The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has rewarded five informants for aiding in the arrest of five leaders of the New People’s Army (NPA).
The five informants received over P14 million reward from the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“The AFP is grateful to all informants whose help and cooperation has become vital in the neutralization of these criminals who were responsible for heinous and atrocious crimes against the people and our nation,” he said.
According to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, the reward system is a huge help in curbing terrorism.
Madrigal, meanwhile, calls on the public to also help authorities fight terrorism by reporting any suspicious activities in their area.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is standing by its proposal to revive the Anti-Subversion Law to finally put an end to the communist struggle in the country.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the need to reimpose the law is “urgent, critical and inevitable,” if the people truly want to end this scourge of society.
Año stressed that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) and its front organizations have been “for the past 50 years in an organized armed conspiracy to overthrow the duly-elected government not only by force or violence but also by deceit, propaganda, and other illegal means.”
The DILG chief said that it’s about time that we put an end to this conflict that has been bringing our nation down and has killed some 100,000 policemen, soldiers, government officials, and innocent civilians.
“We wish to emphasize that our proposal to revive the Anti-Subversion Law is only for members of the CPP-NPA-NDF and all groups directly supporting it. It only covers the Communists who are actively working to overthrow the government through armed struggle and does not, in any way, cover legitimate dissent, political opposition, or similar groups,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
The Anti-Subversion Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 1700 was passed in June 1957 during the presidency of Carlos P. Garcia. It declared the CPP illegal as an organized conspiracy to overthrow the government for the purpose of establishing in the Philippines a totalitarian regime.
During the martial law period, RA 1700 was expanded through Presidential Decree (PD) 885 in 1976 and PD 1835 in 1981. These decrees made it a subversive criminal act to be affiliated with a group and attend a meeting or take part in any activity meant to overthrow the government with the open or covert assistance and support of a foreign power.
During the time of President Corazon Aquino, she issued Executive Order No. 167, series of 1987 repealing PDs 1835 and 1975 and reviving RA 1700. And in 1992, President Fidel Ramos signed RA 7636 repealing RA 1700. Subversion is no longer a criminal offense, but sedition remained a crime.
According to Año, the decision to repeal the law may have been a mistake because “the Communist movement gained momentum in many areas and it grew bolder with the support of legal front organizations in urban areas from where they derive logistics, funding, source of cadres, and other forms of support.”
“The repeal of the Anti-Subversion law was a demand of the CCP-NPA-NPF for the conduct of the peace talks in the 1990s. In good faith, the government acceded to those demands for the sake of peace. But instead of laying down their arms and joining mainstream society, the Communists grew bolder and used the democratic space accorded to them to regroup, organize, and mobilize,” he said.
The DILG Chief said that since the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law, the Communists have continuously rejected the government’s call for genuine peace for the past 50 years and have instead indiscriminately sowed terrorism across the country.
He said the CPP’s Constitution – which is available on the internet — categorically states that its goal is to overthrow our democratic, republican system using the weapons of “revolutionary armed struggle and the national united front.”
Its program declares that this is to be done by building guerrilla fronts “to encircle the cities from the countryside… until it becomes possible to seize power in the cities.”
“It can’t be denied by anyone that the continued existence and illegal activities of the CPP-NPA-NDF constitute a clear, present, and grave danger to the security of the Philippine state,” Año said.
“If we revive the Anti-Subversion law, we will be able to dismantle the urban mass movement in the cities that fuels the armed struggle in the mountains. We will be able to stifle their so-called ‘legal front organizations’ that provides sustenance to the underground mass organizations. It will be the beginning of an inevitable end,” he added.
The DILG chief cited the continuous active recruitment of some 500 to 1,000 youth annually by legal Communist front organizations in schools and universities where some 50 to 100 of them become armed members of the New People’s Army.
Año said that all organizations providing support to the CPP-NPA-NDF must also be declared illegal and mere membership to these organizations should be a criminal act.
“Our present laws, the Revised Penal Code, and special penal laws only penalize the individual acts of communist terrorist groups while the revival of the Anti-Subversion Law would declare illegal the mere recruitment or membership to these illegal organizations. The Human Security Act is also deficient,” he said.
Año assured the DILG is ready to work with Congress “to craft such legislation that responds to the need of the times and places the necessary safeguards to ensure our constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms of association and free speech.”
Malacañang earlier said the proposed restoration of the Anti-Subversion Law needs more study while the Department of Justice believes amending and strengthening the country’s anti-terrorism law will suffice instead of criminalizing subversion again.
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang expressed concern over reports of alleged student recruitment in universities and campuses across the country to join the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.
However, the Palace is not keen on deploying policemen inside university and college campuses since student recruitment by rebels is done discreetly.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo noted that though Malacañang sees nothing wrong with joining progressive groups as an avenue to express one’s sentiments to the government, the case is different when a student joins an organization promoting ideologies that seek to destabilize the government.
Panelo added that it is still important for parents to remind their children to be wise in joining student organizations in schools.
“Kung papasok ka sa mga organisasyon…na ang intensyon ay pabagsakin ang gobyerno, wrong iyon (if [a student] joins an organization that intends to destabilize the government, that would be wrong),” Panelo said.
“Pero (But if) you join organizations to express legitimate grievances against (the government) gobyerno, certainly it’s not,” Panelo concluded.
Panelo noted, meanwhile, that a thorough study is highly necessary before the Palace considers the proposal to revive the anti-subversion law to end insurgency in the country. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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