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  1. #1
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    Default The New People's Army

    Hi:

    This is a clipping from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I decided to open a new thread.

    Military says LGU funds go to NPA


    By Delfin Mallari Jr.
    Inquirer
    Last updated 01:51am (Mla time) 11/25/2006

    Published on Page A15 of the November 25, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    LUCENA CITY—Portions of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of some local government units and villages in Southern Luzon go to the coffers of the communist New People’s Army rebels, military officials alleged here Thursday.

    Maj. Ramon Rosario, commander of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Southern Luzon, said some municipal and village officials in the Bicol region have been allotting at least 10 percent of their IRA for communist rebels.
    “But lately the NPA wants their share of the IRA to increase to 25 percent. The officials have resisted and most of them are now seeking the help of government forces to end the extortion,” Rosario said.

    Lt. Col. Rhoderick Parayno, spokesperson of the military’s Southern Luzon Command based here in Camp Nakar, said they also received reports that portions of the IRA of some municipalities, and even villages, in some parts of Southern Tagalog were being used to pay taxes to the rebels.

    “Those government officials kowtowing (sic) with the enemies should now think twice. The enemies are robbing their own people and yet they were all willing participants,” Parayno said.

    Col. Amado Bustillos, commander of the Army’s 74th Infantry Battalion based in the Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon province, said he, too, has the same piece of information.

    “The NPA also demands parts of the IRA especially from those in the remote villages,” Bustillos said.

    He said the rebels have been imposing two kinds of taxation—socialized and centralized.

    Socialized taxation, according to Bustillos, refers to money collected from individuals—from the village councilman, teachers to urban professionals while centralized taxes refer to money imposed on businesses operating in rebel-controlled areas.

    “But whatever it is, it is plain and simple extortion and banditry,” the Army official said.

    Armin de Guia, spokesperson of the NPA’s Apolonio Mendoza Command (NPA-AMC) that operates in Quezon province, laughed off the military’s allegation.

    “Revolutionary taxation through the IRA is pure hogwash. There is no such thing in Quezon,” he said in a text message.

    He also denied that communist guerrillas have been collecting taxes from individual wage earners and professionals.

    “The collection of revolutionary tax is only being directed against capitalists and landlords and not against the masses,” he said.

    The head of the Quezon village chieftains association also denied that barangay officials in the province have been paying taxes to the rebels.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-16-2015 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Was a stand alone post till found and merge dhere

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    Default Communist Insurgency in the Philippines (catch all)

    Hi:

    A case can be made that macArthur's refusal to recognize the contribution of the Huks to the anti-Japanese resistance in World War 2 contributed greatly to the start of the rebellion. Or at least to the tensions leading to it.

    The old Communist Party's original agenda was to engage in parliamentary struggle after World War 2. And most of the Huk leaders were peasant socialists, not Communists.

    The latter were mostly Manila intellectuals and professionals.


    As for the 1972 to late 1970s MNLF rebellion? Somebody still has to write a book on Marcos' Machivellian tactics to beat them.

    Clever rogue that Marcos. No wonder he fooled a lot of people then. This included a lot of American policymakers.

    As for the NPAs? Jose Ma. Sison is a very interesting fella.

    Cheers.

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    Pinoyme,
    I'd disagree with your first statement that MacArthur's antipathy towards the Huks contributed greatly to the start of the Huk Rebellion.

    I think that the basic motivating factor behind what became the Huk movement was the changing nature of the tenancy system in Central Luzon -- traditional relationships between tenants and their hacenderos broke down over the issue of non-contractual benefits as the Philippines began to modernize governmentally and legally under American control, and the firm grip the landowning class had on most organs of government and the courts led to peasants seeking alternative means of addressing their grievances, first in the form of striking and general unrest, and later in the form of armed revolution.

    You do bring up the point that Communist Parties, and the PKP in particular, were committed to competing politically rather than militarily after World War II. The PKP did in fact compete politically in the form of Popular Front politics in the 1946 elections. It was only after their failure in these elections, at least partially due to widespread voter fraud and corruption, that they turned military struggle.

    Also worth noting that the Manila faction was essentially wrapped up in 1950 when Lava and the rest of the Secretariat was captured. After that you have peasant leaders like Taruc running the show almost exclusively.

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    Default Reagrding the Huks

    Hi Charter 6:

    The Popular Front did not fail in Central Luzon. That was where they got Congressment elected through the Democratic Alliance Party.

    These Congressmen were unseated, allegedly by deft maneuvers by then-President Manuel Roxas. The DA opposed amendments to the Philippine Constitution , which would grant Americans parity rights in the economy.

    I shall not argue with you over economic theory, as I personally believe economic protectionism has what has stalled the Philippines from fulfilling its potential.

    Nonetheless, the fact remains that with the DA out, the way was paved for amendment of the Philippine Constitution.

    On the social tensions prevailing in Central Luzon beginning the 1930s, I agree with you on this.

    But non-recognition of the Huks' contributions to the guerrilla effort was a grave historical injustice and contributed greatly to tensions in Central Luzon immediately after World War 2.


    Rascal though he was, it was to Marcos' credit that he finally recognized the Huks in the mid-1970s shortly after he declared martial law.

    Incidentally, the incident which finally sparked the Huk rebellion was the murder of a popular Left-leaning peasant/labor leader in Central Luzon.

    The Cold War is over now. The Huk rebellion can now be examined for what it was: yet another peasant rebellion in a country full of such rebellions.

    Cheers.

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    Right, but overall the PKP did not accomplish its goals in the '46 elections, and that was when party leaders began to look towards armed struggle as the answer.

    I'm not arguing over your characterization of non-recognition of the Huks' contribution in World War II -- it was an injustice. I just don't think that injustice really played too great a role in causing the Huk Rebellion, regardless of the public statements made to that effect by the PKP. Central Luzon was a powder keg, and had been since the 1930's. The Roxas government did nothing to diffuse the tension there after the war, and paid the price.

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    Default the Huks again

    Charter 6:

    In 1946, the goal of the PKP was parliamentary struggle. This was to be done through Popular Front tactics. The Democratic Alliance was made up of left-inclined liberals, agrarian populist/socialists, intellectuals, and a faction of the hard line nationalist movement.

    The PKP had no illusions about its overall strength. Its base was confined to Central Luzon, and parts of the Southern Tagalog region also in Luzon. It had small pockets of influence in Manila--among left-leaning intellectuals and a labor federation, the Congress of Labor Organizations. It had a toehold among port workers in the in the Western Visayas in the central islands of the Philippines.

    The decision to overthrow the government through armed struggle was made in 1950. However, between 1946 and 1950, there were several skirmishes between the Huks and the Philippine Constabulary, town policemen, and armed civilian guards of landowners.

    In 1946, the Huks registered with the government. In the 1960s, Maoist leader Jose Ma. Sison pointed this out as a glaring example of the inept leadership of the PKP by the Lavas.

    I am anti-Communist. But historical facts are historical facts. After all, the Cold War is over.

    Cheers.

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    Default The Communist Insurgency in the Philippines: Tactics and Talks

    ICG, 14 Feb 11: The Communist Insurgency in the Philippines: Tactics and Talks
    The Philippine government is unable to control and develop large parts of the country because of the longstanding communist insurgency. The conflict has lasted more than 40 years and killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. Planning their attacks and securing weapons and funds locally, the insurgents have strong roots in the different regions where they operate and have proved hard to defeat. The government’s counter-insurgency strategy has diminished their numbers but has not been able to destroy the organisation. Neither side will win militarily. As peace negotiations resume under the Benigno Aquino administration, the parties to the talks should immediately commit to making existing human rights monitoring mechanisms work, while they try to reach the more difficult long-term goal of a durable political settlement.....

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    I would just offer not to get too wrapped up about the flavor of the ideology employed. Islam-based ideologies work in the south, Communism-based ideologies are more effective in the north. The common factor are populaces dissatisfied with the status quo of governance.

    The Philippines has been in a near constant state of insurgency since the first European sat foot there. How it manifests over time and by region varies.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I would just offer not to get too wrapped up about the flavor of the ideology employed. Islam-based ideologies work in the south, Communism-based ideologies are more effective in the north. The common factor are populaces dissatisfied with the status quo of governance.

    The Philippines has been in a near constant state of insurgency since the first European sat foot there. How it manifests over time and by region varies.
    True in the broadest sense, but as is so often the case, the broadest possible sense is too superficial to be of any real use. It's easy to point to "the status quo of governance" and there is certainly much there to fault, but when you get down to assessing the specific actions or policies needed to address the different insurgencies the differences become very significant indeed.

    There are similarities of course. In both cases local and regional governance and non-government power structures are the key drivers of conflict, and changes in Manila are only relevant to the extent that they allow Manila to disrupt (and hopefully improve) entrenched patterns of local governance. The levers that Manila could (but will not) use to do this are similar in both cases, and overlooked in both cases by parties focused on leader-leader negotiations. There are, however, very distinct differences that need to be considered.

    I personally think the NPA issue should be fundamentally easier to address and should be a priority. It will certainly take time, but in most areas where the NPA have strength it is at root a conflict between populace and local governance, often with clear local grievances that can be addressed. Focusing on areas where the NPA is strongest and taking direct, visible action to resolve the issues that drive the footsoldiers, most of whom wouldn't know Karl from Groucho, can effectively disaggregate fighters from leaders and reduce the leaders to irrelevance: it has worked in some areas and it can work in others.

    The Muslim issues are distinctly harder to manage, since particularly in Cotabato, Lanao, and Basilan they are fundamentally not a government/populace dispute but a fight between two populaces with irreconcilable expectations, neither of which trusts or is fully controlled by government. It's easier for government to alter the equation when government is one side of the equation.

    I've only had time to read the summary and conclusions of the ICG piece. Initial impression is that it places too much emphasis on leader/leader negotiation and not enough on the need to directly target the nexus of dominant families and the military/police collaboration with those families that create the feudal environment that in turn supports the NPA. More comment after detailed reading.

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    The Communist Insurgencies (there are more than 1 in the Philippines) are for the most part devoid of ideology on the ground. There is very little political development within the NPA with the ideologues almost entirely relegated to the insurgency's political echelon, the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines"). Part of the reason is that the movement follows tight control on the political side but lack of centrality on the military side, a necessity in a nation comprised of 7,107 islands.

    Though the Peace Process is at its highest point in well over 7 years it still won't produce much in the way of tangibility. Aside from the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) shifting gears with its new COIN Programme (Oplan Bayanihan), a move actually adopted unofficially in the summer of 2010 with the hard veer towards CMO Deployment (PDTs,Transparency in Media Relations and a more cohesive tactical programme) there is not a whole lot happening (the shift is not radical when examined). The government is setting an 18 month window for these latest talks (it opened at New Year) and while the NPA/CPP/NDF (the last being the National Democratic Front aka National Democratic Front of the Philippines) is trying to depict itself as receptive its goals haven't changed, it is all or nothing.

    I do think that IF the government were able to pose a sincere offer of limited regional autonomy in Mindanao within NPA AOR, to allow the CPP to employ its social-welfare programmes more fully, openly without interference it would produce much more progress than anything the government has done to date. If we look at Luzon and the now defunct CLA (Cordilleran Liberation Army), and Northcentral Mindano's RPM-M (Revolutionary People's Movement of Mindanao, translated from the Tagalog) another defunct Communist entity we can learn an important lesson. Both these CPP/NPA spin-offs had a message and fought to see it expressed. When both were brought to the table and offered a very real chance to put their vision into play what happened? Communism is not rooted in reality. When implemented, Human Nature ALWAYS wins out.

    "Each according to his needs" does not work with humans. The vast bulk of humanity wants an increasingly larger piece of the pie. Without getting into a riff about Communism itself, I believe that it is an inassailible reality that it runs counter to extremely basic Human Nature. If implemented to any real degree it is rejected and tossed out on the rubbish heap. The exception is constant re-inforcement by brutal force. Ergo, allowing the implementation under controlled parameters (say state:substate, or the more likely regional autonomy actually given to the CLA) allows an irrefutable demonstration to both concerned entities and their mass base, both potential and realised.

    Unfortunately, this is not possible with the CPP/NPA. When discussing the NPA Insurgency we are essentially discussing the NPA's "Insurgency in Mindanao." The 2 largest island is home to the largest number of NPA "Fronts" and has been home to the highest number of contacts since the mid-1980s. At the same time the island had seen an extreme shift towards resource-based development, particularly mining. Simply examining the "Tampakan Project" shows one what's at stake, and that is just the tip of the iceberg (in what will be the country's largest mine Tampakan will be an open pit standing over the borders of 4 provinces. Primarily concentrating on copper and gold it is ranked as the world's 2nd largest gold mine if and when developed though its window for commencement, 2016, seems to be right on schedule despite tremendous local opposition). The government will never take its fingers over some of the most lucrative mineral concessions in the world, to say nothing of the nation's largest source of timber, and its main source of rice and corn. Had the government had the fore sight to try and implement limited autonomy before 1995, the year the island was "opened up" things might be very different.

    The power of the NPA on Mindanao lies with the island's Lumad (a Cebuano word meaning "Born of the land" and synonymous with "Hill Tribes," refers to the Animist Tribes inhabiting the up country, except Negritos). The Lumad, like their counter parts on Luzon (Igorot, Tingurians) and Palawan remain the least served ethnic groups in the nation. IF the government truly concentrated on SUSTAINABLE Development and dug in for the long haul they could turn this 42 year travesty around. Instead the government engages in Development Aggression. This only acts as a source of power for the NPA. The only time most Lumad meet a state representative is at the wrong end of a barrel wielded by uniformed people who don't even speak the same language.

    As for the other areas of the country, there needs to be regional SPs (Security Plans), not a single programme because the nation has more than 110 ethno-lingustic groups spread almost from Taiwan to Indonesia and Malaysia. It has dozens of different religions and cultural perspectives. There is no "one size fits all" Bandaid. It needs to concentrate on properly training its security personnel, with an emphasis on restraint and should include sufficient Cultural Sensitivity Training before deploying or re-deploying personnel into new regions. The re-deployment of the 82 IB for example. In autumn 2010 they were re-deployed from Central Luzon to the 10ID in the Davao Region of Mindanao. Not only are they taking troops who are ignorant of the languages and customs of Mindanao but they brought them south primarily to man. PDTs! Peace and Development Teams are supposed to represent the best side of the military. Wouldn't it be nice then if they could hold the most basic of conversations with the locals they are dealing with?

    Anyway, too many different things to discuss when trying to asses the direction and performance of the NPA facet of the AFP COIN Programme.

    (Edited for spelling)
    Last edited by Rachamim; 03-20-2011 at 07:54 PM.

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    Dayuhan: When we speak of Bisaya (Visayans) nowadays we tend to be talking about Cebuanos but from Oroquita City all the wat aropund the island, moving east, until the border of Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur was populated by Bisaya. Indigenous languages like Suriganon and Butanon are Bisaya languages. Though Bisaya are traditionally coastal dwelling the also settled along rivers such as the Agusan, into Agusan del Sur as far as Esperanza. In terms of the historical record the Jesuits and Recolects both had missions at key points and more than a couple of priest slash missionaries recorded local languages and cultural mores to a high degree. If we include Bohalanos as Bisaya, we have Dapitan on the Zamboangan Peninsula who migrated to Dapitan in thevery early 16th Century, before the arrival of Islam. The Tausug in Sulu are Islamicised Butuanons who migrated south at least 2 centuries before the Spanish Era and so there really is no question of Bisaya being indigenous to Mindanao.

    The Maguindanowan and Maranaw (Maranaon) are both subsets of the Iranun (Illanun). The Iranun are from Sulawesi. The Kalagan (another Muslim tribe) converted in the early 20th Century. The Kalimbugan are merely Subanon (Subanen) who also converted in the early 20th Century. On Mainland Mindanao not a single Muslim claim predates the Bisaya. This isn't negating Muslims' right to exist in Central and Western Mindanao, only showing that the entire Bangsamoro narrative is bogus.

    "History is sketchy...": The British, Dutch, French, Spanish, China, Brunei, and various petty principalities like the Sultanate of Johor all offer historical records. There is a fair amount of knowledge about this side of the island. In 1902 when the first Colorum insurrection tookplace the Americans as well talk about the Bisaya in the north and east. Even Magellan, when he celebrated Easter did so with 2 local chiefs , blood relations of Cebuano chiefs so no, the Bisaya aren't newcomers. The Ilonggo in Central Mindanao are an entirely different dynamic. Magsaysay transplant entire Illokano and Tagalog communities into the central part of the island. I remember operating in the Surallah Valley and finding entire barangays speaking Tagalog as it was spoken in Bulacan 50 years ago, as if in a time capsule.


    "Karaga...": It is corroborated by Maguindanaw Tarsila, but OK, for the sake of discussion, what about the Tausug, Butanon, Suriganon, all Bisaya Tribes from Caraga. It is a fact.

    "In 1500 there was neither Muslims NOR Christians...": But THAT is exactly my point. Both are foreign imports. The Bangsamoro narrative holds that when the Spanish arrived Islam was firmly established and that Christianity is entirely foreign, a relic of colonialism. This despite Islam having been introduced by a a man from Johor. The Maguindanowan and Maranaw didn't even exist! When de Figueroa sailed up the Pulangi Buayan hadn't even converted. This narrative is then used to disenfranchise people who are more often than not just as indigenous to the island as any Muslim.

    "Govt. sponsored settlement scemes upset the demographic balance and created the strife.": As I noted in another recent thread, Datu Ali was slaughtering Christians (and Lumads) at the turn of the 20th Century. In the 17th, 19th and early 19th Centuries Muslims from Central and Western Mindanao were attacking, killing and enslaving Christians in wholesale fashion. Did the Government's exercise of its sovereign rights to utilise Public Lands as it saw fit exacerbate this bloodshed? No. You pick an era and I can gie you lists of massacres and campaigns by Muslims against non-Muslims on the island. The Government didn't evict Muslim families or plow under their rice paddies. It used vacant, non-productive land to create new communities. The newcomers were of a different faith and culture and more importantly, they wouldn't even condider paying obesiance to local datus as some semi-enslaved Lumad Tribes had been compelled to. The Lambangians, Tedura, B'laan, and T'boli Tribes all lived as sub-humans and in exchange for giving the majority of their crops were allowed to remain on ancestral lands. The problem isn't Christians.


    "Agusan 79 to 81.": Admittedly before my time but yes, many say the same thing. 78 was the year the NPA finally took hold on the island but due south in Davao del Norte, in what is now ComVal (Compestela). Leonicio "Ka Parago" Pitao and Edwin "Ka Julie" Brigano were among the first recruits in that sector as a matter of fact but the centre of gravity was Agado District in Davao City. In Agusan 1983 was the lynchpin year.

    "Col.Lademora acquiring land.": You were in Agusan when he first moved there. You are correct that he was deployed in Cotabato, he was the 3rd PC liason with the Ilaga after making Captain. It was he who steered them away from Muslims and towards the NPA. He came to Agusan after Marcos retired him because of the Samar incident. The opposition in Manila was screaming about War Crimes. After that early retirement Conjuangco, one of the Rolex clique, hired him to "convince" land owners to sell to Guthrie, the huge palm oil plantation one sees on both sides of Agusan-Davao National Hiway soon after passing the San Franz rotunda.

    Conjuangco gifted Col.Lademora with 20ha just south of the plantation, on the right hand side. That's where he built his house and headquarters of his para. That is the same para that laid the barrel of an M16 on the hood of an SUV bring the Secretary of Agriculture to the plantation in 2008 and told him to turn around. It caused a national incident but after the AFP admonished the Secretary there wasn't much he could do. The Colonel's son and daughter alternate with an uncle of my wife's as mayor of San Franz so the Colonel certainly found a home.

    "San Franz looks like a Wild West town.": Hahaha, absolutely correct. Still does despite the Jollibee the put on Roxas in 2008. It has come a long way though. The NPA ran parallel governments in the farthest outlying barangays but by 1993 they were gone and today, despite operating in Lianga, Trento, and Prosperidad (the towns surrounding it) they won't raise their voice in San Franz. Maoist dogma teaches the path of least resistance. Between the Lademora and Beldad paraas in addition to the Bungkatoal (BULIF) there is just too much fire power running contrary. However, move 4 klicks south of the rotunda, a klick south of the Colonel's tract and the NPA is running the show. The set up checkpoints in daylight on National Hiway though only for 1 to 2 hours at a time, hoping to capture another soldier or cop.

    "Is Lademora alivel: Yes but sadly, not for long. He has had a very long life though, as you know. His son, though not as charismatic, runs things day to day.

    "Luces as Teduray.": No, you got it right the first time, definitely from Panay. At the time many poor Bisaya Christians were duped in scam land deals like the one that victimised his family. Most of his men were Teduray though so that could be why some confuse him as a Teduray. Another one who is still living. Like Kumander Dante, a relic who just wants to farm.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    I'm going to discuss some of that on another thread (one of these days), and try to keep this one focused on the NPA and the east of Mindanao.

    78 sounds about right... when I was in Trento (79-81) everyone knew they were around in Davao Norte (now ComVal), but there was very little fighting, mostly they were lying low and organizing. When it did kick off, it gained momentum very fast.

    Having been there at the time, I'd point to 3 reasons. NGPI, had an impact well beyond the immediate area. Rumors went all over that new areas were being targeted for plantation development and more farmers were going to be chased off the land. The people who were evicted scattered and brought their stories with them. The NPA could not have asked for a better entry point.

    Lademora... engaging conversationalist, comes off as benign as your favorite uncle. The stories aren't fiction, though, whether from Cotabato, Samar, or Agusan. Call him war criminal, serial human rights violator, whatever you want; there's a history there and it's an ugly one. The evictions and the way they were carried out were a major boost to the NPA and a major factor in the rapidity of their rise in the east.

    When I talked to Lademora he never admitted a thing. I also talked quite a bit with some of his guys, who were a lot less circumspect, especially after a few drinks. They weren’t the least bit ashamed; quite the opposite… the idea that a communist (very loosely defined), or still more a Muslim, had “rights” would have struck them as completely absurd.

    The second major factor was the farcical 1981 election, which had an enormous impact in Davao. Marcos called that election after the (very nominal) lifting of martial law, to put a little democratic veneer on the whole mess. The opposition boycotted it, and they couldn't find a candidate to run against Marcos. Finally they drafted a retired general named Alejo S. Santos.

    The campaign in Davao was a joke. In those days the newspapers all called Marcos "FM", by his initials; Imelda was "FL", for First Lady. The papers in Davao all referred to Santos by his initials as well, which happened to be ASS. Every night kids would go out and paint BOYCOTT in big red letters on every available surface, every day obedient government employees would paint it out in white. We all called the ritual "sa pula/sa puti, like at a cockfight. Everyone joked that ang manalo sa Davao ay si Boy... sino pa kundi si Boy Cott.

    Then Time and Newsweek ran features playing up the humor. FM (or maybe it was FL) got inis and told his crony on the spot to get it under control. He had access to his own equivalent of the lost command: the prisoners at Davao Penal Colony worked on his plantations in Tagum, and performed odd jobs on the side.

    Suddenly kids were getting picked up on the street at night and their bodies were turning up in the morning on Times Beach. Sometimes shot, sometimes stabbed, sometimes just hogtied and thrown in the water to drown. Escalated very quickly, pretty soon it was open season on anyone even vaguely connected to the political opposition. Of course the main beneficiaries of all that were the NPA; within a few months Agdao was Nicaragdao and the Sparrows ruled the streets. Of course they abused their power every bit as thoroughly, setting up the rise of Jun Pala (another quintessential Mindanao lunatic that I managed a few conversations with) and the Alsa Masa.

    Another thing that helped kick it off was that by ’82 Marcos was really and truly losing his grip. That sounds far away from Mindanao, but there were real repercussions. Marcos may have been a scumbag, but he knew how to keep his boys in the field balanced and under control… like any good feudal lord, he played his barons against each other and used the pork barrel to good effect. When he fell apart the barons went out on their own, complete free-for-all, with the military and police running with whoever promised them the biggest payback. After the Aquino assassination in ’83 the loan guarantee circus shut down and the pork barrel dried up; with nobody in charge the level of abuse and exploitation shot through the roof. You had all the psycho sects, Tadtads and Rock Christ and 4k and Pulahan. Putian, killing anyone who couldn’t fight back and trying to carve out reputations as the nastiest guy in town.

    Yes, it started in the late 70s but took off in the early 80s, with NGPI, the Davao debacle, the collapse of central authority. Of course the NPA was growing at a similar rate in a lot of other places at the same time. A lot of the factors that torpedoed NPA growth elsewhere were also present in Mindanao, most notably the internal purges… so why were the eastern Mindanao NPA able to resurge after the 90’s retrenchment?

    Partly money, of course. Small scale miners, plantations, logging, all easily “taxable”, and the area has a long tradition of submission to extortion. Money makes it a lot easier to sustain a rebellion.

    Then of course there are the Lumad, a ready-made source of footsoldiers, with the grievance but not the organization to try and redress the grievance on their own. As you’ve pointed out before, without the Lumad the NPA in Mindanao would be crippled; they’d have leaders but no followers, officers but no soldiers, drastically reduced support base in the hills. In theory, by resolving the issues driving the Lumad to affiliate with the NPA you could deprive the NPA of manpower and mass base and weaken them. That worked in the Cordillera: when the dam, logging, and mining projects were dropped the indigenous population backed away from their (always rather tentative) alliance with the NPA and stopped fighting. They’d won, why keep fighting?

    I don’t see that working for the Lumad, because the Lumad aren’t going to win. As far as I can see the Lumad are stuffed. They waited way too long to fight and when they did they didn’t control their own fight, but supported a group that has no real concern for their interests. The NPA are ultimately just another bunch of intrusive outsiders using the Lumad, if they ever won (unlikely) the Lumad would be just as screwed as they are now.

    Where do the Lumad have real control over their own ancestral domain, in anything but miniscule fragments? Where do they have control over resources? Are there any Lumad congressmen or governors? How many mayors? How many barangay captains, especially if you don’t include those who are tools of some settler politician?

    The Lumad are toast, gone, swept aside by the settler tide. They’ve lost control of their land and they are too scattered and fragmented to regain it. They’ll end up like the Aeta or the Mangyan; powerless, scattered, marginalized.

    Of course, as you say, the State has the sovereign prerogative of allowing settlement wherever it wants. The state has a bunch of other sovereign prerogatives as well. They can dam the river and flood you out, they can strip every tree from every hill, they can throw you out and turn the land over to a mining company, they can seize your land for a plantation and shoot you if you don’t want to leave. The only way indigenous communities can survive the sovereign prerogatives of the state is armed resistance, and the only way to succeed is to resist from the start.

    The Igorot core communities have kept control of their land and resources through a policy of zero tolerance: don’t accept ANY settlers, don’t let Manila get a foothold. The local attitude toward settlers taking over land is that that if you allow one in, tomorrow there will be ten, in a week a hundred, in a month a thousand and in a decade they’ll be the majority and you’ll be on your way to perdition. They’re right, and the only reason they still have what they have is that they’ve fought for it, from the start. If they’d taken the “just get along” route they’d be in the same boat as the Lumad. In places around the periphery where they have taken that route, that’s what happened.

    If you want an example, look what’s happening right now in the islands north of Palawan, in the ancestral domain of the Tagbanua. Visayan settlers are moving in… starts with a temporary hut on the beach for passing fisherman, then the hut is permanent, then there’s a family there, then there are more families. Pretty soon the dynamite fishing starts, and the cyanide, and the deforestation and all the other things that the settlers did to destroy the places they came from. The Tagbanua are not aggressive people; they just try to co-exist. As a consequence, they are chased back from the seashore, crowded off their fishing grounds, left with the scraps. If they go to town they are treated like subhumans. Government does nothing for them; even when the areas being settled are legally restricted to Tagbanua. That’s what co-existing gets you.

    So in theory, you could disable the NPA in eastern Mindanao by addressing and redressing the grievances of the Lumad. In practice, this will be very difficult to do, because, as you say, the settlers aren’t going away, and there’s little or no chance of the Lumad ever regaining control of their land or resources. If they won, they could stop fighting, as the Igorot did… but they’ve already lost.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  13. #13
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default Why the "peace talks" won't produce peace...

    http://af.reuters.com/article/worldN...7820JA20110903

    Maoists want Manila to free more rebels before talks resume

    MANILA (Reuters) - Maoist rebels Saturday demanded the release of at least five more detained guerrilla leaders before peace negotiations could resume with the Philippines government, the chief negotiator of the communist-led National Democratic Front said.

    Luis Jalandoni, a former Roman Catholic priest, said his group had also offered a truce and power-sharing deal with the government of President Benigno Aquino, opening a second track of negotiations to speed up the slow and tedious peace process.

    "It's a bold and innovative proposal," Jalandoni said, adding his group sent a confidential letter to Aquino on January 18, proposing an alliance and truce with government.

    He said the proposed political deal envisions social and economic reforms and nationalising industries, including mining and oil-and-gas projects.
    Always amusing when people with no power offer a "power-sharing deal". I don't know what Jalandoni is smoking in that peace pipe, but I suspect it's fragrant...
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Default The Leadership Crisis in the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-13-2013 at 05:35 PM.

  15. #15
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default CPP/NPA Leaders Arrested

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/588186/...aders-captured

    Benito Tiamzon, the head of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), and six other members of the CPP central committee were arrested on Saturday in Carcar City, south of Cebu City.
    That's pretty much the entire core leadership taken in one operation.

    It will be interesting to see what impact this has on the ongoing conflict. I would expect an acceleration of the existing trend toward decentralization, with NPA units in different regions operating autonomously. There may also be some conflict over filling those spaces: there will still be national leadership, though it may be increasingly nominal.

    Overall, though, I have to hold to my view that a long term solution to Communist insurgency has to match a focus on degrading the insurgents with a focus on bringing the rural oligarchs who nurture insurgency within the rule of law.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  16. #16
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Default

    This story broke today:

    http://www.interaksyon.com/article/8...s-now-with-npa

    The Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group said Thursday it is set to file criminal and administrative charges against five senior police officers over the disappearance of more than a thousand assault rifles, most of which reportedly have ended up in the hands of communist rebels in Mindanao...

    ... The officers reportedly approved the sale by importer Twin Pines Inc. of 1,004 M16 and AK-47 rifles, as well as gun parts, ammunition and accessories, to JTC Mineral Mining Corp. in the Caraga region.

    The weapons were supposedly to be used by the mining firm’s security force.

    However, a nationwide gun check last year discovered that the weapons were missing from JTC’s inventory and had supposedly been delivered to the New People’s Army.
    This sort of thing has gone on a long time, but this is the first time I can recall actual charges being filed. If they are actually prosecuted, let along convicted, it will be quite unprecedented. I wonder if it's true that, as the article claims, Presidential intervention was required to actually get an investigation...
    Last edited by Dayuhan; 06-05-2014 at 11:07 AM.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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