Coup d'oeil in waging political war
By Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. / The Manila Times
WAR is costly but a protracted insurgency war is even more so. The armed forces and the police are spending billions year in and year out in sustaining a fight that seems to have no end. We have lost more than 13,000 soldiers and policemen in the past 52 years, yet we have been accused of simply "managing the conflict" and not ending it completely in order for us to benefit from the billions that the taxpayers spend for the war kitty.
Let me give it to you straight. If there is anybody who wants to see the end of this insurgency, it is we, your soldiers. We don't want more soldiers to die out there. We don't want to see more orphans from this useless war being waged by Jose Ma Sison and his ilk in the Kamatayan (Makabayan) bloc. We want to go home to our families. We want to go back to our barracks so we can prepare, train and fight instead the bigger wars, which may be launched by non-Filipinos. We are tired of fighting our own countrymen. It is pointless.
But no, we can't. Just as the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-Elcac) is about to lick this "war of the running dogs" (to use Noel Barber's term), suddenly some smart people are telling us what to do. Go back to the Army and do your fighting there (as if I left, and isn't this charlatanism if not neo-Hegelian thinking?). They would tell me to shut up, stop red-tagging, stop our Barangay Development Program, stop our arrogance, just stop. Or they will take hostage our budget for next year.
Makes you wonder where this hubris is coming from.
And then I realized. Thirty-seven years of fighting this kind of war has helped me develop a kind of strategic intuition. Napoleon Bonaparte was widely known for using it extensively as he conquered half the globe. He kept his boots on the ground, felt the breeze, and smelled the smoke. Then he is able to sense the battlefield. Coup d'oeil. Swivel chair generals, politicians and even Joma, know nothing about it.
We are still in this part of the political warfare that Joma has successfully waged for 52 years just by blabbering plagiarized theories and concepts in Utrecht. Now he feels threatened that in our search for answers to this violence, we finally came to terms with the fact that this idea of Joma kills.
Yes, this ideology of Joma in the Philippines kills.
This communist group is different from that of those in Europe, where it is recognized and declared openly because it does not have an armed component. European communists do not wage armed violence lest they end up in jail.
This local communist ideology has killed more than 50,000 Filipinos without the public even realizing it. It was so systematically laid out it did not want to follow the likes of Marxist Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge where easily 2 million people were slaughtered, or that of Partai Komunis Indonesia where the same massive carnage was found.
The millennial and generation Z in Manila have no idea that these sweet-talking hardcore "activists" in campus are actually part of the underground New People's Army (NPA) lurking in the hills of Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, Batangas, Bulacan, Aurora or Bicol. All over the country, it is by design that they are around the cities, the "white areas," preparing to surround the cities for the kill, the takeover of government during the "strategic offensive." Never mind if that will never really happen as declared by our friend, the late Ruben Guevarra, who foresaw the Communist Party of the Philippines' demise because of a largely patriotic Filipino culture. "It did not happen after 50 years of armed struggle, so why insist on it?" so Ka Ruben affirms.
Is it coincidence then that these terrorists are together with these "activists" in the safe houses in Manila? Near our favorite campuses? Our workplace? No. It is all by design. It makes it easy for them to access our schools, technology, our news and TV networks. It makes this political warfare easy, with 90 percent of the effort hinged on robust propaganda machinery.
Of what use then are the killings and ambuscades of soldiers and police? Of what use are the killings of Indigenous People's leaders who turn against the NPA? Of what use is the burning of equipment for those who don't give in to extortion? The killing of their own people, the insignificant "activist" sacrificed by their hit men so it could be blamed on the government? They comprise the 10 percent tactical effort, to be projected on the remaining 90 percent of the fight - propaganda.
That's how the equation is now viewed by the government and the NTF- Elcac. No wonder it is hurting them so badly. They will do all means available at their disposal to stop what the NTF-Elcac is doing. If they need to align their forces in order to put pressure on the principals of the task force, they will do so. If they need to use other media personalities to distract us, like this business-opinionated writer who calls us "intellectual pygmies and incompetent buffoons," they have done so. In fact, this guy Fernandez of Manila Bulletin has a lot of ideas on how to end the insurgency; maybe the NTF-Elcac should invite him. Not to hire him but to educate him on the many points he has raised, but which have been explained and expounded on a hundred times. (These one-track minded sapiens, not the homo kind, just don't get it.)
Is this fair game? No, but that's how dirty they play. They are willing to sacrifice everything, including hostaging the programs of the government in the pipeline, if only to get what they want. That's the power of the purse being exercised by their collaborators in the legislative branch.
Should we run away from this fight? We'll see about that.