AT "La Mesa de la Libertad" in Silay, the best match for Jojen's native coffee is the favorite topic of the "libertadores" (liberators), the presence of "insurrectos" (insurgents) in the island of Negros. They are the NPAs.
The discussion could run from fun to funny. Ten years ago, the military declared already that the NPAs were rare as the Visayan warty pigs of the North Negros Forest. Now, we have a modest number of armed men who can compete a military detachment. This could be a case of resurrection, mutation or sudden germination.
The coffee "libertadores" are sometimes good security and defense analysts. For them, insurgency descended in society. They speculate (or so) that the small farmers, the hacienda workers and other Negrosanons who have become victims of poverty are dissatisfied with government or society.
They also saw that some politicians are not functional in their LGUs. There is left and right corruption and the political dynasty is still there for the survival of the ambitious "politicos." Here in Negros, we have a feudal set up. The Old Rich, the New Rich and the "hacendero" kind control the socio-economic life including the municipal and city halls.
These deific rulers of Negros are being collaborated by their "compadres" who are also their contractors and suppliers. If you are just a folklore hero in Negros, you are advised not to cross path with the "burgis politicos." You may have your disappearing act before the curtain closes. The "las fuerzas armadas" (military) will be your competitor.
The government has created a committee to end insurgency. This could have been patterned after the low intensity conflict of the CIA. The "libertadores" believe that the number of the NPAs could be insignificant but they can disrupt economic activities. They can always threaten us to overthrow the government and could possibly influence some political leaders.
My retired military general friend (now a politician in Panay) told me, "Ver, the NPAs could offer three strategies: defensive, stalemate, and offensive. The NPAs are not solid always. You can ask Fr. Frank Fernandez. There are members who are affirmative. They want to go on with the struggle. The members who are rejectionists want new ideas."
As a disciple of Sociology, I also know that the government is waging effective operations against our brothers in the hills. First is non-stop war with propaganda. President Digong just showed his color. Second is the delivery of services for the development and more promises. Third is threat...and this is also assigned to the military and the police.
That could be the reason why the government simply ignores Joma Sison and Luis Jalandoni. President Digong is paying close attention to Muslim communities in Mindanao because of the presence of feudal leadership. It could be easy for the leftists to convince the poor and the ignorant.
Many of the Filipinos in the countryside are small and poor farmers. They are discontented with their life because they can no longer send their children to school. They are buried alive by the loan sharks. It is very clear that the government lacks support. The Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines have very little to share. The Department of Agriculture is good as an office only. Rice tariffication law is comical if not horrible.
"La Mesa de la Libertad" believes that the farmers are victims of a fraud system. The government suspects that some party lists are communist front. The military and the PNP should roll their sleeves to discover and prove. If the "libertadores" could diagnose, the government should operate and see.
The "libertadores" are simply saying, "The government has to get the NPAs by the balls. Hearts and minds will simply follow. Where to find the balls is not an easy thing to be done."