When the collapse of the peace talks with the communist insurgents was announced, many people took the news with a heavy heart.
But not this former soldier, combat helicopter pilot, and ground combat commander who fought bloody battles against the communists, who sees it differently.
He claimed the communist rebellion will slowly lose its relevance and then die a natural death because of a combination of factors including the assumption of Duterte to the presidency.
So without further adieu, please read the in-depth analysis of former Air Force General Romeo Poquiz about the future of the longest-running communist insurgency in Asia.
As a former soldier – combat helicopter pilot and ground combat commander who fought bloody battles against the communists, I always considered the NPAs as worthy adversaries. To me, they were rebels fighting for valid causes against the government. To me, they were rebels, not terrorists. Even when the AFP tagged them as communist terrorists, even when they treacherously killed hundreds of soldiers, even when they murdered civilians and hundreds of their comrades (OPlans Missing Link and Ahos), even when they bombed or killed businesses just to get revolutionary taxes, and even when they bombed a political rally in Plaza Miranda resulting to many casualties, including senators.
Like them, I rationalized, then, that their methods of rebellion, though brutal and hateful were means to political ends and were par for the course.
Not Now. Not with Duterte. Like President Duterte who once supported and praised the NPAs, I now declare these communists as Terrorists. Why? Their valid grievances against the government were lost with Duterte as the leader of the country. US imperialism (president as tuta ng Kano?), oppression, injustices, corruption, cronyism, military abuses – all of these were lost. Equality for all? Come on! Ask the Russian and Chinese communists.
When Duterte assumed office, one of the first things he did was offer the communists choice Cabinet positions, including Secretaries. He declared a ceasefire and initiated peace talks between them and the government. He released top NPA leaders, as a gesture of goodwill and sincerity. He gave safe conduct passes to communist leaders. Duterte did all these, even against the advice of his military and security advisers, just to give peace a chance to end the 50 year old insurgency.
Despite all these gestures of goodwill and sincerity, despite the ongoing peace talks, and despite the ceasefire, what did the NPA do? They continued with their atrocities and barbaric acts. They treacherously killed 3 soldiers and riddled their bodies with 72 bullets. They attacked government troops and brutally killed soldiers, including a young officer, a PMA graduate, who were doing peace and development activities in the countryside. They also continued with their extortion of businessmen. They had unreasonable demands, which only showed their insincerity in the peace talks. They want the release of 400 communist rebels held in prison for their crimes against the people, even when there is no peace agreement yet.
The gall, the arrogance and hubris of these communists. These did them in. They thought that Duterte was just another of the same mold as the previous presidents the country had. They thought that Duterte will give in to all their demands, however unreasonable and preposterous, because Duterte was “kasama’ who once supported and praised them. They are terribly wrong. Duterte hated oppression and senseless deaths of his soldiers. The ceasefire is off and the peace talks cancelled.
What will happen to the NPAs? They will die painful deaths and this will happen very soon. Why?
There are no more valid grievances against the government.
Under Duterte, the countryside, especially the guerilla zones will be developed. The government will pour in massive funds to educate the people, improve their economic conditions and remove the reasons for the insurgency.
Communists now in government can be “asked” to convince their former comrades to cooperate with the government.
The military is now more professionalized, better equipped, and highly focused. Intelligence funds and units will be better used in locating, tracking and neutralizing the enemies, armed communist terrorists, not the administration’s political enemies, as before.
What should the CPP/NPA/NDF do?
Concede to the government. A good poker player knows when to stand up and go, or lose everything.
What should the AFP commanders do?
Stop being development officers, stop playing golf and find and eliminate the biggest propaganda of the communists – the NPAs, for Chrissake.
The reaction of the social media to the retired general’s insight of the scuttled peace talks with the CPP-NPA has been very positive.
Jojo Parinas expressed his agreement with the general’s analysis and wrote: “I agree with you 100 percent Sir Omik. And I don’t think the NPA’s on the ground still take commands from their leaders in the Netherlands who wallow in comfortable life.”
“I couldn’t agree more sir! Well said!” Lynnie Manuel wrote.
” You have such a wisdom that is rare to find, sir. Thank you for teaching us how to think analytically and reason rationally. My snappy salute to you sir!” Erin Brokovich complimented the general.
Your thoughts please!