CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/31 Dec.)– It’s been decades since Jose Ma. Sison, alias Amado Guerrero, launched his Maoist version of communism in a barangay somewhere in Pangasinan when they celebrated the birthday of Mao Zedong on December 26, 1968. They swore to topple our government and superimpose their alien ideology on our society by force and by violence.
They’re still at it… terrorizing defenseless folks, assassinating officials, sabotaging the economy, destabilizing community life. And it has been largely profitable for them.
Days ago, celebrating their 45th anniversary, they were reported to have issued a declaration of war anew against the Philippine government, vowing to intensify attacks against its forces while pursuing their objective of raising the number of their combatants to 25,000.
That they are able to grandstand and make such pompous declarations to this day is something I can only marvel at. That the government lets them get away with it perplexes me even more. But it can’t be denied that they’re very much around and have been making inroads not only in out of the way places but in the capitals.
Earlier this month they declared a ceasefire supposedly in keeping with the season. But no sooner did they make the declaration than they violated it, killing a soldier in Impasugong, Bukidnon.
It is getting worrisome that these malcontents are increasingly able to pull off such treachery on government and citizenry and get away with it with impunity.
Intimidating, Conditioning Community Life
Before this, they raided a large hog farm in Libona, the Bukidnon town next to Cagayan de Oro, killed hundreds of prime livestock, burned facilities and structures, then made off with weapons they seized from the security guards.
Not long after that, tension gripped Villanueva municipality in Misamis Oriental, just east of Cagayan de Oro, when the group served notice that violence and destruction will be meted to four large corporations there unless they pay the ever-larger sums they charge “for protection.”
All this is conditioning the citizenry to view such intimidations as a normal part of community life, breeding an unhealthy impression that government is helpless and can’t protect threatened communities. This is bad, to say the least; very bad.
It’s bad to condition citizens to accept lawlessness; bad for people to think their government is helpless against criminality. It’s been bad enough that the government has been unable to enforce the constitutional ban on political dynasties.
More and more Filipinos are being backed into a corner where they’re either harassed by these mercenaries or abused by the claque of dynastic rulers who dominate the political system.
Is the Government Helpless?
Who is this Jorge Madlos alias “Ka Oris” who the media love to seek out and flatter by quoting his words? He moves around, makes deadly threats, and justifies Communist depredations. He metes out penalties to business firms for violating “revolutionary policies.” For emphasis, he cites what they did months ago to three Surigao mining firms whose facilities and equipment they set afire with impunity. “Listen, Everybody: respect our policies and obey our warnings…or else!” That’s what he’s been saying and he’s getting away with it.
This is not a Filipino talking. This is an impertinent, gun-toting promdi terrorist who exploits and preys on helpless Filipinos.
Why he is glorified by the media, why he gets free air time or printed page to threaten and intimidate everyone, why they seek him and hand him a microphone for his propaganda–one can only speculate.
No less curious: why does our government put up with his impertinence? It’s beginning to look like our government has conceded its authority, surrendering control over parts of Caraga to these communist brigands.
If this fellow is a Filipino, he is subject to the laws of the republic. He should be made to account for his bluster and pay for his group’s criminal activities.
If he denies being a Filipino, he is a traitor and should be treated accordingly. He shouldn’t get away with blackmailing society while living parasitically on hapless communities. He brandishes his weapons at will, shows off his fire power in his jungle redoubt for media to feed on, and gets propaganda mileage for the troubles he causes.
How many more insults can this fellow hurl in our faces before our law enforcers stop him?
It’s appalling that instead of pursuing and arresting these blackmailers, all our officials do is make assurances that troops are on alert. Some even suggest that communist detainees be released as a confidence-building measure. To boost their confidence or ours?
What’s the Government Doing?
Billions in investments are wasted as a result of their depredations. Billions more in property are burned and destroyed while hundreds of civil servants and citizens are victimized.
Something is very wrong if traitorous criminals can point guns at us, create destruction and disorder as they violate our sovereignty and destroy our community. They are mocking our laws!
Sure, let’s listen to their plaints and their demands, even to their anger, but let it be abundantly clear that we have a greater cause for anger. We are the law-abiding citizens; we are the victims, the injured party—we have the right to be angry and to demand justice. We must not tolerate anarchy.
Let us tell our field commanders that it is not enough to place the troops on alert—that is tantamount to capitulation. Ceding the field to lawbreakers is surrender. It’s time to pursue them in earnest! (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Manny Valdehuesa writes from Cagayan de Oro and is the president and national convenor of Gising Barangay Movement Inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)