CPP's forte: Lies, half-truths, deception
By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. / The Manila Times
A FRIEND of mine asked me to write a rejoinder to an article being written by Marites Vitug with the title: "Seeing Red: In counterinsurgency, Philippine military shifts from hearts to minds campaign to disinformation." Immediately I said yes, with pleasure, especially since I find her thesis unacceptable. I have no way of knowing how Ms. Vitug will argue in her dissertation but definitely to say that we are in the business of disinformation is totally detestable.
I must admit though that I wouldn't know where to start. Is it about the alleged disinformation on this Alcadev and Save our School network issue on Chad Booc and the rescued Indigenous Peoples children in the University of San Carlos-Talamban, Cebu? Is it about Philippine Daily Inquirer's Tech Tupas report on the two Aetas whom she alleged were forced to eat human feces by soldiers? Is it the "Bloody Sunday" and the killing of alleged farmers? Is it the "Baras Five" who they alleged to be farmers? Or the three alleged Surigao farmers? I really wouldn't know.
I am reminded of an article written by Glenda Gloria who argued that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) today is too engrossed with counter-propaganda, as if we fear that the New Peoples' Army (NPA) is already at the doorsteps of Malacañang. What she was saying is that the military should instead focus on our core competency of finishing off the enemy, rather than red-tagging people and organizations, without presenting evidence. She asks why the sudden interest of the AFP and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) in neutralizing the propaganda machinery of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The more I hear of media people making comments like these, the more I am convinced they are hurt by the direct approach we are using in dealing with Jose Ma Sison's propagandists or "kakolektiba," either in Congress (Kamatayan bloc) or among the other cadres in other infiltrated sectors of our society. Reading through several articles on the University of the Philippines Commune and how they are now well-entrenched in the fourth estate, from the time of UP President Dodong Nemenzo, or even much earlier when the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) had not yet expelled Sison and his Kabataang Makabayan and Lapian ng Manggagawa, I am mesmerized by how they have established this massive network of "regressive" thinkers, while past administrations sat so relaxed watching them destroy the cultural and political fabric of our nation.
And then I saw this Rappler fact check post. "False: Ninoy Aquino a CPP-NPA, MNLF 'organizer'" posted last June 22 by Rappler.com. This was in reaction to Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile's (JPE) post about Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.'s involvement in the organization of the CPP-NPA and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Immediately, I realized this could be a good starting point to lay the premise that this CPP Maoist-inspired insurgency is hinged on lies and propaganda.
This Rappler fact checker intern, Jose Atienza, then wrote that "the founder of the CPP-NPA is Jose Ma Sison, while the founder of the MNLF is Nur Misuari. There is no proof that Aquino helped organize either organization." This cunning Rappler has to use an intern (to shield himself?) rather than put to task their veteran f**k checkers to attempt to cover the tracks of their iconic leader. Atienza continues to negate the fact that Aquino collaborated with Malaysia, dropping the Sabah claim, should he be successful in toppling President Marcos with the help of the MNLF which the Malaysians trained and armed.
It is really amazing how some quarters, these Rappler researcher and editor included, can hastily conclude that those claims by JPE were false, given the ample time they made their research from the time JPE posted that information some three weeks ago. While it is true that much of the literature that implicates Ninoy Aquino in the communist movement were ordered burned by former President Cory Aquino, there are so many readings on this that we can find nowadays with the advances in technology. Also, retired general Victor Corpus is very much alive to be interviewed. Bishop Nilo Tayag, one of founding members of the CPP is also there. Unfortunately, our friend and true patriot, Ruben Guevarra, another founding member of the CPP, recently passed away but he could have been a very good source of firsthand information about the CPP's birth.
Do we seek the truth? Are we just being too selective on what we want to share?
If truth is what we want, there are plenty of sources to be had. But no, these fact checkers are not after the truth. They are simply there to propagate the lies and cover up the crimes of those responsible in destroying our society and nation. They are a distraction to our search for closure on these issues and achieve unity and peace.
Rappler can start by reading Joseph Paul Scalice's academic dissertation entitled Crisis of Revolutionary Leadership: Martial Law and the Communist Parties of the Philippines, 1959-1974. Published in the summer of 2017 by the Graduate Division of the University of California, Berkeley, it reveals so much information about how Jose V. Yap, along with Ninoy Aquino, assisted Sison in getting in touch with Dante Buscayno and established the NPA as the armed wing of the CPP. I will use direct quotes so as to avoid unfair redactions that could blur the lines of the author.
For instance, Scalice wrote: "Connecting Dante with Sison and the CPP presented Aquino the possibility of expanding his base of armed support to a national scale." That meeting of Aquino and Sison in October 1968 facilitated the founding of the NPA in March 1969 in Capas, Tarlac.
In Chapter 21, Scalice asserts: "The newly founded party needed an army. From January to March 1969, Sison and his comrades in the CPP worked to locate a peasant army they could make their own. Their quest was facilitated by Senator Aquino and his political allies in Tarlac, who placed Sison in contact with the erstwhile lieutenant of Commander Sumulong, Bernabe Buscayno, and on March 29, the New People's Army was formed."
The paper also talks of Nur Misuari, the leader of Bagong Asya, who was a colleague of Sison in the Kabataang Makabayan and later was the founder of the MNLF. There is of course Missuari whom fact checker Jose Atienza can simply call for an interview. That should erase Rappler's doubts about NinoyAquino's role in the founding of the MNLF, after that historic visit to Tungku Abdul Rahman, premier of Malaysia, by Senator Aquino and Liberal Party stalwarts in Mindanao: Midbantas, Alonto, Lucman, Midtimbang and even Dimaporo. That treacherous visit solidified Malaysia's underground support for the training of "Batch 90" and the subsequent batches of MNLF rebels who underwent training with the British Special Air Service and Ghurkhas in North Borneo. Along with it were the surreptitious and sustained landings of arms for the Moro rebels, all at the behest of our "icon of democracy," Ninoy Aquino.
By the way, if you want to know about the Jabidah Massacre in Corregidor, which, as exposed by Ninoy Aquino, was massively fanned by the media and even merited frenzied congressional inquiries, was ultimately confirmed to be a hoax concocted by Ninoy Aquino precisely to damn Marcos and thereby set the stage for his takeover of political power. You can just go to the Senate archives and read for yourselves reams of Senate committee reports on that issue. I also have a complete set which I can share with you.
Still there is a lot of literature to establish the complicity of Ninoy Aquino in the founding of the NPA and the MNLF. Mark Richard Thompson's Searching for a strategy: The traditional opposition to Marcos and the transition to democracy in the Philippines (Vol I and 2), a PhD dissertation at Yale University (1991), is a good starting point. Jones' Inside the Red Revolution and Jose Ma Sison and Werning's The Philippine Revolution: The Leader's View, and finally
Kirkviliet's book are all good materials.
Lies and half-truths
What is very interesting to note in the research of Scalice is that it confirms my assertion that the Communist Party of the Philippines, from its inception, was founded on lies and half-truths. Scalice showed in his work "that the leadership lied in their documents and lied repeatedly. The documentary record is copious" based on the 43 boxes of documents contained in the Philippine Radical Papers Archive housed at UP Diliman and in microfilm at Cornell University. He worked on it repeatedly in order to reconstruct and "triangulate on the basis of lies, half-truths, and honest accounts - an understanding of what had transpired."
Scalice had to find the original documents because the reprints were frequently redacted without any indication that it had been revised. "Often the redactions articulated a perspective which drastically [deviated from] the one put forward previously. The only accounts I found trustworthy were contemporary ones."
But none could be a more monumental prevarication by the Sison-Aquino tandem than the Plaza Miranda bombing on Aug. 21, 1971. Two grenades blasted the Liberal Party rally that evening, maiming and injuring to near death the party's entire senatorial ticket in that year's mid-term elections - but for one, he, whom Sen. Jovito Salonga would describe as the star of the show, whose mere appearance onstage would prompt the multitudes to shout "Bomba," because each bombast he would unleash was as dynamite that would blast Marcos: Ninoy Aquino. How amazing that Aquino should be absent from the gathering, he being not only the top LP senatorial bet but also the LP secretary general who should have been on hand to oversee the proceedings.
As gleaned from an unheralded blog, Kamao (kamaopunch.blogspot.com) by Manila Times colleague Mauro Gia Samonte (search Knowing Ninoy, Archives 2012), in the afternoon of that day, then CPP secretary general Ruben Guevarra was fetched by Noli Collantes aka Banero, director of the National Trade Union Bureau (NTUB) of the CPP central committee, to bring to a meet-up with Jose Maria Sison in the Malibay, Pasay UG house of Herminigildo Garcia. During the meeting, Guevarra was presented by Sison with two youths, Danny Cordero and Cecilio Apostol, who Sison said would be "bombing a political rally in the evening" and who Guevarra, as per Sison's directive, would bring to the Isabela interiors, there to proceed to train as red fighters. As we all know, the entire blame for the Plaza Miranda bombing, as fanned by the Aquino-heavily-influenced media, fell upon Marcos. It seemed Ninoy was getting what he wanted with the intensification of people's protests arising from the Plaza Miranda incident. Comes now September 1972. The shipment of arms to the CPP from China aboard the MV Karagatan was intercepted by government forces on account of what the party considered as an insubordination: Danny Cordero, then already the head of an NPA unit, defied an order from the high command to come to the aid of those assigned to carry the MV Karagatan arms to the Isabela jungles. A subsequent trial found Cordero guilty, and he was meted capital punishment. Cordero protested, professing that he had served the party so much that he did not deserve to be executed. When Guevarra, the head of the tribunal hearing Cordero's case, asked exactly what Cordero did to prove his claim, the youth said: "I was the one... I am one of three who bombed Plaza Miranda." Even among the top members of the CPP at the time, only then was it known that the CPP had bombed the Plaza Miranda rally. Cordero was executed nonetheless, but the revelation prompted respected names in the then hierarchy of the CPP to experience a change of heart, among them Victor Corpuz and Ariel Almendral.
Truths upon truths have come out of the lies and deceptions promoted by the CPP-NPA in its conduct of "people's war" over the past half-century. Is this war going anywhere?
"...a people's army created in accordance with Comrade Mao Zedong's theory of army building is incomparably strong and invincible." – Lin Biao, Long Live the Victory of People's War
After 52 years of army building, we now find that this is not true in the Philippine setting. Ruben Guevarra, before he passed away, confirmed this. The CPP-NPA has been rejected by the Filipino people; it cannot win this war. It's time to let go.