'Urban parliamentary struggle' headed for collapse: Ex-NPA leader
By Che Palicte / Philippine News Agency
DAVAO CITY – With the surrender of the face of the controversial UCCP-Haran "bakwit" (evacuee) group recently, a former rebel leader said the New People’s Army’s (NPA) "urban parliamentary struggle" is heading for collapse.
In an interview, Ariane Jane Ramos, former secretary of the NPA Guerrilla Front (GF) 55, Sub-Regional Committee 5 (SRC)-Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC), said the surrender of Jong Monzon has caused a massive blow to the “bakwit” school.
Monzon is the former secretary-general of the "Pasakaday Salugpongan Kalimodan" (PASAKA), the Indigenous People's group behind the "bakwit" controversy that the military said was a front for the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA (CPP-NPA).
“The Haran will now protect its legality. As we all know, Jong is the legal face of Haran. However, they are now exposed, and they are now left with two options: to surrender or become members of the NPA,” she told the Philippine News Agency Monday night.
Ramos said the collapse of the Haran group would create a domino effect on the entire SMRC.
“The stronghold of SMRC in the entire region is Haran. With what happens, they will find it hard to recruit and organize as other organizations are also affected,” she said.
The NPA’s urban parliamentary struggle, Ramos, is primarily conducted through protests and rallies involving members of the rebel group's unarmed legal fronts.
Meanwhile, Ramos said SMRC is losing its foothold as more NPA leaders like her have surrendered and pledged allegiance to the government.
“SMRC has weakened because there are no second liners that would train the cadres. If they replace Jong, it might not be someone as good and as expert as him,” Ramos said.
Ramos recalled that when they were still in the armed struggle, Monzon was the representative of the IPs equipped "with high political consciousness guided by the doctrines of the CPP-NPA."
“He is a big catch. His surrender is indeed a big blow to the CPP-NPA-NDF. He exposed the mechanisms on how the CPP operates in the hinterlands and the cities,” she said.
Ramos also welcomed the possibility of Monzon to be part of the ‘peace champions,’ a group of ex-NPA leaders who now work hand in hand with the government.
This includes Ida Marie Montero alias Mandy, secretary and finance officer of the Komiteng Tagapagpaganap/Komiteng Kalihiman; and Lutenant Tausan Apoga alias Macky, former commanding officer of the Sub-Regional Guerrilla Unit (SRGU).
“I am hoping he will (Monzon) join us. We were batch mates actually when we started learning the intermediate party course. He was supposed to be in the armed struggle in 2013, but he did not follow the democratic centralism and joined the following year instead,” Ramos said.
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.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)