How to legalize the GMA regime's political murders
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-12-20
The proposed revival of the Jurassic Anti-Subversion Law serves only the agenda of those guilty of the murder of over 800 unarmed political activists. Other than that, there is no useful purpose for the law’s revival.

No doubt, the Alston Report to the UN pointing to the military as accountable for the murders of over 800 political activists had caused much embarrassment for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA). Moreover, the Alston Report had also prompted other democracies to chime in their condemnation.

Every time GMA tries to project a positive image to try to cover up the murders, it backfires on her. GMA was jeered and booed here and abroad when she tried to paint herself as a “champion of human rights” by lecturing Myanmar to observe political tolerance at the height of that country’s brutal crackdown on protesters. Here we boo, abroad they laugh at her temerity and gall to moralize and pontificate on human rights and tolerance to another regime which is hardly any different from hers.

GMA erred when she set a self-imposed deadline for eradicating the Communist insurgency. Now, she realizes, with embarrassment, that the Red insurgency only became stronger and more vigorous under her regime.

The successes of Presidents Ramon Magsaysay and Cory Aquino in marginalizing the 1950s and 1980s Communist insurgencies, respectively, were largely due to their efforts in effectively propagating the benefits of democracy. This is where GMA miserably fails.

By nurturing patronage politics and the oligarchy, she has destroyed the very foundations of the institutions of democracy. Only the Senate and the Supreme Court have managed to live up to their functions as preservers and promoters of democratic processes.

The Communist insurgency enjoyed its peak during the Marcos dictatorship. In fact, it was this threat that compelled the Reagan administration to junk Marcos in February 25, 1986. Marcos had created conditions that effectively made him the biggest recruiter of the Communists and he had to go.

Between the Magsaysay and Aquino anti-insurgency programs, the Aquino program proved to be the most effective. Aquino faced a far more serious threat than Magsaysay. Communist insurgency in the 1950s was mainly in Central Luzon. In the 1980s, it was nationwide.

The cooperation between NSA Rocky Ileto, AFP Chief Fidel V. Ramos and DLG Secretary (not yet the DILG in 1987) Jaime N. Ferrer rendered the Communists inutile and weak. I was a part of that campaign as I was then an Assistant Local Government Secretary.

Our formula was simple: the AFP clears the Communist controlled community of NPA elements to allow the DLG political team to work and win back the trust of the people.

The big difference between the Cory Aquino and GMA anti insurgency programs is this — the DLG was the point agency in the Aquino program while for GMA it was the AFP. Fighting Communism is fighting a political battle, one political ideology versus another. Where the AFP is utilized as the point agency, there is a tendency to worsen the insurgency.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos acknowledges the political formula as the best means to combat Communist insurgency. The AFP is needed only to neutralize the armed force of the Communists (the NPA) but it is the Local Government department that is engaged in the main battle for hearts and minds.

It would be logical to expect that the image of Communism to the common man is now more positive, what with the economic successes now being enjoyed by former hammer-and-sickle States — China and Russia. Forty years ago, Chinese and Russian citizens would have loved to have the opportunity for a better life in the Philippines. Now, Filipinos are lining up to work in China and Russia. I have two nephews who are working in Russia!

If you were a hungry Filipino who can’t land a decent job and earn a living wage here, what would you find more attractive — Communism as it has improved the lives of millions of Chinese or democracy which has never worked for the poor Filipinos?

Indeed, many of the biases that worked against the Reds during the 1980s are no longer there, wiped out by the economic miracle of China. If I were a Communist rebel today, I would not bother bringing a rifle to work. All I’ll need are DVDs and a player to show the prosperity in Communist China.

Indeed, GMA is still lucky in that the Philippine Communists are so stuck in their old ways of doing things and are unable to utilize the many new attractions that could favor their sales pitch.

The Arroyo regime will find this extremely hard to explain though: How come GMA lays out the red carpet to the Chinese Communists while she trains the guns of the regime on the heads of Filipino Communists?

It does seem that she does not have an issue against Communists — except if they happen to be Filipinos.

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