Reds Alert*

IT IS time for the government forces to keep the New People’s Army, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, on their toes and be on the alert against any attack.

President Rodrigo Duterte no longer considers the National Democratic Front (NDF), political wing of the CPP, as his friends. The brewing animosity between them led the communists to brand the President as a “bully” which he readily admits, when supposedly dealing with the country’s enemies.

In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday, Duterte tagged these rebels as enemies of the state who deserve to be bullied.

Days earlier, the Chief Executive said he abandoned peace negotiations with the NDF due to the spate of attacks of NPA rebels against government troops.

Duterte cited the attack done by the NPA on his Presidential Security Group in Arakan, North Cotabato only last week.

He pointed out that it was a clear attempt on the life of the President using a machine gun which apparently failed since the vehicle was armored and he was far from the convoy. Still, members of his police force are being assaulted on a daily basis.

Peacefully ending the communist insurgency, which has been running for decades, used to be a top priority for the President. But this all changed with the double-faced attitude of the communists of ambushing government forces while in the middle of peace talks and ceasefire.

Duterte also condemned the NPA guerrillas for their continued collection of revolutionary tax from businessmen and ordinary people.

Meanwhile, the Reds, for their part, criticized the Duterte administration for placing the entire Mindanao under martial law.

CPP founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, a former professor of the President, said it might be better to end peace talks with the Duterte government because of its obsession with martial law and mass murder.

This might have been the icing on the cake to cap Duterte’s anger as he agreed with Sison to stop the talks. Instead, the President suggested that they renew the fighting which could allegedly go on for another 50 years.

In plain and simple words, the President no longer trusts the communists. Firing Line believes that it takes years to build up trust but only one suspicion to destroy it. The attacks done by the NPAs are more than enough to prove their treachery.

I now wonder what would become of the left-leaning Cabinet appointees.

*              *              *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.

* The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

Robert Roque Jr.
Robert B. Roque Jr. is a veteran journalist who started out as a correspondent for Manila Bulletin's tabloid TEMPO in 1983. In 1989, At age 27, he rose to become the youngest associate editor of a newspaper of national circulation. In mid-2000, he took the helm of the paper as its editor until his voluntary retirement in 2012. He currently writes a syndicated column for TEMPO, Remate, and Hataw newspapers, and for this site, Beyond Deadlines. A former journalism lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas from 1992 to 2002, Roque is also an active member of the Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world, having served as head of the Philippine Lions (council chairperson) in Lion Year 2011-2012.

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