THE primordial duty of any nation-state is to defend its existence. This is the reason why all nations in the world, except for the pseudo-state called The Vatican, each have an army. Other than its armed forces, a state’s weapon for defending its existence is through laws that it can apply within its sovereign territory.
Why the hell don’t we have a law banning the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) — the Maoist organization founded by the permanent Netherlands blabbermouth Jose Ma. Sison — its New People’s Army, its negotiating arm and propagandist the National Democratic Front, and its front organizations such as Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and several other so-called party-list organizations?
The CPP’s Constitution (available on the internet) very categorically declares that its goal is to overthrow our democratic, republican system using the weapons of “revolutionary armed struggle and the national united front.” Its program declares that is to be done by building guerilla fronts “to encircle the cities from the countryside… until it becomes possible to seize power in the cities.”
And what will replace the Philippine Republic, its Congress and Constitution? “The Party as the ruling party, in representation of the working class, shall form the government,” the CPP program declares.
Yesterday, the party even had the gall to issue a statement — carried by all newspapers — ordering the NPA to attack, that is, to kill without provocation our soldiers and policemen. The statement declared: “ The CPP calls on the NPA to mount tactical offensives across the country in response to the extension of martial law in Mindanao. All NPA units must exert all possible effort to punish the worst fascist units and officers of the AFP…”
What is shocking in the CPP statement is that it even threatened Congress: “Everyone who voted in favor of extending martial rule in Mindanao will have their names tainted with the blood of each and every victim of Duterte’s all-out war.” In the CPP’s code, to be “tainted with blood” means to have “blood-debts,” and therefore to be executed under its brand of “revolutionary justice.”
Have we become a nation of masochists that we don’t have a law to ban an organization that has declared war on our way of life?
Most countries in the world facing insurgencies led by communists have banned these organizations, as a means of defeating them. Even India declared 10 illegal Maoist parties in 1990. Even former members of the dissolved communist-ruled USSR, such as Ukraine, have criminalized communist parties in their nations. Indonesia’s total ban on the Indonesian Communist Party in 1965 helped it demolish what was then the second biggest communist party (after China’s) in the world. Thailand’s ban on its communist insurgency in the late 1970s — coupled with an amnesty to those who surrendered in a few years defeated the rebellion.
We did have a law criminalizing the communist party, the Anti-Subversion Act of 1957, which was enacted before Sison’s party was established, and was directed at the old Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas and its army the Hukbalahap Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan. Marcos strengthened the law through several presidential decrees and executive orders.
Aquino freed Sison
It was President Corazon Aquino who strengthened the CPP in 1986 when she freed Sison and all other top communist leaders captured — at great cost to military intelligence’s lives — by the Marcos regime. But, not only that, she defanged the Anti-Subversion Law.
It was under the administration of her chosen candidate, president Fidel Ramos — who ironically as Philippine Constabulary chief was in charge of defeating the CPP-NPA during the 13 years of martial law — that the Anti-Subversion Act was repealed in September 1992.
A key sentence in the old Anti-Subversion Act is still very relevant today: “The Congress hereby declares the Communist Party of the Philippines to be an organized conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for the purpose of establishing in the Philippines a totalitarian regime and place the Government under the control and domination of an alien power.”
What would such a law banning the CPP accomplish? A lot.
First, laws reflect the national consensus and policy. A law criminalizing the CPP would mean that we as a nation have become so fed up after 50 years of this terrorist organization’s existence and its dragging down of our country’s development, that we want it obliterated from this land.
It is quite admirable for President Duterte to issue last week Executive Order 70 that creates a task force against the Maoist insurgency and calls for a “whole-of-nation approach” in attaining an “inclusive and sustainable peace.” He is the first president to declare that it is his policy and determination to defeat the Maoists.
But its impact would be magnified a hundred times if there is a law that calls for such a task force and approach, so this would be a national policy that would continue even after Duterte steps down in 2022.
Second, depending on the features of such an anti-CPP law, it would make incarceration of the CPP’s ranking leaders and even its rank-and-file easier, as the law would make it a de facto crime to be a party member. Since the emergence of the Maoists in the 1970s, authorities had to prove that communist leaders and even NPA commanders were involved in homicide and murder, in order for them to be arrested and jailed.
Perhaps if Sison can be proven here to be a Maoist party member, and therefore in violation of the anti-communist law, the Philippine government can request his extradition from the Netherlands.
With such a law, foolish academics like UP Vice President Jose Dalisay won’t be able to pontificate that NPA recruiters in campus are merely the same kind of people as “ultra-conservative Catholics and born-again Christians, Rizalist cultists, military agents, the Ananda Marga.” There will be a law that would make these NPA recruiters criminals, with people like Dalisay declared to be colluding with criminals.
The Maoists extensively use the world wide web for its propaganda efforts, as Islamic jihadists do, mainly but not exclusively through the website Philippine Revolution Web Central (https://www.philippinerevolution.info).
If we have a law criminalizing Sison’s party, the government can ask the website’s server (the outfit that hosts the website for global access) to desist from providing the criminal organization web services, just as most servers in the world have stopped hosting website of Islamic jihadists. That would go a long way in cutting off the party’s propaganda reach, especially to the youth.
And third, a law criminalizing Sison’s party could be part of a strategy to finally end this useless, bloody insurgency. Such a law could offer an amnesty to those who admit their membership in the party and register with the government within a specific period of time. That in fact was what Thailand did to defeat its own communist insurgency in the 1970s.
Sison’s communist scourge upon this nation will be half-a-century-old this month. It is time for Filipinos to unite against this curse that has been bringing our nation down, which has killed over 100,000 policemen, soldiers and innocent civilians.
Is there any doubt at all that Sison’s CPP has been a criminal organization for 50 years now?