Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. made me aware of his resignation letter more than a month ago when he paid me a courtesy visit in my Senate office. I thanked and commended him even as that resignation was still subject to the approval of higher authorities.
There is no question about his passion to do his role in ending the longest-running insurgency in Asia, and I still believe that the NTF-ELCAC is a long overdue solution to the “water lily” tactical maneuvers being employed by the CPP-NPA to maintain their influence over previously cleared barangays.
I too believe that without infrastructure, livelihood and social development interventions by the national government after all successful counter-insurgency operations by our security forces in clearing those barangays of the NPA presence, it can only result in a Sisyphus-like situation with no clear solution in sight.
That said, the Senate’s legal position on the issue is clear – that his appointment as an active military officer in a civilian position is clearly proscribed by the Constitution, and whatever legal discussion or debate on his official designation in a civilian office while still in the active military service has now become moot and academic. I am glad it has ended that way.
It is called resource denial operations and rightly so, in order to tighten the noose on the financial and logistical needs of the CPP-NPA.
That being said, the non-traditional left-hand/right-hand approach must still be applied by welcoming back to the fold their members, making sure that they will be treated justly and ensuring their personal safety – the same way the earlier surrenderees who appeared before our Senate red-tagging hearings a few weeks ago are being treated.
Having the momentum with the series of successful operations against the CPP-NPA who are now officially a “designated terrorist group” by virtue of the authority vested by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 upon the Anti-Terrorism Council, I doubt if the security sector will recommend the resumption of centralized peace talks to the President, more so after they validated the information that after all, peace talks are just part and parcel of their long-drawn strategy to consolidate their forces and stop the momentum gained by the security forces.
To The Manila Times: Please allow us to set the record straight regarding your Dec. 4, 2020 editorial, which claimed, among other things, that Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has made it his “advocacy” to criminalize red-tagging.
Usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng gobyerno at mga rebelde, mas naaangkop sa lokal na lebel.
Ito ang paraan na nakikita ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate National Defense Committee, para matigil ang karahasan sa mga lugar na tukoy na pimamahayan pa rin ng mga armadong grupo gaya ng New People’s Army (NPA).
Ayon sa mambabatas, tama lamang na isulong pa rin ang pakikipag-usap ng pamahalaan sa mga armadong grupo na sinasabing may ipinaglalaban, bagama’t nasa mas mainam na kalagayan ang lokal na pamahalaan para tugunin ang kanilang hinaing.
“Giving up on peace should not be an option. But given the failures of past administrations who engaged in centralized peace negotiations, I fully support the present efforts of localizing it,” pahayag ni Lacson matapos ang huling pagdinig ng Senado sa red-tagging.
While the government should not give up on peace efforts with insurgents, it would be better to pursue localized talks with them.
On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson reiterated his support for localized peace talks.
“Giving up on peace should not be an option. But given the failures of past administrations who engaged in centralized peace negotiations, I fully support the present efforts of localizing it,” he said.
Sumusuweldo sa gobyerno pero “sumusuporta” sa mga kalaban ng estado kahit pa nasa poder o puwesto.
Isa ito sa mga lumabas sa pagdinig ng Senate Committee on National Defense na pinamumunuan ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, na dinaluhan ng mg kasalukuyan at dating partylist representatives kaugnay sa red-tagging.
Ayon kay Lacson, mauunawaan niya kung nagpakita sila ng “sympathy for their cause but not their methods” tungkol sa New People’s Army.
Bagama’t maaaring itangkang pabagsakin ang pamahalaan sa mapayapang paraan tulad ng dalawang EDSA revolution, hindi katangggap-tanggap na ang mga sumusuweldo mula sa gobyerno ay hindi lamang mananahimik at sa halip ay kinukunsinti pa ang mga puwersang nais itong pabagsakin.
“Senate red-tagging inquiry: Will somebody help explain the logic of some members of Congress publicly condoning the New People’s Army that has been waging a protracted armed guerrilla warfare against the same government that employs them?” banggit ng mambabatas sa pamamagitan ng Twitter.
“I would have expected a ‘sympathy for their cause but not their methods’ response from the Makabayan bloc who attended the second red-tagging hearing yesterday. That would have been understandable and completely acceptable as a response to my question about the NPA,” dagdag ni Lacson.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson questioned the “paradox” of lawmakers who continue to condone the New People’s Army and its armed warfare against the same government that employs them.
Lacson said that while one may attempt to bring down a government through peaceful means as institutionalized by the two EDSA “peaceful revolutions,” “something is irreconcilable” if one who gets salary from government cannot denounce atrocities against it.
“Senate red-tagging inquiry: Will somebody help explain the logic of some members of Congress publicly condoning the New People’s Army that has been waging a protracted armed guerrilla warfare against the same government that employs them?” he said in a post on his Twitter account Tuesday evening.
“I would have expected a ‘sympathy for their cause but not their methods’ response from the Makabayan bloc who attended the second red-tagging hearing yesterday. That would have been understandable and completely acceptable as a response to my question about the NPA,” he added.
I’ll join Senate President Sotto’s call to retain the P16.4-billion allocations to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
The fund is not even at the disposal of the security sector since it is part of the Special Purpose Fund under the Assistance to Local Government Units (ALGU) and is intended to hold and develop barangays that are cleared of New People’s Army (NPA) influence.
As such, it will go to development programs such as farm-to-market roads and livelihood, as part of confidence-building to prevent the insurgency problem from returning.
With this, affected barangays will no longer be vulnerable to attempts by the NPA to recruit members especially from indigenous peoples. Pagkakataon ito pati sa mga NPA sa mga lugar na ito na magbagong-buhay.
The insurgency problem is more than 50 years old, easily the oldest in Asia. It is time we take the needed steps to address the insurgency problem.