Documents publicly-available from the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) website detail reports on human rights violations that allegedly occurred under the administration of President Cory Aquino. The documents, dated between the 15th and the 29th December 1988, cite reports issued by London-based Amnesty International that assert that incidences of torture perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) “have increased since the Manila government stepped up its counter-insurgency campaign against Communist rebels”.
The CIA report also quotes then President Aquino who, in her official response to Amnesty international, defends her government and points to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its terrorist arm the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as the more culpable party involved in any human rights abuse happening in the Philippines.
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A report on militant organisations published on the Stanford University website describes how the CPP-NPA is founded on the premise that China is the source of both ideology and resources to effect violent revolution in the Philippines. The report also shows the history of the CPP-NPA’s efforts to solicit support from other terrorist organisations around the world.
From its 1969 establishment until the 1976 normalization of Philippine-Chinese relations, the CPP-NPA received support, weapons, and funds from China. However, even though the CPP-NPA modeled its armed struggle on China’s own Maoist movement, Chinese support for the CPP-NPA seems to have been limited. The CPP-NPA also sought support, weapons, funds, and training from like-minded groups overseas, including the Japanese Red Army (JRA), the Maoist factions of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the Sandinistas, the Communist Party of El Salvador, and many other organizations…
Most disturbing of all is the account of the Stanford report of events that sealed the record of the CPP-NPA as an enemy of the state as well as the baffling way that its current ally, the Liberal Party (today known as the Yellowtards), contributed to the twisting of facts that led to a confused record of these events.
In February 1971, [CPP founder Jose Maria] Sison met with CPP-NPA Central Committee members to discuss his plan to attack a Manila rally of the Liberal Party, which opposed President Marcos. The purpose of the attack was to provoke another government crackdown and ideally gain support for the CPP-NPA. On August 21, three CPP-NPA members threw four grenades onstage at the rally in Manila’s Plaza Miranda before fleeing the city to a CPP-NPA camp.
Even back then, the confused nature with which the Philippines’ political leaders respond to clear acts of terrorism was on exhibit. Rather than be unified across partisan interests in condemning a bald atrocity perpetrated by a Cold War enemy the Liberal Party, instead, blamed the attack on the government of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
Liberal Party members blamed President Marcos for the attack, which had killed much of his opposition. Marcos, who blamed the CPP-NPA for the bombing, responded by suppressing leftist political activity and suspending habeas corpus. These measures marked an increase in Marcos’ power. In response to Marcos’ repression, hundreds of student recruits joined the CPP-NPA.   Meanwhile, Sison denied that the CPP-NPA had been involved in the attack.
Things haven’t changed much in the last half-century since.
Today, it is interesting how the current Yellowtard-led Opposition, its lackeys in Big Corporate Media, and its circle of so-called “activists” dishonestly water down the nature of the CPP-NPA as terrorists and enemies of the state. They denounce “red tagging” of leftist groups as a “ploy” perpetrated by the government to endanger the lives of members of these leftist groups. However there has been no categorical denial of links between the CPP-NPA and these so-called “leftist” groups coming from any of their leaders.
Indeed, the Yellowtards and their presidential candidate “vice president” Leni Robredo are in bed with legal front groups of the CPP-NPA as they mount a campaign to prevent the rise of leading presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and his running mate Sara Duterte. They use the buzzword “red tagging” to keep all conversation about the Philippines’ communist problem muddied and assure themselves the breathing space they need to continue their illicit activities in the country’s university campuses and in the countryside.
Former Rep. Neri Colmenares who chairs Bayan Muna, one of the legal fronts of the CPP-NPA, is a staunch supporter of Robredo’s bid for the presidency. Not surprisingly, Colmenares would rather be defensive than be supportive of fact finding with regard to the CPP-NPA’s terrorist activities. His approach is to introduce a political red herring to the argument — one that paints his lot as “victims” of a conspiracy to deny them their right to participate in the national debate.
Colmenares thinks that silencing critics and making them think twice about voicing concerns and opinions – and eventually kicking the carping Makabayan bloc out of office – is a way to weaken the opposition before the 2022 national elections.
“One of the reasons why they’ve been planning to Red-tag is because dissent and criticisms are mounting, so they need a more active tagging […] to stifle (dissent). That’s the real intention of Red-tagging, it has been going on since the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos, to silence critics as you would stay quiet after being Red-tagged,” Colmenares said in Filipino.
“The second purpose of Red-tagging based on our analysis, the reason why it seems to be on the rise recently because the elections are near. And I think, our analysis here, they are concerned that their candidates are not faring well in the survey, if there are surveys going out, it does not represent their actual candidates,” he added.
LOOK: The Makabayan coalition came in full force for presidential bet VP Leni Robredo at the "Pink Sunday" rally. Senatorial bet Neri Colmenares was at Quezon Memorial Circle, but he wasn't able to go up on stage as he isn't officially part of Robredo's slate. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/OhmX4XFr0H
— Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) February 13, 2022
Colmenares even suggests that “red tagging” is to blame for the catastrophic loss the Opposition camp suffered in the 2019 mid-term elections where every one of the eight bets in their “Otso Diretso” coalition failed to bag a Senate seat.
According to Colmenares, he and members of Otso Diretso – the opposition senatorial slate of the Liberal Party and its allied groups in the 2019 elections – were subjected to Red-tagging even before the campaign. But allegations died down eventually, which Colmenares took as indicative of electoral propaganda.
He thinks the accusations had an effect on the fate of the opposition, as none of the opposition bets – Otso Diretso or not – made it to the Senate.
Note that Colmenares’s arguments are all appeals to victimhood designed to muddy rather than clarify the facts and arguments pertinent to the case. These have since been revealed to be obsolete and an ineffective propaganda tool. Filipinos are getting better at seeing through the dishonesty of the CPP-NPA and the circle of “activists” they surround themselves with in their futile efforts to come across as legitimate partners of the Filipino people in real nation building.
That Yellowtard figurehead Leni Robredo, purported “leader” of the Philippine Opposition today, would participate in a dishonest fashioning of communists like Colmenares as “partners” in “building a nation” smacks of hypocrisy considering the late matriarch of Yellowtardom Cory Aquino herself battled these terrorists.
[Credit to Thea Tan for posting the declassified CIA documents on Twitter]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.