Duterte tagging CPP-NPA as terror group complicates peace process, says UP prof

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2017 03:24 AM

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President Rodrigo Duterte's proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) as a terrorist organization will only complicate the peace process, an analyst said Tuesday.

"Mas mahirap na ngayon makipag-usap ng usapang pangkapayapaan dahil dineklara na ito," University of the Philippines assistant professor Ranjit Rye said on Bandila DZMM. 

Unarmed sympathizers of the Left, he said, can become targets of law enforcement on suspicion of conspiring with the communist movement.

"Maraming levers ang government ngayon na pwedeng gamitin na kapag hindi nabantayan ng taumbayan ay pwede maging source ng pang-aabuso rin," Rye said.

Under Republic Act 9372 or the Human Security Act of 2007, the government is given flexibility in enacting the law especially in dealing with terrorists, he added.

"These draconian measures of government can now be utilized kasi hindi lang sila simpleng insurgents fighting for a political cause or fighting for principles. Ngayon kriminal na sila, terorista na," Rye said.

The proclamation will also have an impact on the international community, such as identifying CPP-NPA as a global threat, once the government gets an approval from the court.

The ongoing skirmishes between the communist rebels and government forces had already resulted in numerous deaths and will only worsen if both groups will not go back to the drawing board.

"Tayo hong taumbayan ang lugi pag matuloy itong total war kasi ho may social, economic, and political cost," Rye said.

When Duterte assumed the presidency, there were high hopes in ending the decades-long insurgency not long until negotiations were terminated over the supposed insincerity on the Left's part to reach a peace deal.

"Mukhang nakita nila na bukod sa kulang sa sincerity, hindi madisiplina o macoordinate ng top management ng CPP-NPA na nasa ibang bansa yung mga kasama nila dito sa baba," said Rye, providing context on Duterte's decision.

"Ayon sa aking mga sources, nahirapan siya sa decision na ito," added Rye.

Despite the continuing hostilities and the controversial proclamation that even shocked members of the communist movement, everything is not for naught.

The president, Rye said, can still revoke his proclamation "if conditions are right."

The government had already made "grand gestures" towards peace and it's time for the Left to do their part.

"I think the Left now have to make a decision lalo na yung armed groups nila within the country. Are they going to be for peace or not? So, the ball is on their part now," he said.