PRESIDENT Duterte’s decision to end all peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its New People’s Army and its dummy organization, the National Democratic Front, dismantles the illusion, propagated not just by the communists but also by the president’s negotiators, that the peace talks are proceeding well, that peace is at hand.
Finally, it has taken a tough, no-nonsense president to call for an end to this now criminal organization, deluded that it can establish a one-party dictatorship in our country by killing our soldiers and police to submission. The communists’ armed attacks against the Republic have been one of the biggest factors blocking our nation’s prosperity.
Its ideologue and chief propagandist Jose Ma. Sison, now 78, has been in the Netherlands since 1987, or for 30 years, more than three times the nine years he spent in actual revolutionary practice in the Philippines. No wonder this demagogue and his followers are so totally out of touch with the situation in our country and the world, so as to preposterously demand a “coalition government,” a 1940s Maoist idea during the Chinese revolution, that is, joint sharing of power with the Republic.
Ever since peace talks were undertaken 30 years ago, the communists have been making impossible demands on government for them to lay down their arms.
If Duterte—or any other President—agrees to the communists’ demand, he will be impeached, since by doing so he is committing to the communists what isn’t his to commit: For the independent Congress to repeal or pass certain laws, according to the communists’ wishes.
If by some miracle the government repeals the laws the communists want repealed, the result would be economic Armageddon for the country. This might even be what the communists want, since the country would be in such chaos as a result that it could grab power and establish its one-party dictatorship.
Peruse some of the communists’ delusional demands in its negotiations with government, and you will be shocked, and even angry over why Duterte’s negotiators haven’t been revealing these to the public:
• The creation of a “new political authority”—a euphemism for the communists’ joint control of government—which will be empowered to implement the agreed-upon economic and social reforms;
• The recognition of and participation of the New People’s Army and its front organizations in the rural areas in the implementation of land reform;
• The total banning of all imports of agricultural and fish products;
• The repeal of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), Investors Lease Act, Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), Fisheries Code, Mining Act, Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA);
• The termination of all bilateral investment treaties and agreements, bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs), and agreements under the multilateral World Trade Organization (WTO);
• The “dismantling of import-dependent and export-oriented” companies—which now assemble computer chips and other information-technology products that make up 40 percent of our exports;
• The repeal of the law on the automatic appropriation for the public portion of the foreign debt service;
• Prohibition on the ejectment of squatters until after they are provided “with housing and utilities, employment or livelihood, and social services in the area of resettlement”;
• Scrapping of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira);
• A ban on “advertisements and the airtime” that spread “colonial mentality, foreign worship, consumerism, and other similarly objectionable values”;
• The abolition of value-added taxes and excise taxes on basic goods and services;
• The institution of capital controls “to promote financial stability” and stabilize the peso’s international value; and
• The cancellation of foreign debts that are “onerous or fraudulent”.
In short, the communists are mainly demanding that government reverse nearly all of its economic reforms in the past several decades, as embodied in laws passed by more than a dozen Congresses.
It is astonishing that these communists like Sison and CPP chairman Benito Tiamzon, isolated from the country in Holland or in our godforsaken jungles for decades, see themselves as expert economists who know how an economy should be developed.
If the Duterte government agrees to undertake just one of these demands, the result would be a deadly blow to the country’s image of economic stability, which in turn would trigger such a total loss of confidence in our economy, resulting in massive capital flight.
These demands are contained in the so-called Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (Caser) that it had submitted to government negotiators, and which Sison and his negotiators keep babbling about as if Duterte could just very easily okay it.
Our negotiators and the communists, even as they have been blabbering continuously about the “Caser,” have refused to release it to the public. I managed to get my copy only through my sources.
Our panel have fallen into the communists’ plot to portray the Caser as the embodiment of their noble agenda to undertake reforms that would uplift the country’s poor.
Secretary Jesus Dureza, the presidential adviser on the peace process, has even been trying to get government agencies to support the Caser, saying that “it will address the problems that lead to armed conflict—landlessness, poverty and inequality.”
Haven’t our negotiators been consulting with Duterte’s economic managers to find out what they think of such provisions in the Caser as the imposition of capital controls, and the scrapping of economic bilateral agreements? Or have they been spending too much time wining and dining with the communists, exchanging jokes with them in Norway and the Netherlands?
What is so shocking in the Caser is its Section 6 of Part VI: “This Agreement shall be binding upon the GRP and the NDFP and their respective successors. Any change in the form of the political structure, government and authority within the GRP shall not affect the validity and binding nature of this Agreement.”
How can the communists demand that an agreement which Duterte would sign should be honored and implemented by all future presidents and by prime ministers, in case the country shifts to a parliamentary form of government?
What the communists are asking for is not what Duterte can give, nor even promise to give: For the Congress, which is an independent branch of government, to pass laws that would repeal what the communists don’t like and enact laws they think would further the revolution.
Read the Caser (email me if you want a copy) and if you’ve been a student of the communist movement (or a member, as I had been), you will see that it is entirely based on the view that Communist Party founder Jose Sison presented in 1968—plagiarized from the writings of Mao Zedong and Indonesian communist chief Aidit—that the Philippines is a “semi-colonial and semi-feudal” country.
In fact, the Caser openly claims that in entering into the agreement, the NDF is guided by the “Guide for Establishing the People’s Democratic Government and the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution of the Communist Party of the Philippines.” Both documents were made in 1968 – or 40 years ago. For the communists, nothing at all has changed in the country’s economy, and Sison’s (or more accurately, Mao’s) godlike vision is still applicable to our country in this day and age.
And here’s what’s also shocking. Sison, who wrote the Caser, demands that it be signed first before the communists agree to a ceasefire. This is in the Caser’s Section 3, Article VI: “The Parties agree that, irrespective of the course and outcome of the peace negotiations, the provisions of this Agreement that uphold the economic, social and cultural rights of the people shall remain in force and in effect.”
What idiocy is this? The communists are demanding that Caser be signed as one of the conditions for them to agree to a peace pact. Yet, they are saying that even if the peace talks fall through—say, if the NPA decides to launch a full-scale attack on government forces— the Caser will remain in force?
Yet still another shocking provision in the Caser, in its very last section: Section 7. “To enhance and strengthen the legal and moral force and effect of this Agreement, the representatives of the governments hosting the formal negotiations as well as those of the UN Secretary General, the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN Commission on Human Rights shall sign this Agreement as witnesses upon the signing of the same by the negotiating panels of both Parties.”
What lunacy is this? The communists in effect are demanding that the government treats the Caser as an agreement between two states, as witnessed by the UN!
For making such impossible and even absurd demands, I suspect Sison and these septuagenarian communists in Utrecht are getting senile, and enjoying themselves with the fantasy that they have won the revolution, and are now outlining what their “coalition government” would be doing.
Or, they are so wily that the peace talks give their NPA the opportunity to strengthen itself, with the publicity making it more frightening that it will be easier for them to extort more money—reputedly P1.5 billion annually—from helpless businesses and landlords in our rural hinterlands,
Meanwhile, thousands of Filipinos in the country are getting killed yearly in their now irrelevant attempt at revolution.
Our nation really has no choice but to crush this terrorist organization, which has been pulling the country down as much as the drug lords.