Thursday, December 22, 2022

Ex-NPA cadre says Sison's death to end communist ideology

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 22, 2022): Ex-NPA cadre says Sison's death to end communist ideology (By John Rey Saavedra)

END OF COMMUNISM. Cebu City Councilor Pastor "Jun" Alcover Jr. is seen delivering a message in an event with farmers in this Sept. 2, 2022 file photo. Alcover delivered a privileged speech on Wednesday (Dec. 21) before the Cebu City Council, saying he sees the death of Jose Maria "Joma" Sison would bring about the death of communism as an ideology. (Photo courtesy of Councilor Pastor "Jun" Alcover Jr.)

CEBU CITY – A former member of the New People’s Army (NPA), who led a squad of the earliest fighters in this city in the '70s, said on Wednesday the death of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison will also bring about the death of communism as an ideology.

In his privileged speech before the Cebu City Council to honor his former comrade, Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover Jr. said he hopes the death of Sison will put an end to the more than 50 years of fighting between the communist groups and the government forces.

“May Sison’s ideology also die and may his death put an end to violence and armed struggles in the country,” he said.

Even as Alcover condoled with the family of Sison, he said that as an elected government official, he hopes Sison's passing would become an opportunity to finally achieve lasting peace in the country.

He encouraged his former comrades who are still in the mountain fighting against the government and causing the destruction of some communities to leave the violence behind.

“My message to our youth and Red Activists, dili lalim ang magpabukid ug mag rebelde batok sa atong gobyerno tungod lamang sa usa ka idolohiyang sayop (it’s not easy to be in the mountain to rebel against the government because of erroneous ideology),” he said.

He urged Sison’s followers to finally bring lasting peace in the communities as “there is no peace if there is violence.”

Alcover warned that the small number of remaining rebels could still launch attacks against government troops as their way to mark the demise of their founder and leader.

The CPP will celebrate its 54th founding anniversary on Dec. 26.

Alcover urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to double their efforts to preserve the peace during the holidays.

As the first NPA leader in Cebu City, Alcover said he was promoted to the regional party committee and was given the chance to lead a platoon of NPA fighters in Samar island.

He left the armed struggle after 10 years in the mountains fighting with government troops. He then joined politics as a nominee to Congress representing an anti-communist party-list, the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy.

Sison died on Dec. 16 after two weeks of confinement in a hospital in Utrecht, The Netherlands, where he has lived in self-exile after then-President Corazon Aquino released him from detention in 1986.

NPA rebel, Bicol's most wanted nabbed in Cavite

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 22, 2022): NPA rebel, Bicol's most wanted nabbed in Cavite (By Connie Calipay December 22, 2022, 1:54 pm

Lt. Col. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Police Regional Office-Bicol (PRO-5) spokesperson (Photo courtesy of PRO-5)

LEGAZPI CITY – A member of the New People's Army (NPA) who was tagged as the most wanted person in Bicol has been arrested in Cavite, the Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO-5) said on Thursday.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Police Regional Office-Bicol (PRO-5) spokesperson, said Bicol police and the National Bureau of Investigation-Cavite operatives collared Rey Cueva alias Ka Boklan/Jimbo on Wednesday.

She said authorities arrested Cueva during a manhunt n Barangay Estana Amaya 1, Tanza, Cavite.

She said Cueva, of Sitio Kabikuhan, Barangay Luna, Placer, Masbate, had been hiding in Cavite.

"He is an active member of Luding Tulingin headed by Ka Dadi/ Ka Hernan, Commanding Officer of Platoon 1, Larangan 2, Komite ng Probinsya 4, Bicol Regional Party Committee (BRPC). He also belongs to the Special Partisan Unit of the NPA which carries out high-profile assassination missions against government employees and innocent civilians particularly in the 3rd District of Masbate under the squad of Reynaldo Mollejon or ‘Ka RM’," Calubaquib said.

The suspect has two standing warrants for murder dated March 14, 2022, and for violation of Republic Act 11479, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, with both no bail recommended. He is now under the custody of PRO-5 to face the charges against him.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, authorities nabbed Najib Haron, 26, from Cavite; and Sumaya Saripada Dimatingcal, 32, from Lucena City, were arrested during a buy-bust in Barangay Poblacion, Talisay, Camarines Norte.

Seized from the suspects were 170 grams of shabu worth over PHP1 million.
The two, now under the custody of the Talisay police, and will be charged with the violation of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Joma’s death to advance local peace engagements: NICA exec

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 22, 2022): Joma’s death to advance local peace engagements: NICA exec (By Sarwell Meniano)

National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Eustacio Bacabac. (Photo courtesy of Department of the Interior and Local Government)

TACLOBAN CITY – The death of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison is an opportunity to strengthen local peace engagements, an official of the National Intelligence and Coordination Agency (NICA) said.

NICA-Eastern Visayas Regional Director Eustacio Bacabac said Sison’s death ends the chapter of CPP under the latter’s leadership who rejected localized peace talks.

“He (Sison) was against local peace engagements, which the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) has been doing. The change of CPP leadership is an opportunity for us to attain peace,” Bacabac told reporters during a press briefing at Hotel de Fides here late Wednesday.

In 2018, Sison rejected local level peace talks ordered by the administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte calling it a “waste” of government funds.

Bacabac believes that despite Sison’s death, armed conflict will continue with National Democratic Front (NDF) senior adviser Luis Jalandoni as possible replacement of Sison. Established in 1973, NDF is CPP’s political arm.

Col. Erwin Rommel Lamzon, assistant commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, reported that local task force ELCAC in the region initiated this year 2,173 local peace engagements in communities vulnerable to threats of the New People’s Army (NPA), the CPP’s armed wing.

“The local peace engagements (LPE) involve capacity building, community consultations, local peace dialogues with NPA members. These activities primarily seek to end local armed conflict, community resilience, good governance, and transformed former rebels and their family members,” Lamzon added.

The LPE has immersed 259 remote villages that led to the withdrawal of 3,505 civilians from local chapters of CPP-NDF-NPA.

Direct negotiations persuaded 104 NPA combatants to abandon the armed conflict and returned to their families, according to Lamzon.

There are still four remaining NPA guerrilla fronts in Eastern Visayas with concentration in the mountains of Northern Samar province, according to the military.