Communism not really a bad thing, says AFP head

Published by rudy Date posted on May 22, 2011
MANILA, Philippines—Communism is not bad—in fact it’s legal, says the man who commands the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its war against the 42-year-old Maoist insurgency.
Notwithstanding his position, AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Eduardo Oban said he believes communism is not a terrible thing at all, at least as a personal philosophy.
“You know, communism as an ideology is not bad. Actually, under the Constitution, communism is legal,” he said on the sidelines of a news conference on Thursday.
Under the Bill of Rights, “no person shall be detained solely by reason of his political beliefs and aspirations.”
From 2004 until late last year, negotiations to end the insurgency had stalled after the communists accused the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of instigating the inclusion of the CPP’s armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), in US and European terrorist rosters.
Then in February, formal talks started anew in Oslo, Norway between the government and CPP’s political arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The Aquino administration hopes to forge a political settlement by June.
That hope may be permeating the ranks of the military and the police as well.
Communists, Oban remarked, only turn rogue once they pick up a gun.
“That’s our baseline. Our threshold is when a particular person starts carrying a weapon. That’s when we will go after them,” he said. “When they try to overthrow the government, that’s when we’ll go after them.”
This week, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said in an address to Cagayan Valley Policemen that perhaps, “our friends in the communist movement” might take a second look at their position and reconsider laying down their arms for good.
“Maybe it’s time to think that we can’t forever be killing each other. Both sides get wounded or killed. Even we (the police) get wounded or killed also,” said PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo, using words that contrasted somewhat with the recent actions of the police and the military.
In past weeks, the AFP and the PNP engaged the NPA in a series of skirmishes. One operation in Cagayan Valley led to the deaths of five rebels, including a local leader, and the capture of four others.
Whatever the outcome of the peace talks, Oban made it clear the AFP would be ready to face and eliminate any remaining threat from the leftists. –DJ Yap, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Month – Workers’ month

“Hot for workers rights!”

 

Continuing
Solidarity with CTU Myanmar,
trade unions around the world,
for democracy in Myanmar,
with the daily protests of
people in Myanmar against
the military coup and
continuing oppression.

 

Accept National Unity Government
(NUG) of Myanmar.
Reject Military!

#WearMask #WashHands
#Distancing
#TakePicturesVideos

Time to support & empower survivors.
Time to spark a global conversation.
Time for #GenerationEquality to #orangetheworld!
Trade Union Solidarity Campaigns
Get Email from NTUC
Article Categories