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CHR, Red Cross asked to ensure safety of jailed peace consultants in ATC list

The Commission on Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross had been asked to regularly check on the condition of three political prisoners designated by a government task force as alleged terrorists.

In a statement, political detainee support group Kapatid spokesperson Fides Lim asked the two agencies to ensure the safety of her husband Vicente Ladlad and fellow National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants Rey Claro Casambre and Adelberto Silva.

“I have reason to fear for their lives because seven consultants of the (NDFP) have already been murdered within the last two years,” Lim said.

Lim’s appeal was in reaction to a resolution released Thursday, May 13, by the Anti-Terrorism Council designating 19 individuals as alleged members of the Communist Party of the Philippine Central Committee and as so-called terrorists.

Aside from Ladlad, Casambre and Silva, the list includes NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison, New People’s Army National Operations Command spokesperson Jorge Madlos, NDFP Negotiating Panel interim chairperson Julietta de Lima, NDFP Negotiating Panel Member Benito Tiamzon and NDFP peace consultants Alan Jazmines, Wilma Tiamzon, Ma. Concepcion Araneta-Bocala, Tirso Alcantara, Pedro Codaste, and Loida Magpatoc.

The list also includes alleged CPP officials Abdias Gaudiana, Dionesio Micabato, Myrna Sularte, Tomas Dominado and Menandro Villanueva.

Five of the NDFP peace consultants killed in the last two years referred to by Lim include Randy Malayao, Randall Echanis, Julius Giron, Eugenia Magpantay, and Agaton Topacio.

Lim said the ATC listing is being used to persecute individuals and maliciously jumping the gun on the ongoing Supreme Court deliberations on the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The ATC’s designation needs a court order to become official.

‘Treacherous’

The CPP for its part denounced the ATC list as arbitrary, dismissing it a mere recycled record of unsubstantiated allegations from so-called military intelligence.

“The arbitrary naming of known peace consultants and revolutionaries underscore why the Anti-Terror Law and the ATC itself are illegitimate and should be repudiated. It was done in complete contempt of judicially recognized due process,” the CPP said.

“It is a veritable slap on face of the justices of the Supreme Court who have yet to complete hearings over questions of the constitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law,” the group added.

The CPP also said the ATC list is an act of treachery against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the peace process.

“This act of the ATC is (GRP President Rodrigo) Duterte getting back at the NDFP for not bowing to his wishes for the revolutionary forces to surrender their principles to his fascist tyranny,” the CPP said.

Human rights group Karapatan also said the ATC designation of NDFP peace panel members and consultants as alleged terrorists is “red-tagging in its most blatant and most dangerous.”

The designation is “brazenly arbitrary that it violates basic principles of due process — and whose consequences have proven to be deadly,” the group said.

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay asked the Supreme Court to act with urgency on their petitions to declare the terror law unconstitutional or at least issue a temporary restraining order against the law.

“[T]he Duterte administration is wasting no time using this draconian piece of legislation to heighten the crackdown on dissent and reign of terror. We call on the public to continue asserting the calls to junk the terror law and resist Duterte’s tyranny and dictatorship,” Palabay said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Oris: Many surrenderees AFP’s own

The New People’s Army (NPA) hit at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for parading “thousands of fake surrenderees” nationwide.

In a video message, NPA National Operations Command spokesperson Jorge Madlos said many of those paraded by the AFP before President Rodrigo Duterte are in fact members of their own paramilitary forces or innocent civilians who were forced by the military to pose as surrenderees.

“When we checked, the (AFP) list includes 36 Lumad paramilitaries from Lianga (Surigao del Sur) who are also on the list of those who massacred three fellow Lumads in September 1 (2015),” Madlos said.

Madlos added that the 36 paramilitary troopers are being led by Calpet Egua who is reported to have been trained, armed, supported and protected by the Philippine Army.

“The AFP uses this paramilitary group as fake NPA surrenderees to clear their names as having been involved in the massacre,” Madlos said.

Madlos, also known by his nom de guerre as Ka Oris, said it adds insult to injury that the so-called surrenderees were given houses and lots as well as pocket money by Duterte in a ceremony in Malacañan Palace.

Madlos said that the AFP also picked up civilians who were later presented as surrenderees as well as those who have long left the NPA and have already been living as ordinary farmers.

“They were again picked up and recycled as new surrenderees,” Madlos said.

“Although, in fact, there were real surrenderees, such as the alleged National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Far South Mindanao spokesperson,” he added, referring to Nilo Legaspi and his wife who surrendered last January.

Madlos said real surrenderees are very few and were only mixed with thousands of fake surrenderees.

The five or ten surrenderees does not make for a mass surrender of NPA forces, Madlos said.

Both Duterte and the AFP have repeatedly said the NPA is down to a few thousands of fighters left.

Far from being defeated

In January, former AFP chief of staff Rey Guerrero said the military is committed to weaken by 50 percent the NPA, which he said has only about 3,700 fighters nationwide.

In its presentation of hundreds of surrenderees to Duterte, the AFP said the so-called surrenderees were part of 4,000 who recently abandoned armed struggle.

“These are indicators of growing discontent within their organizations, the success of our programs, and the cooperation between residents and local government units,” AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a press conference last January.

Netizens, however, pointed out that the Duterte government in fact presented 300 more so-called surrendered members than the AFP’s claim of NPA’s 3,700 fighters.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said in their 49th anniversary statement last March that the NPA has more than a hundred guerilla fronts with at least company sized formations in addition as many People’s Militia units all over the country.

The CPP also said that Duterte and the AFP are wasting public funds on fake surrenderees.

“Over the past few months, Duterte himself and the entire military and defence establishment have spent hundreds of millions of pesos to stage Malacañang dinners with the president, tours around Luneta and other cheap gimmickry. The bigger portion of the monies, of course, line the pockets of armed forces field officials,” the CPP said in a statement last March.

“If we are to believe claims made by officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at the end of 2017 that the NPA is down to 3,700 members, then by simple subtraction, one can conclude that the AFP under Duterte has already accomplished what the previous regimes have failed to do: defeat the NPA,” it added.

In a separate announcement, CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison said the NPA is nowhere near being defeated, being present in at least 73 of the country’s 81 provinces.

Sison added that NPA presence in these provinces “denotes the existence of the people´s militia and the self-defense units of the revolutionary mass organizations. These two layers of people´s defense are the auxiliary and reserve force of the NPA.” # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

 

NPA to launch offensives vs GRP’s all-out war—Ka Oris

THE National Operational Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) has announced all its units can now “take full initiative” as the 10-day grace period for the termination of its unilateral ceasefire declaration expired today.

“Starting today, the Unilateral Declaration of Interim Ceasefire is now completely terminated. All NPA commands and territorial units, as well as people’s militia and self defense units, can now take the full initiative to defend the people and advance their interests, especially in the face of the declaration of all-out war of the (Rodrigo) Duterte regime,” NPA spokesperson Jorge ‘Ka Oris’ Madlos in a statement said. Read more

NDFP-Mindanao on the CPP’s 47th anniversary (w/ English subtitles)

National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos delivers their statement on the 47th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Madlos says the New People’s Army in Mindanao has doubled its tactical offensives against the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 250 in 2010 to more than 500 in 2015 as the Benigno Aquino administration is about to end. He also announced that the NPA has increased its guerrilla fronts from 40 in 2010 to 46 in 2015. Furthermore, NPA operations has increased from 1,850 barrios in 2010 to 2,500 barrios in 2015.

Madlos did not attend the anniversary celebrations held in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte because of the heavy military presence in the adjacent Zapanta Valley. Philippine Army checkpoints did not deter the thousands of guests from attending the celebrations, however.