How did Cory and Ramos resurrected and strengthened the communist/moro insurgency

Sunday December 17, 2017 ()

In the 16 months that President Corazon C. Aquino ran the government as a dictator after abolishing the 1973 Constitution and wreaked the entire Marcos bureaucracy, she arbitrarily freed the communists from prison and their social-democrat allies.

After that, she declared a unilateral cease-fire and held peace talks with them without precondition, hoping that she would win the coveted Nobel Peace Prize.

insurgency situation, then and now

Among those released were Jose Maria Sison, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman, and Dante Buscayno, New People's Army (NPA) commander, who were placed, respectively, in the custody of the late Joker Arroyo, President Aquino's first Executive Secretary, and Doña Aurora Aquino, the President's mother-in-law.

Sison subsequently escaped to Eastern Europe on a passport issued by the Aquino government and then settled in Utrecht, Netherlands, where he relentlessly directed the armed and political struggle against the Philippine government with other members of the CPP Central Committee, who later joined him there.

Sison and the key CPP members were convicted by the courts for waging an insurgency war for more than two decades before Mrs. Aquino freed them from prison. Their socialist democratic allies were, likewise, imprisoned for exploding bombs and burning shopping malls and hotels that killed innocent people, including American nationals.

Worse, the Aquino administration, after issuing Proclamation 2, which granted general amnesty to communist rebels and their socialist democrat allies (left of center), compromised national security, employed many of them in her government and triggered a spate of rebellion among the young officers in the police and military organizations.

Hundreds of these leftists and their allies later went back to the hills and elsewhere and resumed fighting the government.

Some infiltrated the trade unions, schools and universities, businesses, church, media, judiciary and departments of Agrarian Reform, Agriculture, Human Rights Commission, defense department, Congress and other sectors of society. When Marcos lost power, the NPA, the guerrilla arm of the CPP, had 16,500 regulars, but none of them could operate effectively in Metro Manila.

By 1988, the NPA had an armed strength of 25,200, including 2,500 operating in Metro Manila. Worse, 20 percent of the country's 42,000 barangays or villages were under the CPP-NPA's influence. Ironically, this was the same year that President Aquino announced in her second State of the Nation address that "the insurgency was broken."

Between 1988 and early-1992, 78 policemen and military men were systematically assassinated by the NPAs in Metro Manila alone.

Only then-Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and the reformist officers questioned President Aquino's immediate release from prison of the communists and their allies at the height of the Edsa euphoria. Enrile said:

"Cory's point was that everybody who fought Marcos deserved a second chance for freedom. It did not seem to matter that Sison and company were not just fighting Marcos—they were out to overthrow the state and democracy. Cory would be proven wrong and naïve."

Enrile, who initiated the military-lead Edsa uprising that swept Aquino to power and whom she had tried to banish from her administration that early, told the President and her Executive Secretary that releasing the leftists from prison without first requiring them to renounce their own constitutions, abjure armed struggle and pledge allegiance to the Philippine flag would be a dangerous move. The CPP and NPA operate under their own separate constitutions and bylaws that they approved on December 26, 1968, and March 29, 1969, respectively.

Recalling that incident, then- Army Col. Gregorio B. Honasan, head of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement, known by now as Revolutionary Alliance of the Masses, said that President Aquino merely ignored Enrile's advice. Honasan said:

"Mrs. Aquino was supposed to provide the leadership and a clear direction to the armed services in fighting the communists, but she chose, instead, to stay in the middle [centrist] and treated the insurgency problem as if it was the sole concern of the individual soldiers."

First elected to the Senate in 1995 as an independent candidate, Honasan said when President Aquino ordered the military to deliver a string of victories against the communists:

"I didn't know whether I should laugh or curse her, for how can we deliver a string of victories when she was sleeping with the communists and, at the same time, treating the military as her enemies?"

Mrs. Aquino's successor, President Fidel V. Ramos, who also aspired the Nobel Prize, did not even object to the wholesale release of the leftists, according to Enrile in his book. Worse, Ramos repealed Republic Act 1700, the country's only anti-subversion law, with his allies in Congress on January 22, 1992.

The repeal, in effect, created a serious security vacuum, enabled the communists to expand and rearm, resurrected the already moribund Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and revitalized the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a group that had been granted belligerent status by the previous regimes and now incessantly demanding for the creation of its own laws, separate territory, parliamentary system of government, separate taxation, armed force and its own human-rights commission, among others, all in violation of the Philippine Constitution.

It can be recalled that it was also Mrs. Aquino who resurrected MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari, then on self-exile in Libya, on the initiative of her brother, Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, Local Government Secretary Nene Pimentel and Butch Aquino, her brother-in-law. With them then was socialist-democrat Norberto Gonzales, who played a key role as a national security adviser of both Presidents Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Looking back, can the Moros really outsmart President Duterte and Congress in the name of a "peace negotiation," which many observers believed is just, to them, an extension of their battlefield as multifarious security events showed?


  • The insurgency situation, then and now, Cecilio T. Arillo, December 11, 2017, Business Mirror

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