EDITORIAL: Helping the terrorists’ cause

THE DISSOCIATIVE stances of the National Democractic Front and the New People’s Army in Mindanao is really confusing everybody right now.

Just a day after founder Jose Maria Sison backed the government’s pursuit of the Maute group, and recommended for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines to deescalate aggression in light of the ongoing battle in Marawi City, here comes NPA Southern Mindanao spokesperson Rigoberto Sanchez ordering his troops to intensify the attacks.

And this is precisely why the public doesn’t put much faith in the peace process with the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines with the assumption that nobody is listening to Joma Sison anymore.

The statement of Sison said, “We in the NDFP are together with the GRP in opposing and fighting the ISIS-affiliated and CIA-supported groups like the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf.” He added that the fight in Marawi City “should be an incentive to the GRP and NDFP to meet and agree to fight groups that are terrorist.”

Meanwhile, Sanchez ordered Red fighters to launch tactical offensives against government forces and mount checkpoints to arrest soldiers and police officers to “preempt abuses.”

Telling the NPA not to join the fray is sound advice to avoid misencounters between troops and communist guerrillas, which can severely impinge on the peace talks. It will also allow our government to focus all its assets on neutralizing the Maute group, while soldiers won’t have to worry about their left flank as they engage the terrorists.

It’s quite a jump for the NPA to accuse President Duterte of trying to usurp civilian authority to install a military government when the 1987 constitution placed safeguards to prevent just that. Even the writ of habeas corpus is severely limited. The judiciary and the legislative branch are still open where people can run to seek redress in case of abuse.

Public opinion is not on the side of the NPA right now, especially after recently torching facilities of a banana plantation that displaced a lot of workers . The better tack for the group is to stand down and wait. To the mind of the ordinary citizen, any attack by the NPA on government forces is helping the terrorists’ cause, not the people they purportedly serve.

Posted in Opinion