Lacson pushes for localized peace talks; urges gov’t to exclude Sison from talks with Reds

Maris Federez   •   April 17, 2019   •   2102

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson (Courtesy: pinglacson.com)

Senator Panfilo Lacson believes it is high time for the government to focus its peace talk efforts with those who do not listen to Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison.

Lacson stressed that the strength of the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels differs depending on their localities and that a localized peace talks is a much better way to stop the problem with communist rebels.

The senator said, “such a move is long in coming. I have always believed that this is the better way to deal with the five-decade insurgency problem.”

Lacson made the statement following President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to create a new peace panel tasked to “oversee” localized peace talks.

Lacson added that he had dealt with the NPA when he was still with the Philippine National Police which he headed from 1999 to 2001 and had been battling for localized peace talks since then up until now as a member of the Senate.

“I have been batting for localized peace talks and in fact strongly suggested the same to former Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III in one committee hearing of the Senate Committee on Peace and Unification chaired and presided by Senator Gregorio Honasan II,” he added.

Lacson also suggested that local government officials negotiate with guerilla leaders in areas where the NPA is not that influential, while the military focuses on areas where the NPAs are a threat.

 “So it is better that governors and mayors and other LGU officials be the ones to talk to local communist guerrillas, under the guidance and direction of a government peace panel that will provide the parameters for such localized peace talks but with enough flexibility in handling such peace initiatives,” he said.

Lacson believes that it is useless to deal with Sison, as he does not have control over the NPA.

“Experience has shown that while Sison asks for a ceasefire and government accommodates his request, NPAs continue conducting ambushes and raids. This shows Sison no longer has control over the NPA’s armed regulars,” Lacson added.

The NPA, the armed wing of the CPP, had been declared by the Philippine government, as well as the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, as a terrorist organization. – Maris Federez

Alleged ranking CPP-NPA official nabbed in Laguna

Robie de Guzman   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – An alleged high-ranking leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) was arrested by the military and police in Laguna.

The military on Wednesday identified the suspect as Antonia Setias Dizon alias Tonet, 60, who allegedly serves as secretary of the national organizing department the CPP-NPA, as well as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which is the communist group’s political arm.

Dizon was allegedly designated to the post, replacing NDFP Consultants Rafael Baylosis and Adelberto Silva who were earlier arrested by the authorities for illegal possession of firearms.

The military said Dizon was arrested by virtue of a warrant for the crime of murder issued by Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur Regional Trial Court Branch 7.

They served the warrant on Dizon at her residence in a subdivision in Barangay Rosario in San Pedro, Laguna at past 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

“Itong si Dizon na ngayon na nahuli siya po yung pumalit kay Silva na kung saan nga po itong si Dizon ay may kasong murder na finile sa Agusan,” Capt. Jayrald Ternio, chief of the 2nd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office told UNTV News in a phone interview.

Seized from Dizon’s residence were a caliber .38 pistol, some live ammunition, 10 blasting caps, two laptops and subversive documents.

The Laguna police believes Dizon’s arrest is a big blow to the communist group’s operations.

“May significant effect ‘yan with regards doon sa benepisyo ng grupo nila mga movement organizations resources financial lahat nasa liderato ng CPP-NPA-NDF,” Laguna police director Col. Eleazar Mata said.

Dizon is currently detained at the San Pedro police station. RRD (with details from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

PNP, AFP ready to wage all-out war vs Reds

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019

Interoperability Exercise between the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Army during AFP Joint Exercise (DAGIT-PA) on August 2018. | 📷Divino Lozano

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday vowed they will be relentless in their fight against communist terrorists in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to wage an all-out war against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“The AFP is compliant with the directive of the President and Commander-in-Chief. We are engaging the New People’s Army all out,” AFP Spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said.

Arevalo said the military has been employing and using all its resources in a “focused, surgical, and deliberate lethal and non-lethal operations towards the decisive defeat of the communist terrorists.”

On Tuesday, Duterte reiterated his call on the government troops to launch a full-scale attack and end the CPP-NPA before his term ends in 2022.

“I am ordering an all-out-war against the NPA. If I can, I will end the insurgency problem within my term,” the president said during a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.

“Walang hintuan. Magpalit-palit ‘yung isang battalion diyan na walang gamit na wala masyadong kalaban ‘yang ano…. Pagka-bone-weary na ang mga sundalo, palit na naman. Tuloy-tuloy. At kung maaari, lumaban sila nang husto kasi hindi ako magtanggap ng surrender,” he added.

The PNP, for its part, vowed it will launch swift and relentless police operations against communist rebels.

“The final push to end local communist armed conflict will be firm and decisive under the guidance and direction of the national leadership,” the PNP said.

“Police operations against the armed components of the communist terrorist movement will be swift and relentless just as it will be lawful and judicious,” it added. RRD (with details from Correspondents April Cenedoza & Rosalie Coz)

AFP to work with DFA, DOJ, Interpol for arrest of Joma Sison

Robie de Guzman   •   September 6, 2019

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said it would work with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the International Police and other relevant agencies for the service of the warrant of arrest for Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.

In a statement, AFP spokesperson Marine Brigadier General Edgardo Arevalo said they are ready to use available legal recourse to bring Sison and his cohorts to justice.

“We may not be able to serve the warrant right away as they are outside our jurisdiction. But we are not without recourse,” Arevalo said.

Sison and his wife have been in self-exile in the Netherlands for more than 30 years now.

“We are sure that the long arm of the law will soon catch up on Mr. Sison and his cohorts,” he added.

The AFP also expressed elation over the court’s issuance of arrest warrant against Sison, his wife and 36 other members of the communist group.

A Manila court on August 28 issued the warrant of arrest for Sison and company in relation with a murder case for the discovery of a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte in 2006. The site allegedly contained the bones of the victims of a mass killing by the New People’s Army in the 1980s.  

No bail was recommended for the accused.

The so-called “Inopacan massacre” was said to be a purging activity by the CPP of people in Leyte Province who were suspected of being government spies.

According to the AFP, around 300 people died in the incident which the NPA infamously dubbed as “Oplan Venereal Disease.”

“This is a crime against humanity. Though it’s too early to claim victory, we are happy for the Filipino people – especially for the families of the victims of this heinous crime – because the wheels of justice shall begin to grind,” Arevalo said.

The AFP official also promised to go after terrorists who perpetrated these “dastardly, cowardly, and devilish acts” to serve the warrant and arrest them.

“We are as devoted, as other agencies of government are, in bringing them to the bar of justice and answer for this crime most painful against the bereaved families of the victims who continue to live in a day-to-day anguish,” he said.

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