A ranking official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) lambasted former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo for discrediting President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 70 which institutionalizes a “whole-of-nation approach” in combatting communist insurgency.
Major General Antonio Parlade, Jr. was reacting to Ocampo’s column published in Philippine Star on Oct. 12 where he claimed that EO 70, which preferred localized peace talks (LPE), would “erect big barriers to progress in the peace process”.
“You don’t want livelihood and poverty reduction measures for our impoverished and marginalized sector? Strange, Mr. Ocampo but not really,” he said in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency on Sunday.
Duterte terminated peace talks with the Reds in November 2017 citing continued attacks against military and civilian targets while a ceasefire was in place, and their demand for a coalition.
“At ground level that’s what you have been saying. You have gained so much ground over years from peace talks and this administration terminated it,” he said in a statement sent to the Philippine News Agency on Sunday. “Great opinion, Mr. Satur Ocampo but who needs your ideas?”
Parlade, who is also Armed Forces of the Philippines Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, said with the government agreeing to earlier CPP-NPA demands of peace talks, many of the communist terrorists took advantage of the truce by presenting themselves as peace consultants, and using the mantle of respectability, it gave them an opportunity to recruit minors into their ranks.
“Vic Ladlad is just one of them but look what this consultant has to show from laptops we recovered from him? 8,635 children, aged 13-16, were recruited by Anakbayan and Kabataan into their ranks until September 2015 alone,” he said.
Many of children, he added, became full time NPAs (New People’s Army), but Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Jane Elago and ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro were only able to present two in a press conference, to refute claims they are missing.
“So what happened to the 8,633? What happened to the other children which the League of Parents of the Philippines have been clamoring to see? They are presumed dead until they are presented,” said Parlade, challenging the former National Democratic Front consultant to talk of the real achievements of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“Do the people, especially the clergy and genuine peace lovers you duped, know what the CPP really accomplished?,” he added.
Parlade enumerated them, as follows:
* Thousands of “political terrorists” released by five administrations as a sign of good will;
* Hundreds of soldiers and policemen killed from ambushes and land mines during the ceasefire, not to mention the numerous civilians caught in crossfires;
* Thousands of children recruited while ceasefire was on going;
* Hundreds of cleared barangays reclaimed by the NPAs;
* CPP collectors able to freely negotiate and extort millions from businesses and politicians;
* More money from foreign donors to fund CPP-NDF’s negotiations to attempt at peace; and
* Improved status of belligerency as CPP leaders were seen as peace lovers.
No peace after 32 years
He lamented that the implication of these communist gains is damagingly deep and complicated, and always disadvantageous to the people hence, the government and the people didn’t get the peace it wanted after 32 years.
Parlade also slammed communist rebels forcing their minor recruits to shoot it out with government troops and yet have the children of their CPP cadres and legal front organizations go to expensive schools and go on trips abroad.
“While you recruit minors, who usually end up dead after becoming NPA combatants, children of CPP cadres and Kamatayan bloc representatives are sent to expensive schools and go on trips abroad. Jose Maria Sison shows them how they can live a lavish lifestyle at the expense of Filipinos they duped into dying for their dead, rejected, and rotten cause,” he added.
Peace negotiations, he said, embolden the Makabayan bloc, selling themselves as an alternative solution to the problems of the society.
“They rake millions of government funds for programs that destroy the government and its image abroad,” he added.
Parlade also rebutted Ocampo, saying how peace talks allowed CPP-NDF to gain more leverage by having presenting themselves as “social activists”, “human rights defenders”, “academic freedom fighters.”
Abuse of press freedom
“You enjoyed abusing these freedom to bail terrorists out of jail, write in papers and blogs about your lies like you do in PhilStar, accuse government of red-tagging, harassment, tyranny, and fascism when cornered,” Parlade said. “You even file harassment cases against those in government who are vocal in exposing the truth about your duplicitous nature, especially as these are already affecting the millions of Euros you are getting from unwitting foreign funding agencies in the EU, US, and even religious congregations.”
He scored Ocampo for having the gall to complain about curtailing press freedom and human rights when it is the CPP-NPA who have been killing your own kind, including indigenous peoples who turn against communist ideology.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
“Finally people know it’s not peace and progress you and the CPP want. At the end of all these hypocrisy, its more conflict, unparalleled instability, and abject poverty that you want,” he said.
He added that given the opportunity, communists will execute a power grab and establish their own “proletarian dictatorship” based on the CPP Constitution Plans and Programs dated May 2017.
“You are the greatest scam of the century. Write about that next time,” Parlade told Ocampo. (Priam Nepomuceno, PNA)