CPP brought nothing but suffering to Filipinos: Lorenzana
By Priam Nepomuceno / Philippine News Agency
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Presidential photo)
MANILA – The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which is marking its 53rd anniversary on Dec. 26, brought nothing but suffering to the country and its people, a Cabinet official said Saturday night.
"As we celebrate the Christmas season, we are also reminded of the national cancer that continues to ravage our country -- the Communist Party of the Philippines. For more than five decades, the CPP has brought nothing but misery, loss of lives, destruction of property, and denial of a bright future for many Filipinos," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.
He said the organization's long years of futile resistance should be more than enough for it to realize that it will never succeed in forcing its unchristian ideology and communist principle on the people.
"The influence of the CPP will continue to diminish as the government implements a whole-of-nation (WON) approach, where the people themselves are in the forefront of the fight. Since the WON was started in 2018, we saw the flood of surrenderers and capture or killing of ranking NPA (New People's Army) cadres. At last, the people are fed up and are rising up against them," Lorenzana said.
He noted that the government has been offering benefits to rebels who are laying down their arms and rejoining society.
"Tens of thousands have availed of this offer. We call upon those still in the hills to also take up this offer. Come down for the sake of your families. Together, we shall work to make our country peaceful and prosperous," the Defense chief said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Lt. Gen. Andres Centino said the CPP has suffered irreversible damage as government troops continue to gain tactical and strategic victories against the terrorist group.
“The CPP has nothing to celebrate on its December 26 anniversary. The year 2021 was the most successful period in our fight against insurgency. Our campaign has proven to be effective with the employment of the whole of nation approach involving instrumentalities of government in addressing the root causes of conflict that are at the center of the CPP’s manipulation and exploitation scheme,” he said.
Centino cited reports from the ground that the military has reduced the capabilities of the communist terrorist group (CTG) with the neutralization of its top leaders, the dismantling of 21 guerrilla fronts and weakening of 14 others, and clearing of 340 conflict-affected barangays, causing the surrender of its members and the withdrawal of support of their exploited masses.
Likewise, he said the AFP also confiscated 579 unexploded anti-personnel mines that could have endangered innocent civilians in clear violation of Human Rights (HR) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) by the rebel group.
AFP units on the ground have also monitored and reported to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the United Nations CHR the 254 HR and IHL violations of the CPP-NPA.
“The shift in our methodology allowed us to counter both the armed component and the enemy’s exploitation of social issues that are being used to agitate the people to turn against the state,” Centino said, as he invited NPAs to abandon the armed struggle and the lost cause espoused by the CPP.
“This year, the CTG has suffered irreparable damage in its leadership, strength, and resources, and the government’s accomplishments have placed us in a better position to end the local armed conflict by next year as mandated by the President. The AFP is confident that it can comply with the order to put an end to insurgency before the term of President ends and finally bring lasting peace and development in the countryside,” the AFP chief added. (PNA)