An unholy alliance
THE Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is supporting and has mobilized its forces to support the presidential bid of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, according to my sources.
They confirmed Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s disclosures last week that the communists’ legal fronts have infiltrated Robredo’s campaign organization.
Lacson also claimed that his intelligence sources reported that the communists asked their mass base to join the recent rallies of the Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan group, unexpectedly swelling their ranks. A top government official of Cavite told me: “All our leaders reported that many of those that joined the Gen[eneral] Trias rally were from the CPP network in Southern Luzon.”
Rather stupidly, a statement by CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena, posted on the insurgency’s website, cpp.ph, which was intended to deny the allegations of Lacson — whom he called “Duterte’s attack dog” — was all praises for Robredo; in effect, confirming its support for the vice president:
“The Robredo-Pangilinan campaign is proving to be the most formidable electoral challenge to the ruling Duterte clique. So far, it is Robredo’s campaign and rallies which have successfully brought together the broadest array of democratic forces.”
The CPP statement, however, clarified that “neither the CPP nor the NDFP (National Democratic Front of the Philippines) forged any agreement” with the Robredo camp. My sources claimed that the statement is accurate, as the CPP and Robredo’s inner circles are still negotiating how much the CPP will have to be “reimbursed” for its costs in mobilizing its forces for Robredo. Ironically, the sources claimed, the Robredo camp is trying to secure such funding from an anti-Duterte New York Filipino American as well as from entities known to be financing anti-Duterte news sites as Rappler, Vera Files, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.
The CPP is also demanding that the Robredo camp issue a formal statement that it commits to opening peace talks with the communists, immediately when it assumes power.
The CPP actually had made an earlier statement that is only a bit short of calling Robredo the ideal president for the county, which therefore it is supporting. The March 7 editorial of the party newspaper Ang Bayan declared: “As the election campaign heats up, large rallies supporting Leni Robredo are gaining ground across the country, bringing together the people’s anger against the Duterte regime’s fascism, corruption and treachery.”
Indeed, rallies have been the forte of the communists, having done that for over 40 years and the CPP statement is its message to Robredo, that they have much to contribute to her tack now of portraying that more and more Filipinos are supporting her.
Another communist forte — getting a tiny group of cadres in an organization to issue a statement purportedly by the entire organization, when most of the “signatories” were simply going along with the manifesto and had not really studied it — has recently marked Robredo’s campaign, such as “Economists for Leni,” “Pisay Students and Alumni for Leni,” “Ateneo students for Leni” that one wit made fun of it by posting on Facebook a photo of Robredo posters in a cemetery, with the caption “Mga Bangkay para kay Leni.” I doubt though if the Pinks post on Facebook: “Mga Komunista para kay Leni.”
However, I don’t think the communist support for Robredo will boost her votes. The two party-lists most identified with the communists — Bayan Muna and Anakpawis — got only 606,566 and 367,376 votes in the 2016 elections, and not all of these organizations’ supporters are likely to vote Robredo, if they themselves are fans of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. The communist support would likely backfire against Robredo, with most Filipinos knowing the bloody track record of the communist insurgency in the country.
Robredo has actually behind her a most unholy alliance: a faction of the Catholic Church; the atheist and violent Communist Party; the communists’ No. 1 enemy as declared in its constitution and program of action, US imperialism; and a section of the business class.
A faction of the Catholic Church since the 1970s had been infiltrated heavily by communists in the guise of crusaders of Latin American style “liberation theology” (the prime proponent having been Edicio de la Torre, now a harmless NGO official) and therefore have been hardcore anti-Marcos activists. They see Duterte as the ideological heir of Marcos, with the son, of course, a resurrection of the father.
The US is dead set on preventing a Marcos presidency at this time, primarily because it desperately needs the Philippines to be its puppet and pawn to counter China’s rise as a superpower in the region, a role President Rodrigo Duterte deftly rejected. The communists by dogma are virulently anti-Marcos, toward the father and the son.
A section of the business elite prefer a malleable president — as Benigno Aquino 3rd was — rather than a strong-willed president who knows exactly where he will lead the Philippines. There is a growing suspicion that the Indonesian-owned First Pacific Group run by Manuel Pangilinan is supporting Robredo, as its longtime director Albert del Rosario is openly supporting her and since she was officially declared the presidential candidate by that press conference outfit 1Sambayanan that he was a convenor of. News coverage of the Philippine Star, owned by that conglomerate, has also become distinctly pro-Robredo in recent months.
I don’t think Robredo’s unholy alliance would make a dent on Marcos Jr.’s formidable lead 56 days to the election on May 9. The most reliable pollster in the country, Laylo and Associates, found that based on a huge 3,000 respondents, 63 percent will vote for Marcos compared to Robredo’s 17 percent. That Robredo is disliked by Filipinos is validated in some way by the Social Weather Stations’ poll undertaken on December 12 to 16, which found that 40 percent of Filipinos were dissatisfied with Robredo’s performance as vice president, a sharp increase from her 27 percent in September.
Not a few communist activists don’t really like the new roles they’ve been given as campaigners for Robredo. “From Reds, we’re told to be Pinks. I hate that,” one said.
I dare Robredo to deny these columns’ allegations, by simply issuing a statement, along the following lines:
“The Communist Party and its New People’s Army for more than 50 years now have been trying to topple through violence our democratic system, killing over 50,000 of our men in uniform and helpless civilians. Their existence is one of the causes of the country’s poverty, since the lawlessness they have created in areas they have operated cannot create conditions of peace and security necessary for government delivery of services to its citizens and for businesses to operate. I reject any form of cooperation with the communists in my campaign to win the presidency.”
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