COMMUNIST Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison inadvertently revealed his true self, his real personality when from his comfortable home in the Netherlands he declared a few days ago:
“The NPA in 17 regions has…the capacity of knocking out at least one AFP soldier every day per region. That eliminates at least 510 enemy troops or some five companies every month nationwide. That translates to the elimination of some 60 companies or 20 basic battalions every year.”
For Sison, the lives of Filipinos, soldiers sworn to defend the Republic from its enemies, are mere numbers, to be body-counted so he could estimate that killing just one soldier a day would mean wiping out 20 Philippine Army battalions.
In Sison’s 78-year old deranged mind, at that kill-rate and with the Army having 120 battalions, it would just take about five to six years for him to be put in power as head of a one-party state, the “People’s Republic of the Philippines.”
Sison’s calculation, with his one-soldier-a-day-killed assumption, reminded me of Nazi SS and Gestapo generals, dramatized in the film “Conspiracy,” calculating how many bodies its gas chambers could “accommodate” in 24 hours so the 3 million Jews in the countries it occupied could be “processed” in a year.
Sison is clueless that even if just one soldier were killed every week, that would mean a terrible war in our countrysides. The military won’t just sit on their asses, and would retaliate, and as all wars have proven, this war will result in thousands, even hundreds of innocents being killed.
Sison is a complete megalomaniac, believing in his mind he is the Mao Zedong or Ho Chi Minh of the Philippines, that if only the New People’s Army does what he orders, the Communist Party—and he—would easily capture power. (Indeed, even his nom de guerre Amado Guerrero, which means “Beloved Warrior,” says so much about this man.)
Megalomania has been the disease of all leaders who have fooled people that they are out to create a better world, the likes of Stalin, Pol Pot, and even religious leaders.
The reality is that Sison and such demagogues see themselves as gods creating a world, and having power over life and death.
A widespread view is that the youth are susceptible to communist recruitment, and easily believe the lies of the likes of Sison because they are idealistic. This is true only to a very limited extent.
Teenagers’ egos are still mostly unformed, thus their usual awkward self-consciousness. Thus they are so easily attracted by the prospect of being ‘heroes (or heroines)” in a glorious revolution, and of being members of a “secret society,” as the Communist Party.
The only difference between a teenager recruited into a religious cult (so he will see himself as a “servant of God,” with a reserved seat in Heaven) to one recruited into the NPA (so he will see himself as the hero of the Revolution, with his name engraved in some future monument) is that the latter would be called on to kill someone.
I have been witness to this terrible phenomenon myself, as I joined the Communist Party when I was 17 and rose through the ranks to become the head of its Manila-Rizal organization: To kill or order killed a “counter-revolutionary” creates that heady feeling of being some kind of god, having power over life and death. (That really isn’t so strange a feeling: The most popular computer games are those where the player kills brutally an “enemy,” the more enemies killed, the higher the score.)
That is the same phenomenon that explains why insurgents of diverse backgrounds, from Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, to African warlord armies, to our Abu Sayaff, to the Islamic State, manage to get children and teen-agers as their fiercest, most ruthless soldiers.
Sison and his inner core in the party’s early years were so quick to order assassinations of perceived “enemies of the revolution,” such as “Ka Eddie,” a UE student whom I admired, and the former head of the party’s trade union bureau, Noli Collantes on flimsy suspicions of cooperating with the government.
Sison thought little of the value of lives that he was willing to kill even his allies, the Liberal Party senatorial candidates—except apparently his close friend Benigno Aquino Jr.—when he ordered that their miting de avance in Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971, be bombed with grenades hurled by three teams.
Why did he order such a gruesome terrorist attack?
By 1971, the “revolutionary” flow of the massive student demonstrations against Marcos had ebbed. Sison thought that an attack on the Liberal Party blamed on Marcos would reignite the people’s revolutionary fervor so much that there were would be more gullible students that would join the NPA and use the over 5,000 rifles that Maoist China had scheduled to ship to his fledgling army the next year through that second-hand vessel named MV Karagatan.
The movement that the Communist Party has been leading has, without the shadow of a doubt, caused tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths in our country, while its continuing role in politics and in our youth has been a major factor for our underdevelopment.
Most developed countries in Asia had decisively wiped out their communist movements decades ago—South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia—and have grown to be robust democracies with robust economies.
When I embraced the Revolution in the early 1970s we didn’t have the means to check whether Sison’s gushing over China’s “Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution,” which he asked his recruits to emulate, was warranted. It would be revealed only in the years after Mao’s death in 1976 that it was a disaster that claimed as many as 30 million lives because of the economic devastation it caused.
It seems hilarious now that we believed the lie that Albania under communist dictator Enver Hoxa was a European proletarian paradise. We know now that nearly half of Albania’s population has fled the country because of its impoverishment under communist rule.
There was no way of checking in that era that Sison’s Philippine Society and Revolution, the local communist bible, was a nearly a word-for-word plagiarism of Indonesian communist chief Dipa Nusantara Aidit’s Indonesian Society and Indonesian Revolution, which in turn was copied from Mao Zedong’s works. I discovered that only a few years ago through the magic of Google.
Marxism has been one of the most powerful analytical tools for understanding the innards of a society. But the Communist Party of the Philippines has become nothing but a party led by aging megalomaniacs lusting for power.
It has as little relation to Marxism as our Liberal Party has to John Locke’s liberal philosophy that inspired the American and French revolutions. The Communist Party can’t even condemn the foreign-controlled telephone monopoly which any real Marxist would easily see as a case of advanced capitalism generating super-profits from an undeveloped country—because the telephone companies have been their biggest financiers.
I find it astonishing that in this age of the internet, when one could access almost any information one would want, some students—especially those marching down UP’s corridors shouting 1970-vintage communist slogans—would still believe in Sison and his now irrelevant party of the aged.
Why the hell don’t they use the internet?