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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, July 8, 2016
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TIGHT ROPE
WITH MODESTO P. SA-ONOY

Unholy alliance

Tightrope

The truism that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” remains as valid today as it was since ancient times. The most recent of this is the call of President Rodrigo Duterte asking the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military component to help in the eradication of the drug menace in the country.

Since many years back, the NPA had been executing people, civilian, government officials, policemen and soldiers who the NPA claimed were engaged in the illegal drugs trade. One case that relates to me personally was the execution of the Mayor Ondo Cardenas of Canlaon City and his sister whom the NPA declared to be the drug queen in Negros. I had been writing about Cardenas and he had filed several libel cases against me in Guihulngan.

According to sources, Canlaon City was the transit point of drugs from Cebu and the drugs were distributed in the island and in nearby places including Manila. The two were executed in plain sight of their caravan while they were conducting a campaign sortie.

We know from the many press releases and from information we did not publish, that the killing of illegal drug traders by the NPA was done after they were found guilty by the revolutionary court. The NPA had also been sending out information about police and government officials involved in the trade.

The recent killing of a municipal councilor in Isabela was justified by the NPA with the claim that this man was engaged in illegal drug trade and had been warned, but the man reportedly persisted in the trade. With the sanction that Duterte gave to the NPA, the death of Councilor Crispin Posadas will now be treated as part of the anti-illegal drug operations of the government. The case is thus closed as with other killings related to illicit drugs.

The Army tagged the killing of Posadas as the 14 th involving civilians but since the CPP-NPA are now in alliance with the government in the elimination of those accused of involvement in the drugs trade, these killings will have to be added to the “accomplishments” of the campaign. The Army can no longer file cases of violations of human rights.

In fact, the CPP-NPA executions were carried out only after the victim was convicted in the revolutionary court and after warning. In the case of the police, the executions were done without court sentences and only justified under the mantra of “resisting” arrest.

I think that the CPP-NPA government-sanctioned killing units will be more widespread than those of the police. Note that all the victims of the police are civilians but those of the NPA are civilians, government officials, soldiers and policemen.

The “sparrow units” of the CPP-NPA will now be emboldened because their executions are sanctioned by the government. The army can no longer claim the NPA operations are terroristic. The NPA can just claim the victim was engaged in illegal trade and that's the end of it.

We cannot say the NPA are wrong because this is exactly what the police are doing – eliminating even mere suspects of links to illegal drugs trade without these claims being subjected to scrutiny by independent authorities. As with some of the killings, the NPA or even anybody can just put a tag on the victim “I am a drug pusher” and the case is closed. This is not farfetched because several cases of this nature have been reported.

The CPP-NPA and PNP alliance against drugs can be a prelude to closer cooperation between the government and the revolutionary group. Talks are yet to be started but the alliance on the ground has already taken its run.

The government sees illegal drugs as a social crime not a social, family or psychological problem. On the other hand, the CPP-NPA considers illegal drugs as instruments of colonialism by the government itself. Drugs deaden the senses and erode society and make it easier for the colonial power, this time the Philippine government and its vast army of corrupt politicians and influence peddlers, to rule.

The army and the police should be more careful now. They target civilians but with the sanctions, the NPA will be targeting soldiers and policemen, even their top officers who they claim to in cahoots with the biggest and most notorious drug traffickers”.

With the killings sanctioned, the field has widened.*

           

 

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