The failure of the Manila government to address the roots of armed conflict in the Philippines through peace negotiations has emboldened two armed political groups to raise the ante of their armed struggle against the seven-year-old presidency of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
BY GERRY ALBERT CORPUZ
Politics in Command / UPI Asia Online
Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No. 9, April 6-12, 2008
MANILA, Philippines – The failure of the Manila government to address the roots of armed conflict in the Philippines through peace negotiations has emboldened two armed political groups to raise the ante of their armed struggle against the seven-year-old presidency of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
On March 29, the Communist Party of the Philippines, celebrating the 39th year of the New People’s Army, put to task all Party members and red fighters to increase the number of guerilla fronts to cover all 173 congressional districts from its current 120-130 guerilla fronts.
Also on the same day, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which is currently holding peace talks with the government, issued another earthshaking political statement, asserting that without radical change, the Philippines has no chance at greatness where progress, unity, peace and understanding reign all over the archipelago.
In a roundtable discussion last February, MILF Central Committee Secretariat Chairman Muhammad Ameen said the Philippines has an economic system that is exploitative, where the needy and the weak do not enjoy level-field opportunities, stressing that monopoly practices are not only tolerated, but made legal by the present administration.
The armed Moro group said instead of addressing the problems besetting the 90 million Philippine population, the government favors the collective interest of the elites.
Such a statement could be read as preparation for the withdrawal of the MILF from the current peace talks, and therefore another political headache to the current embattled Arroyo presidency.
The presidential palace did not issue any statement in response to the two armed groups’ separate statements warning the administration of the bigger and bolder insurgency problem it will have to face in the next three years.
The only response was a press statement announcing the official trip of President Arroyo to Hong Kong this week to speak before an audience of big business groups and investors. The trip has been heavily criticized as a junket for the president and her close associates.
The CPP’s statement on the 39th year of the New People’s Army entitled “Seize the Initiative, Launch the Offensives to Reap Victories for the 40th NPA Anniversary,” said the Washington-backed Arroyo presidency is engaged in wishful thinking by repeatedly announcing its plan to destroy if not reduce the strength of the communist guerillas on or
The CPP said history has shown that from the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos up to the current presidency of Arroyo, the reactionary and mercenary government and its armed forces have failed to eradicate the insurgency problem.
It said the Manila governments from Marcos to Arroyo have merely succeeded in generating conditions for the growth in strength and advance of the NPA and other revolutionary forces in the Philippines. The party said Arroyo’s counter-insurgency programs, Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2, were also a complete failure in eliminating the communist movement.