Walk the talk

By Martin Montana
Chadli Molintas Command
NPA Ilocos-Cordillera Region

Recent ridiculous allegations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines linking a presidential candidate and more than 50 politicians to the New People's Army highlight once again the apalling ineptitude of the Arroyo regime's propaganda and psywar machinery.

As proof, the AFP presented an intelligence report that listed the names of politicians supporting the NPA, and said a decision to support a presidential candidate in exchange for money was passed by the Communist Party of the Philippines during its anniversary meeting in barangay Aguid, Sagada, Mountain Province last December 28, 2009.

The depths from which the AFP dredges up data for its intelligence report is so murky and slimy that even its own officers are confused. The CPP anniversary is on the 26th of December, and no meeting to decide whom to endorse for president ever took place last December in barangay Aguid or in any part of the Cordillera.

A few weeks ago, an AFP report leaked to the media claimed that the NPA collected P56.71 million in the 2004 elections and P27.67 in the 2007 elections. Last 8 March, media reported that Maj. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of the 9th Infantry Division, and several other high-ranking AFP officers appeared before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to seek the disqualification of candidates they suspect to be giving financial and material support to the NPA in the form of permit-to-campaign or permit-to-win fees. Commisioner Rene Sarmiento quickly supported the AFP by quoting a spurious report that the NPA collected P1.5 billion and P2 billion during the 2004 and 2007 elections, and might raise up to P5 billion in the coming elections. The AFP reports that politicians paid tens of millions of pesos to the NPA is wrong and unbelievable. Sarmiento's statement is truly out of this world.

The NPA views elections under a reactionary state as a power struggle amongst various factions of the ruling classes. It neither participates nor can it decide the outcome of these elections. On the other hand, the NPA upholds that the genuine democratic elections that reflect the peoples' choices take place among local organs of political power organized in revolutionary base areas in the countryside.

It is the COMELEC that manufactures electoral victories, even for candidates who were not the peoples' choice. It did so when it proclaimed Gloria Arroyo as president in 2004. It continues to do so when it recently proclaimed as winners Lilia Pineda, Benjamin Dy, and Roberto Pagdanganan over incumbent and known critics of Gloria Arroyo.

If the AFP and the COMELEC want to disqualify candidates whom they claim paid the NPA for permits-to-campaign, then they should start with presidential son Dato Arroyo whom the military says paid up to P7 million. While they are at it, they should include presidential economic adviser and Albay Gov. Joey Salceda whom the military allege delivered the young Arroyo's payment. Dato Arroyo and Gov. Salceda are within the area of responsibility of the 9th ID.

Let's see if Maj. Gen. Pabustan can walk the talk.