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New AFP chief and the fight against communists

05:01 AM November 01, 2017

I see a brighter future not just for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) but for the whole country, particularly on the aspect of national security. This is because Lt. Gen. Leonardo Guerrero, the newly appointed AFP chief, has the same inclination toward fighting against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which did nothing but sow terror and violence just like its terrorist counterparts like the defeated Islamic-State-inspired Maute group, Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Time and again, the CPP and its political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), aver that peace talks and negotiations are just one aspect of the “approach” in order to resolve the long-standing armed conflict. Accordingly, there has to be an actual effort on the part of the government for the true realization of social and economic reforms, which the communist movement is allegedly “fighting for.”

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In all fairness, the government is continuously reaching out to these rebels by keeping its channels open to the resumption of peace talks and by encouraging peaceful surrender among the members of its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). These concessions or forbearances notwithstanding, the CPP has been adamant in instructing the NPA to put up more resistance against government troops and other state forces, to the detriment of nationwide development and terrorism of Filipino communities.

If CPP is willing and ready to tackle the root causes of the Philippines’ current social and economic problems and issues, as well as formulate lasting social and economic reforms with the government, how come there was not even a single occasion to exemplify such a conduct? Instead, what Filipinos have witnessed throughout the years were events and accounts of their use of terrorism and violence in order to put pressure on the government, and for the latter to yield to its mostly unreasonable, superfluous, and grand demands.

Premises considered, it is obvious that the impasse in the peace talks and negotiations is attributable not to the government but to the CPP-NDF-NPA. What these militants want is a one-sided bargain that seeks to cripple and deprive the government of its fundamental and constitutionally mandated powers and authority. Then, if they don’t get what they want, they resort to manipulating innocent and vulnerable Filipinos to take up their unlawful objectives and causes, and to sowing terror and violence among peace-loving citizens and communities.

I support the government’s firmness in its exercise of ascendancy and authority over these rebels. If CPP-NPA members have no intention to surrender and work sincerely with the government, the latter, to which the powers of our sovereignty are lodged, must perform such acts necessary to quell the communists’ stubborn resistance, unlawfulness, and violence.

Despite his short term and tenure as AFP chief, may Guerrero be able to lay down an effective continuity of existing campaigns against violence and terrorism, which the CPP-NPA, among others, has been guilty of committing against the Filipino people.

RAMILO GOTING

[email protected]

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TAGS: AFP, Communist Party of the Philippines, CPP, Inquirer letters, Leonardo Guerrero, New People's Army, NPA, Ramilo Goting
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