IT is so despicable, and the height of duplicity, for communist mouthpieces, present and former Bayan Muna representatives Carlos Zarate and Teodoro Casiño, to claim — even in the halls of Congress that is a pillar of our democracy — that the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) are not their nor the Filipinos’ enemies.
How could they have the gall to claim this when the CPP-NPA is responsible for over 50,000 military, police and civilian deaths; when in their official publications, they boast of ambushing and killing the Republic’s military and police; when even its “chairman emeritus” Jose Ma. Sison two years ago publicly asked the NPA to kill at least one soldier a day?
Official records — i.e., combat reports and death benefits to soldiers’ families of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) — show that the NPA has killed 14,000 of its troops from 1975 to June this year. This is four times the 3,145 of our troops killed by both the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and 82 times by the Islamic terrorists Abu Sayyaf.
But this is an underestimate of actual casualties, as these do not include the deaths that occur months or years after a soldier dies from a wound from an NPA bullet or mine. Many AFP records during the martial law period and the first years of the Cory Aquino regime, were also lost when the AFP headquarters building burned down from rebel fire during the 1989 coup attempt.
I estimate that a total of 53,000 Filipinos have been killed as a result of the CPP’s efforts to topple our democracy. I assume the same number of 13,304 AFP soldiers the NPA killed to be those killed among the police, its network of agents, civilians and including those among the NPA itself since after all these have been poor peasants, workers and gullible youth fooled by the CPP’s elites.
This is not far from the 43,000 number of Filipinos killed estimated by a former ranking CPP leader-turned-Dutch-citizen and academic Nathan Quimpo in his book Contested Democracy and the Left in the Philippines after Marcos.
The CPP-NPA even devoured its own children, so to speak. At least 2,000 of its cadres were executed (after being tortured) because of suspicions they were military agents in the campaigns, called “Cadena de Amor,” “Ahos,” “Operation Missing Link” and “Olympia.” The CPP in a later investigation concluded that not even a dozen of those killed were military agents. I am waiting for Philippine Star columnist and former NDF bigwig Satur Ocampo to write a column on this — I was told it was he who stopped the madness.
I even have several comrades close to me who were executed by the CPP, allegedly for breaking away from it: its first trade union bureau head (and central committee member) Noli Collantes; Manila-Rizal party head Popoy Lagman; Mindanao Commission head and legendary NPA leader Rolly Kintanar; Northern Luzon party leader Arturo Tabara; and the famous Cordillera guerrilla chief, the former Society of the Divine Word priest Conrado Balweg.
Zarate, Casino and their ilk think Filipinos are fools. How can they claim the CPP-NDF is not an enemy of the Republic when its CPP constitution, program and its thousands of statements categorically say that its task is to smash the democratic state through violence?
They think we are so stupid as to not think that this will mean the killing of tens of thousands of our troops, and the deaths of civilians killed because of the crossfire as well as from plain hunger and disease which always accompanies war of any kind.
They should realize that all so-called wars of liberation, failed or succeeded, have always been at the cost of hundreds of thousands to millions killed, as in China (8 million, 1927-1949), Spain (1 million, 1936-1939), and Vietnam 4.3 million, 1966-1972.
How can they claim that the CPP-NPA is not an enemy when their official documents themselves refer to the AFP as “enemies?” Even those vanity-project autobiographies by former communists casually refer to the military as “enemies.” They can call the Republic’s military as the enemy, but the state cannot refer to them as such?
For these urban middle-class CPP minions like Casiño and Zarate (whose sons studied in the most expensive colleges here and abroad ) and even the communist leaders like Sison, his wife Julie and their NDF gang in Utrecht in the Netherlands, “revolutionary war” are abstractions they have romanticized and don’t really existentially know the horrors of. They see themselves as if in a movie as glorious “revolutionary leaders,” when what they have done is to merely direct an insurgency that has led to tens of thousands of Filipinos being killed, and Filipinos getting to be poorer and more miserable as businesses flee the areas where the NPA operates.
While asking teenagers to join the NPA, these people have never even fired a rifle, never lived with an NPA squad spending hungry nights in rainy, mosquito-infested jungles, never killed an AFP soldier and saw how blood spurts in mini-fountains after an Armalite bullet pierces a body, how corpses have that out-of-this-world, horrific look.
Casiño, Zarate and their ilk like the naïve UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo sickeningly refer to the CPP-NPA and its front organizations like their own party-lists as “revolutionary” or “progressive.”
How can they be called “revolutionary” or “progressive” when they are advancing very old retrogressive ideas of communism and dictatorship of the proletariat, which have been totally disproven?
Let’s tell it like it is. The CPP-NPA has left a broad trail of blood in the landscape of our land.
Past administrations, especially the two Aquino regimes, allowed the CPP-NPA to grow. President Duterte appears to have a deep understanding of the insurgency, as Davao had been its epicenter in the 1980s. It will be his and his successor’s tremendous legacy if they end this terrible, bloody curse on the nation.