Jorge Madlos, also known as Ka Oris, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front-Mindanao said the move is an indication that Aquino has now clearly abandoned any pretense of peace overtures with the NDFP. By harping peace on one hand and launching an attack on another, Madlos says Aquino engages in doublespeak.
By ALEX D. LOPEZ
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The government’s recent move to raise the bounty money for the capture of leading personalities in the country’s Communist movement “is a sign of desperation on the part of the Aquino government to stop the advance of the people’s legitimate struggle to achieve genuine national liberation and democracy.”
This was the reaction of Jorge Madlos, also known as Ka Oris, the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF)-Mindanao in a statement dated November 17.
The Aquino government has raised the amount of reward money for the capture of 235 wanted Communist leaders to PHP 466.88 million, through a recently issued Joint Order No. 14-2012 of the Department of National Defense and Department of Interior and Local Government (DND-DILG).
This is the second time this year that Malacañang has jacked up the bounty money for the capture of communist leaders; the first one was in August.
Madlos said the move is an indication that Aquino has now clearly abandoned any pretense of peace overtures with the NDFP. By harping peace on one hand and launching an attack on another, Madlos says Aquino engages in doublespeak.
Madlos was referring to the counter-insurgency program Oplan (operational plan) Bayanihan, which he said is an “all-out military campaign launched nationwide by the Aquino government,” the tagging of revolutionary personalities as common criminals, and the violent attacks, including against family members of communist leaders.
Madlos said even his son, Isagani, fell victim to this when a trumped-up non-bailable case was filed against him by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Surigao City. The incident, he said, forced his son to leave his job as a call center agent in Cebu City.
He also cited the case of Rebelyn Pitao, the daughter of New People’s Army (NPA) leader Leoncio Pitao, who was abducted and brutally murdered while heading home from the school where she taught in Davao City. Leoncio Pitao, popularly known as Ka Parago, was among the communist leaders included in the bounty list by Malacañang.
Leaving the path of peace
Resorting to bounty head-hunting, according to Madlos, is closely related to the massive and relentless military suppression campaigns against the revolutionary movement under Oplan Bayanihan, which he said is a “clear failure.”
He said the Aquino government is emboldened to leave the path of peace because of its “delusion” that the government’s intensified military campaigns under Oplan Bayanihan is succeeding.
Madlos said the operation plan’s only success is “in isolating itself from the broad masses of workers, peasants, middle income classes, and other sectors of Philippine society.”
In fact, he said the revolutionary movement in whole country is continually gaining ground despite Oplan Bayanihan, citing that the NPA has even increased by more than 10 percent in the last nine months of this year, launching more than 400 tactical offensives.
He also declared that the NPA’s mass base also increased by 10 percent, which covers more villages and towns in the whole island.
Madlos also attributes the move to increase reward money for communist party leaders to what he said is Aquino’s “false belief” that it has succeeded in terminating the Moro people’s struggle for their genuine right to self-determination.
According to him, Aquino had the notion that simply offering more bribe money for the capture of its lead cadres will hasten the defeat of the revolutionary movement in Mindanao.
Earlier this year, the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front agreed on a framework agreement that was signed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The content of the agreement has yet to be defined by a commission that will be formed by Malacañang that will eventually submit the details to Congress for approval.
Madlos, however, cited that as long as the flaws of the Framework Agreement “stay uncorrected,” (for according to him “no one can conceal the fact that it is detrimental to the aspiration of the Moro people”), a new Moro resistance movement will arise “and galvanize the Bangsamoro to be more resolute in the struggle for their genuine right to self-determination.”
He further cited that Mindanao would have a united front against the “imperialist and local ruling clique in the years ahead if and when a renewed armed Moro resistance escalates, fueled by discontent on the possible negative outcome of the framework.”
The call for the resumption of peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP mounts, as church leaders and other sectors urged both panels to finally sit down and talk peace.
In a recent speaking engagement in Davao City, lawyer Edre Olalia, the legal consultant of NDFP Peace Negotiating panel, said there is still hope for the peace talks to resume. Olalia, in the said forum, said the Aquino administration has sent emissaries to meet the (NDFP) negotiators in The Netherlands sometime last month.
Olalia in that forum said the increased bounty — dubbed in the NDFP statement as price tag placed on the head of many peace consultants — as well as the attacks against their innocent family members, is “a great challenge” for the GPH negotiating panel.
“If they wish to make us believe the Aquino government’s seriousness in the path of peace, they must prevail over this unprofessional way of dealing with their counterparts in the negotiations,” Madlos declared. (Alex D. Lopez/davaotoday.com)Peace Process