That, in so many words, was the response of University of the Philippines Vice President for Public Affairs Dr. Jose Dalisay to security officials’ claims that the state institution has become a rich recruiting ground for Maoists and the New People’s Army.
Dalisay’s hear-no-evil-see-no-evil viewpoint was expounded in his speech pompously titled “The Freedom of Intelligence” that was posted prominently on UP’s official website. Read it, and you will understand why indeed UP, and universities like it, continues, after 50 years of the Maoist insurgency, to fool our youth to join and die in a discredited revolutionary movement.
One obvious proof that Dalisay lives in a lofty ivory tower is that in his 3, 000-word speech he doesn’t even mention the name “New People’s Army,” which has killed probably at least 100,000 soldiers, policemen and innocent civilians since its founding in 1969.
That is indeed strange, as our security officials wouldn’t care if different factions of communists recruit the youth in the universities. What they are worried is that the recruitment is ultimately for the youth to become guerrillas of the NPA.
Dalisay refers to the NPA and to the communists whose official name is “Communist Party of the Philippines, Guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Ze Dong Thought” merely as “rebels.” This is obviously to romanticize them, and bury the two organizations’ trail of blood.
Maybe Dalisay could be forgiven since his field is fiction (his PhD is on English, from a US university). But even PhDs are, I suppose, required to have a logical mind, which Dalisay astonishingly demonstrates he sorely lacks.
He puts these peaceful protests in UP’s history against local issues, or even its so-called Diliman Commune episode, on the same level as communist fronts’ activities in campus today calling for the violent ouster of government and for students to join the NPA in order to “serve the people.”
The fictionist also argues that Maoist recruiters on campus are not a problem at all since “UP has attracted all kinds — communists and socialists, yes, but also capitalists, ultraconservative Catholics and born-again Christians, Rizalist cultists, military agents, the Ananda Marga, and Muslim separatists.”
This is another dazzling display not just of illogic, but Dalisay’s ivory-tower life. Do the capitalists, and born-again Christians, Rizalist cultists and the Ananda Marga have guerillas waging war against our democratic system, and luring gullible young students to kill soldiers and policemen and die for a totally discredited ideology?
Nearly hilarious is Dalisay’s defense that the university isn’t at all concerned about NPA activity and recruitment in its campus since “it is the same thing of top global universities like Cambridge.”
He again points to pre-war history, when Cambridge in England in the 1930s, was home to the so-called “Cambridge Five” led by Kim Philby who were moles of the Soviets in the top echelons of the British military intelligence services.
Not Maoist organization
This Dalisay fellow tries to impress us with such minutiae which he doesn’t’ really understand. The “Cambridge Five” were not members of the English version of a Maoist organization, like Kabataang Makabayan marching around the university with placards shouting “Down with US-Duterte Dictatorship.”
Their success in infiltrating even the top echelons of the British military intelligence was due to the fact that they totally managed to keep secret their conversion to Marxism. They were dubbed the “Cambridge Five” only when they were discovered to be Soviet moles in the 1960s.
If the British government had been aware of the Marxist conversion of this “Cambridge Five,” it would have come down on Cambridge College much, much harder than what our current security officials are doing, which really has been simply appealing to the university’s officials.
Dalisay fools his young audience when he claims that after all, there’s a “Communist Party of Canada Club at the University of Toronto and in Wharton, a Marx Café, an underground club of Marxist enthusiasts.”
I’m starting to think that Dalisay is not just misinformed, but is just plain dumb. These Marxist organizations are intellectual clubs, far, far from such Maoist fronts engaged in political-military struggle as Kabataang Makabayan or Bayan Muna chapters in the university that are recruiters for the NPA, which is waging a bloody war against the government.
I may be belaboring my point. Dalisay, and many in UP, pretends or even believes there’s no such colossal problem confronting the country now as the NPA’s continuing violent attempt to topple our Republic. If there is it’s not their problem, they claim, and any appeal by our security people to stop these Red recruitment is interfering with their freedom in their ivory tower.
Just like Ananda Marga
For them, the NPA’s recruiting organizations on campus are of the same genre, as Dalisay puts it, “capitalists and born-again Christians, Rizalist cultists, military agents, the Ananda Marga,” and Marx Café habitués.
This is ivory-tower thinking at such absurd heights it is unpatriotic, as it leads to a totally unconcerned mind-set on the country’s problems, on the very serious insurgency that has been luring the youth to join it right on campus.
Dalisay in his speech reveals though one reason why he and many other academics in the UP have such a mind-set. He boasts that he was a radical, “a veteran of the First Quarter Storm and the Diliman Commune, and someone who spent most of his 19th year in martial-law prison.”
I don’t know if Dalisay was a member of the communist party. I’m sure though he was a ranking leader of the radical Samahan ng Demokratikong Pilipino, which would be later on merged into the communist front youth organization the Kabataang Makabayan. Dalisay and several others were caught in the SDK’s underground “safe house,” which is the reason why he was made to spend his 19th year in detention by the Philippine Constabulary headed by Fidel Ramos.
This though explains Dalisay and several other UP academics’ mindset of looking at the NPA as merely an organization “fighting for the country’s poor” rather than one bent on capturing power, installing a communist-party dictatorship and imposing through arms — as in Pol Pot’s Cambodia — the Maoist vision of how society should be run.
They are invested in the Leftist world, amazingly even to their senior-citizen lives. Their bloated yet fragile egos cannot accept the fact that in their youth decades ago, they believed in communist chief’s Jose Ma. Sison siren songs. Dalisay’s ego cannot accept the fact that his “spending his 19th year in prison” may have been totally useless.
Temple of rationality
Dalisay, however, reveals in his speech that he has no business being in the university, which is humanity’s temple of rationality.
He says: “Some people I once respected and admired, even idolized, for their courage and commitment in fighting the dictatorship half a century ago are now among the most ardent and artful defenders of strongman rule… Former comrades who once barked loudly against the Marcoses and were even imprisoned by them have now become their lapdogs, their apologists and strategists. Jedi Masters have become Sith Lords.”
Never mind Dalisay’s descent into ad hominem argumentation, and his belief in Star Wars mythologies of good and evil personified.
It was the great economist John Maynard Keynes who I think expressed very wittingly the spirit of a university when he reportedly replied to a disparaging question why he had changed his views on certain economic issues: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
Much of the “facts” presented by Sison and the communists nearly 40 years ago, and in the heady years of the world-wide youth rebellion of the 1960s and 1970s, have been conclusively proven false. Yet people like Dalisay haven’t changed their minds.
Or maybe it would be easier for this fictionist and his like-minded Leftist colleagues in UP to understand that widely accepted aphorism:
“If you’re not a communist at the age of 20, you haven’t got a heart. If you’re still a communist at the age of 30, you haven’t got a brain.”