th anniversary statement, the CPP central committee said the NPA must shift from a defensive posture to that of a strategic stalemate, and finally to a major offensive against the government.

“At every strategic stage, it must launch tactical offensives to change the balance of forces by inflicting more and more defeats on the enemy and gaining more and more armed strength through increased fighting experience, weapons and technical capabilities,” read the statement.

The CPP said the NPA must deal with the “impunity of high bureaucrats and military officials in perpetrating treason, plunder and human rights violations.”

“Those who commit these grave crimes are subject to summons for investigation and arrest and, if armed and dangerous or protected by armed personnel, are subject to battle by the NPA arresting unit,” read the statement.

“Retirement from reactionary government service does not free the suspects from criminal liabilities, arrest or battle. Close relatives and friends who benefit from the criminal offenses or fruits thereof must be treated as accomplices in crime.”

The CPP unveiled yesterday a five-year plan to step up the rebellion and move closer to their goal of establishing a Marxist state.

The CPP ordered the NPA to “work harder” to destroy government forces and facilities.

It also gave instructions to dismantle the “land-grabbing operations” of agriculture and mining companies that waste land that could be used for farming and destroy the environment.

“The overriding objective of the plan must be to increase the strength of the revolutionary forces and approach the goal of destroying the ruling system and replacing it with the people’s democratic state,” read the CPP statement.

Peace talks between the government and the NDF were suspended in 2004 after the rebels accused the government of instigating the inclusion of the CPP and the NPA on the US list of terrorist organizations.

In an informal meeting brokered by Norway in Oslo early this month, NDF negotiators rejected an indefinite ceasefire offered by the government as a condition for resuming formal talks.

No new meetings have been scheduled. –- James Mananghaya with Artemio Dumlao, AP

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