MANILA Nowhere to go.
This was the reaction of Major General Antonio Parlade, of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) to Communist Party of the Philippine (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison's claims that rebel assassins known as "Special Partisan Units" (SPARU) will be making a comeback in key populated centers "if there is no more space for patriotic and progressive forces in urban areas".
"Indeed, there is none. Your NPA (New People's Army) terrorist goons no longer have communities to go back to in the hills as the people have shooed them away after 50 years of exploitation of the poor. This is the story of hundreds of your militia and regular NPAs who surrendered last month in Panay. Where before your regulars had the more established safehouses, 'BAGER' (Baseng Gerilya) or 'SOGER' (Sonang Gerilya) to hide in Negros, now they are forced to hide in underground (UG) safehouses in Bacolod," he added.
This, he said, is the deplorable state of these new NPA recruits, along with the minors recruited by the communist rebels, found out prior their deployment to the hills.
Fortunately, these minors were rescued by the government before they could take a step further, said Parlade, who is also Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Civil-Military Operations.
"(The new NPA recruits) found out that their mass bases hav been dismantled and decided to do the right thing in abandoning the path of destruction and pledge allegiance to the government," he added.
He said the lack of mass bases and support are also the reason why NPAs are forced to hide along in the safehouses of underground units of the CPP-NPA front organizations.
"That's the reason the NPAs were forced to occupy UG safe houses of Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (underground organ of Kilusang Mayo Uno); the UG house of Kabataang Makabayan (underground organ of Anakbayan and League of Filipino Students); the UG house of MAKIBAKA (underground organ of Gabriela); the UG house of KAGUMA (the underground organ of Alliance of Concerned Teachers); and the UG safehouse of LUMABAN (underground organ of National Union of Peoples Lawyers). Those houses raided were clearly not offices of Bayan, ACT, KMU, NUPL or Gabriela. Also, they were not registered in the barangay for the same reason - they are underground houses," Parlade added.
He also scored Sison for threatening Quezon City Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert who issued the search warrants on the offices of militant groups which resulted in the arrest of more of less 50 persons, including 13 minors.
"You threaten brave citizens and officials of the land who have finally decided that defending the state against COMMUNIST(CPP/NPA/NDF) TERRORISM has come and is a privilege under this administration? Going after dangerous wolves hiding in sheep's clothing is NOT STATE TERRORISM. It, in fact, is the sacred duty of government to protect and defend its citizens from terrorists like you," Parlade said referring to Sison.
He said going after individuals or groups disguising themselves as progressive groups but are "fascists" is a mandated duty of the state in protecting its citizenry.
"Going after your fascist front members, hiding in Makabayan facade is a duty that the state is constitutionally mandated to perform. These hypocrites, who call themselves 'progressive' have to be disrobed in order to expose some more their duplicitous and treacherous nature," he added.
Parlade also challenged party-list members of the Makabayan bloc to justify, if they can, the wanton recruitment and exploitation of minors by communist rebels who only use these children to boost their depleted ranks in the battlefield.
"Is there any acceptable reason the Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc headed by Neri Colmenares, Carlos Zarate, France Castro, Sara Elago, Arlene Brosas, and Renato Reyes, all representatives of death, past and present, can offer for the exploitation of these very young children, aged 12-17, who were rescued by government forces in Bacolod City and Escalante? We have all the pictures and video of these kids training with NPAs but these liars continue to deny they are NPA recruits," he added.
He also reiterated his challenge to a debate with leaders of these militant groups any time and at any radio or television station of their choice, with their pick of audience so that they can tell the public why the CPP-NPA is involving children in armed conflict.
"Explain to the people you profess to protect from state harassment, any acceptable reasons why you should involve children in armed conflict?" said Parlade, who also accused Sison of treason for threatening to unleash the CPP-NPA "SPARU" to back up their legal fronts.
He said Sparu members have arrived and accounted for 81 hits in 11 months, however, many of them were captured or killed by state forces.
One of them recently surrendered and confessed to the killing of peasants and many of your 'progressive' but innocent members in Panay," he said.
He also challenged Makabayan bloc members to prove to the public they are being harassed and attacked by the state.
Parlade said the government will present and allow those interested to cross-examine and interview self-confessed "SPARU" member James Durimon alias "Duros", who recently surrendered to authorities, and let the former hitman enumerate the number of assassinations he conducted upon orders from orders of his fascist CPP-NPA leader, NPA Charity Amacan, and its fascist propagandist Jose Maria Sison.
"That's right, Mr. Sison, you killed all these innocent people for the sake of your propaganda," he added.
He also slammed the CPP-NPA for again dragging the name of the AFP into the mud by alluding that the killing of Ilocos Judge Mario Banez was committed by the military.
"Yesterday (Thursday) you were alluding to the AFP as culprits for the killing of the good and well-loved Judge Mario Banez of Ilocos, through your CPP minions in the media. Look how quick your propagandists attribute the killing of the poor judge to his being a former human rights official, or his acquittal of an Ibaloy activist whom the Army accused of killing a soldier in an encounter two years ago. What have we to gain from that?" Parlade said.
Amidst all these irresponsible reporting going on and press freedom being enjoyed freely by your media propagandists, they still have the gall to complain of state censure.
When the government openly criticizes you for your bias and unfair reporting, you complain of "red tagging"? You complain that democracy under Pres Duterte is dying, but how is it that communist propagandists are still alive? How free are they to publish the picture of Judge Villavert in print, while you block the faces of 'alleged NPAs' when captured? And how free is our media NOT to publish statements inimical to the CPP-NPA?" Parlade added.
He said after 50 years of media bullying, duplicity, lies and propaganda, the true colors of the Makabayan bloc and its so-called progressive allies are now showing.
"Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc has hidden long enough but their real colors are showing. They are running out of alibi. Time is catching up on these 'progressive' terrorists," he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency