INDIVIDUALS who claimed to be former rebels and pro-government groups held an indignation caravan to condemn what they describe as a communist terrorist movement during the 52nd founding anniversary of the New People’s Army on Monday, March 29, 2021.
Around a hundred anti-communists from various sectors gathered at the Senior Citizens Park in Cebu City after they agreed to hold an activity criticizing the long-running communist insurgency.
The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) did not allow the pro-government event as it violated the community quarantine rule against mass gathering, a super-spreader of Covid-19.
After receiving information about the groups’ activity, Maj. Elisandro Quijano of the CCPO said they tried to stop it. But the organizer requested to give them only a few minutes to express their sentiments.
After the program, the government-supporting groups left the Senior Citizens Park.
The NPA, the anti-communist groups said, must disappear because its rebels disturb the peaceful living of the peasants in the mountains.
After their activity at the Senior Citizens Park, the groups’ caravan toured the downtown area of Cebu City, blaring their anti-communism disses.
The event’s spokesperson, a former rebel who only identified himself as Norbie, said the groups want to show Cebuanos that they support government programs. But he did not elaborate which programs the groups support.
The 52-year-old revolutionary movement is useless, and it must be stopped for the benefit and development of the Filipinos, said Ka Norbie.
The former rebel urged active rebels to surrender to the government and live in peace.
“My advice to those who are still in the NPA: It is not too late. While we are still alive, we have hope. Let’s take good care of our future. Let us not go to the mountains because we can’t solve the problem through armed conflict,” Norbie said in Cebuano.
Meanwhile, a group of former rebels called Sambayanan held its own anti-communist insurgency caravan.
Derib and Manilyn, former NPA members who were active in Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Negros for a long time, said they joined the caravan to call on the communist group to stop harassing and deceiving Filipinos.
They accused the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) of making strong promises but no fulfillment. They also did not elaborate on what these promises are.
The NPA, armed wing of the CPP, was founded on March 29, 1969 by CPP founder Jose Maria Sison and Hukbalahap, shorthand for the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon, a communist guerilla movement formed by Central Luzon farmers that originally fought the Japanese Imperial forces and later waged a rebellion against the post-World War 2 Philippine government.
The United States government has designated the NPA as a terrorist group.
CPP states in its constitution and program that the NPA is its “main weapon in the seizure and consolidation of political power. It welds the basic alliance of the working class and the peasantry. In the countryside, it shall create the conditions for establishing the people’s democratic state by waging armed struggle, facilitating agrarian revolution and helping build organs of political power and revolutionary mass organizations.”
The NPA operates in the Philippine countryside, employing a Maoist military strategy—maintaining the population’s support and luring the enemy (government forces) to the countryside where the people would defeat them through guerilla and mobile warfare tactics. (AYB / KAL)