Stand Up, Bayan!
But perhaps the most horrendous news was the near-lynching of DBM Secretary Butch Abad by a University of the Philippines’ organization called Stand UP. The bellicose behavior of the militant group was jaw-dropping.
Secretary Abad graciously (and courageously) accepted the invitation of the UP Student Council to explain and dialogue about DAP. When he was about to leave, the Stand UP mob threw paper, coins and invectives at him. One of the herd even tried to yank Abad out of his vehicle by the collar.
The spokeswoman of the group was defiant and unremorseful. In a TV interview, she brazenly denied that someone from her group collared the Secretary. She obviously forgot that there were videos.
As a UP alumna who has joined many student protests, I am aghast at such vicious behavior. Even if they felt righteous indignation, they crossed the line and damaged their cause.
Just what is Stand UP so enraged about?
For one, their party was soundly rejected and thrashed at the campus election for Student Council. Since the forum was sponsored by their victorious opponent, did they deliberately want to wreak havoc? Was Abad just collateral damage?
They are also aligned with the leftist partylist Anakbayan. Bayan Muna is the parent organization. The family tree is confirmed and the DNA is unmistakable.
When the country was under an oppressive dictatorship, the militant organizations had an idealistic ideology and walked the talk. Some even paid with their lives. Many empathized with the cause. This contribution is enshrined in history. It cannot be diminished.
But since then, the leftist brand has been badly tarnished, mostly by their own hand. Fierce in-fighting among the reaffirmists who accept, and rejectionists who disagree, with the philosophy and leadership of self-exiled Jose Maria Sison has taken its toll. The rift has been long, bitter, and bloody.
With the discordant voice, the extreme antics and the often-misdirected wrath, the Left is losing the battle for hearts and minds.
In a nationwide survey taken during the first quarter of 2014 among 1,380 respondents, MF aged 15-50 years, the awareness for the Communist Party of the Philippines(CPP) and its political arm the National Democratic Front (NDF) was at 73%, mostly in balance Luzon among the older 40-49 years old segment.
The New People’s Army (NPA) had 98% awareness across all segments. But the NPA garnered the highest score, 31%, as the top group perceived to have no good effect on the community.
Asked if any of these leftist groups can lead the country, the answer was an overwhelming strongly disagree:
Asked if political prisoners should be released as a condition of resuming the peace talks, 84% said no.
If the Left still want to be an influential force, they should calm down and find a legitimate and productive purpose in society.