LUCENA CITY – Malacanang’s plan to use death squads against the New People’s Army (NPA) and its allied civil-society, sector groups might be a copycat of the Phoenix Program, a secret “dirty war’ assassination program, funded by the American CIA in Vietnam in 1963 – 1972. In that infamous Phoenix secret war, more than 50,000 Vietnamese cadres and civilian supporters were assassinated by combined South Vietnamese-American “hit teams” in a bloody wave of killings in all villages, towns and cities.
The latest scheme by President Duterte to organize and deploy secret death squads (DDS) to crush the NPA and its allied front organizations has not caused any tremor of fear within the underground movement.
The NPA-Melitor Glor Command based in Quezon Province, in a statement posted at the internet, said it will counter such moves by any DDS and that the NPA will welcome activists and threatened civilians to join them if they become targets by DDS.
In a related move, the National Democratic Front (NDF)- Quezon Province said the incoming appointment of retiring General Carlito Galvez, AFP Chief of Staff, has been all-planned by Duterte who will pursue the path of war, rather than the quest for “just and lasting peace.”
Malacanang has moved for the resignation of Jesus Dureza, GRP lead negotiator of the peace process, to pave the way for the incoming appointment of Galvez upon his retirement in the AFP.
NDF-Quezon, in its statement, continued: “The latest manifestations of this obsession can be observed across the reactionary bureaucracy. One is the possible installation of soon to retire AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez in the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) following the resignation of GRP lead negotiator Jesus Dureza. Another is Duterte’s plan to create a vigilante group from his avid followers that will counter supposed ‘sparrow’ units of the NPA.
These two measures are part of the reactionary regime’s foolish dream to eliminate the revolutionary movement and all its sympathizers by 2019. These augment the National Task Force led by the mercenary AFP-PNP that aims to direct and coordinate all government units in the conduct of its bloody anti-communist war.
Placing an AFP general in the OPAPP is equivalent to expressing disinterest in the peace talks. It is a concrete move echoing Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s position that for the GRP, there are no ongoing negotiations with the revolutionary movement. Ultimately, it means continuing the all-out war against the revolution and its supporters.
The regime walks this violent path to the complete annihilation of its enemies without any regard for the well-being of the Filipino people, targeting legal organizations and killing innocent civilians in the process. Discreet yet equally destructive is its divisive strategy of using ordinary citizens in its suppression campaigns leaving communities and even families ruined.”