Editorial | Has violence really worked?

OVER┬áthe weekend, six excavators, four dump trucks and two bulldozers were torched by armed men, which the military believed was part of the founding anniversary celebration of the New People’s Army, an event that historically hasn’t passed without some violent incident.

The series of assaults by rebels said to belong to Pulang Bagani Command 1, the unit headed by slain rebel leader Leoncio Pitao alias Ka Parago, resulted in an estimated P65-million damage and temporarily delayed the bypass road that would have linked Barangay Callawa with Paquibato proper.

To date, the National Democratic Front has yet to own up to the torching incident.

The attack came on the heels of the House Resolution sponsored by leftist-leaning solons and party-list organizations asking President Rodrigo Duterte to resume the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines.

President Duterte ordered the GRP panel to leave the negotiating table after wayward bullets killed a four-month-old girl inside a passing Toyota Fortuner during an ambush on a mobile patrol unit in Talakag, Bukidnon..

Violence has always been a tool of guerrilla movements around the world in order to achieve their aim. In our case, the ultimate goal is a power grab and instituting the group’s own vision of utopia under a communist state.

Regardless of the symbolism, it halted economic activity in the area. All the sari-sari stores, ambulant vendors, the masons and steelworkers, the construction workers, the heavy equipment drivers and their aides, they were all affected by that attack.

That’s what violence, or the threat of violence, does.

The NPA has been losing the public perception of war. Far from the romanticism of the past when the appeal of the rebellion held sway over the youth, more and more people think of the communist rebels as nothing more than bandits who are steered not by ideology but by power and money.

They can justify all they want about violence being a necessary and legitimate tool in civil conflicts in order to advance their cause, it will ring hollow to the public’s ears.

What the torching incident did was to squander whatever goodwill it may have gained with the current administration. What it did, in effect, was provide further ammunition for the Duterte administration to rally the people’s support in declaring it a terrorist organization.


Posted in Opinion