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By John Nery
There are various shades of red in the political spectrum, but for the sake of argument I will adopt the convention in use in many newsrooms and identify the Philippine Left as those associated with the National Democratic Front (NDF). These political forces include some of the most successful party-list groups in our history, such as Bayan Muna.
Six soldiers and three Cafgu (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit) volunteers were killed in Tulunan, North Cotabato, on Oct. 21, 2013, in an ambush and landmine explosion.
By Ramon Farolan
Perhaps it is a measure of how easily we forget, how readily we get totally absorbed by current events, that with the exception of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards, not much was written about the man after whom the award was named. By remembering the past, we would be able to get a better handle on some of the problems that we now face.
I used to live in Cotabato. I left the place last year to work in Manila, but all my relatives are still there.
I write this in reaction to the letter titled “Casiño a leftist but not a genuine nationalist” (Inquirer, 5/25/13).
It’s something every military family dreads, and for the Lorin family of Zamboanga City, the devastating news came last weekend: 2nd Lt. Alfredo Lorin VI, “Limboy” to kith and kin and the sixth of eight children, was dead. Along with six other young Marines, he was killed in a clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Patikul, Sulu, on May 25.
This is in reaction to the news item titled “Rebs seize rice meant for voters” (Across the Nation, 5/7/13).
In the past election season, the New People’s Army collected P26 million through extortion—a much lower amount than it expected (“NPA raised only P26M in poll campaign fees,” Page A10, 5/23/13). The military said the money came from candidates, groups and individuals in Metro Manila, Isabela, Masbate, Negros, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.
I felt so disgusted upon reading Ramon Tulfo’s May 2 column (“Gazmin’s peace initiative toward NPA”). Tulfo took issue with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin’s peace initiative with the New People’s Army, specifically on his preference to talk peace at the local level so that soldiers and rebels will not fight. Tulfo said this approach to peace would make soldiers appear like cowards.
By Ramon Farolan
According to news reports, a demonstration was recently staged by the Bacolod diocese featuring Team Patay and Team Buhay propaganda banners. Just as the rally was underway, the heavens opened up and a heavy downpour dispersed the participants, leaving a lean crowd to continue with the meeting.
We write to bring attention to the unfair and erroneous slant which the Inquirer gave our press statement in the news report titled “NDF Anniversary: Bayan Muna clears NPA: No extortion, it’s civil war” (Page 1, Inquirer, 4/24/13), which also appeared in the Inquirer’s online version (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/396177/bayan-defends-npa-says-ambush-not-case-of-extortion).
By Juan L. Mercado
Contrast is a compelling tutor. Compare the track records of talks for peace by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Communist Party of the Philippines. Both were intractable insurgencies.