IT IS WAR

Oct 2, 2022

A Regional Trial Court in Manila has just rendered a decision that the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New Peoples Army (CPP-NPA) are not terrorist groups. We have to respect that decision. It is quite understandable really how the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 arrived at such a conclusion given the view posited by Judge Marlo Magdoza-Salazar in her ruling which stated that the group’s
(CPP-NPA) Ten Point Program “readily shows that the CPPNPA is organized or exists, not for the purpose of engaging in terrorism.” (https:// www.manilatimes.net/2022/09/ 23/news/national/cpp-npa-notterror-groups/1859425)

She has to be correct on that point considering that the CPP-NPA as a communist organization is actually hell bent on continuing with a sputtering revolution in its avowed aim and objective of seizing political power through an armed and legal struggle, and to overthrow the present democratic form of government
and replace it with their own communist-party rule. These are the two primary objectives of the CPP-NPA and so far in a little more than fifty years of their violent campaign they have failed time and again to
achieve these goals. In fact the CPP-NPA came up with the strategy of a protracted people’s war and which is divided into three major stages.

The first stage being strategic defense, the second stage is strategic statement and finally the third stage strategic offensive. (https://1library.net/ article/cpp-npa objectives strategies and  tactics.yneg8gxl) The regional trial court astutely determined that the CPP-NPA are not really terrorists but the actors in an
armed rebellion against the duly instituted and recognized democratic government of the Philippines. They are in fact conducting war and not terrorism against the Philippine government and the country.

And because of this and in defense of all that is considered democratic in this country the national government has no choice but to reciprocate and conduct its own counteroffensive. In other words the country is in a state of war against the CPP-NPA. That was the situation back then fifty years ago and is still the same situation now in this year 2022. Previous administrations, with the exception perhaps of the
one led by former president Rodrigo Duterte and that of former President Ferdinand Marcos, were not
really that sure on how to handle the communist insurgency.

Former President Duterte, who initially wanted to talk peace with the CPP-NPA, grasp the situation clearly
realizing that no amount of peace overtures would work for the CPP-NPA to abandon its objective of overthrowing the present democratic government and supplanting it with the communist ideology. This led to the issuance of Executive Order no. 70 series of 2018 which adopted a whole-of-nation approach in combatting the insurgency with the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed
Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), as well as the passage of the Anti Terrorism Law which has already been declared by the Supreme Court as constitutional.

These are other measures that have been adopted by the national government in its war against the CPP-NPA, the failed attempt to declare them as terrorists being one of them. At the moment the whole of nation
approach strategy of the government seems to be working. By engaging all local government units down to the barangay level to be partners against insurgency the government has gradually been able to restrict and constrict the movement and operational capability of the CPP-NPA.

The question now seems to be whether the present administration of Ferdinand ‘BongBong’ Marcos will adopt the NTF-ELCAC program initiated by his predecessor or come up with his own strategy on how to finally win the war against the CPP-NPA. With his recent talks with US President Joe Biden at the United Nations one has to wonder whether the issue of the CPP-NPA was discussed and whether reassurances were made by both of them of the need to end the said insurgency.

Finally, it is well to recall that the United States as a first world country had already designated the CPP-NPA as terrorist groups in August 12, 2002 thru Executive Order 13224 issued by former president
George Bush on September 23, 2001 as a response to the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
This is renewed every year. SEVERAL months after the US Department of State and the European Union (EU), affirmed that the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (CPPNPA), are “terrorist organizations,” this is surprisingly yet to be reported by the country’s mainstream
media.

As far back as September 10, 2019, US Secretary of State (in charge of US foreign affairs) Michael ‘Mike’ Pompeo had issued a statement announcing the “modernization” of EO 13224. EO 13224 was originally
signed by then US president, George W. Bush, on September 23, 2001, two days after a terrorist attack that brought down the famous ‘Twin Tower’ (World Trade Center) in New York City and which killed at
least 2,600 US citizens. Its annexes contain the updated list of groups and individuals the US government
deemed as “terrorists.” “Today, the President (Donald Trump) signed an Executive Order modernizing
and expanding sanctions to combat terrorism.

“This Executive Order the most significant update of terrorism designation authorities since the aftermath
of the 9/11 attacks – enhances the United States’ ability to target and deprive terrorists and their enablers of financial, material, and logistical support worldwide,” Pompeo said in his opening statement. Immediately included in the US ‘terrorist list’ signed by Bush is the ‘Abu Sayyaf Group’ (ASG), based in Mindanao. The ASG was ranked number three, after the ‘Al Qaida/Islamic Army’ headed by Usama Bin Laden (No. 13 in the list) and, ‘Abou Iyadh’ or ‘Seifallah Ben Hassine,’ a close associate of Bin Laden.
(Bin Laden was killed by US special forces inside Pakistan on May 2, 2011).

In 2012, the US added 9 more, one individual and 8 terrorist groups, of which three groups were based in the Philippines, namely: Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and, the New People’s Army (NPA). The lone individual included in the list is CPP-NPA founder, Jose Maria Sison.
Both Sison and the CPPNPA were proscribed by the US Government on August 12, 2002 while the JI on October 23, 2002. Three more PH-based terrorist groups and one individual were added to the US
list, the Rajah Sulayman Movement (RSM) and its top official, Hilarion del Rosario on June 16, 2008 and the Maute Group and ISIS (Islamic State) Philippines on February 27, 2018.

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