MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte sounds like an old phonograph record when he ordered again the military to crush the communist-led New People’ Army (NPA) during his late night press briefing in Malacañang on June 22.
He ordered again the military “upakan mo, upakan mo!” (hit them, hit them) when he talked about the Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB) that only needs his signature before it becomes a law. The president stated that the NPA remains to be the number 1 threat to the security and safety of the country and not Abu Sayyaf and those foreign groups that tried to wreak havoc in the lives of Filipinos.
His latest order to the military outlines the overall design of the ATL to finally crush and obliterate terrorism in the country especially the Communist Party of the Philippines/NPA that has been tagged terrorist by the European Union, New Zealand, and United States along with the likes of Abu Sayyaf, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Other groups designated terrorists by countries are the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Aden-Abyan Islamic Army, al-Haramain Foundation, Al-Mourabitoun, Al-Nustra Front, al-Qaeda groups, Boko Haram, Communist Party of India, Continuity Irish Republic Army, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, Hamas, Hamas-Al Qassam Brigades, Hezbollah, Indian Mujahideen, International Union of Muslim Scholars, Muslim Brotherhood, National Liberation Army, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Taliban, World Uygur Youth Congress, among others.
Since 2016, the Duterte administration have tried but failed to strike a comprehensive talk with the CPP/NPA that has been waging an uprising for more than five decades, perhaps the longest Marxist-Leninist inspired revolutionary struggle in the world.
But some political analysts doubt about the readiness and capacity of the Philippine military machinery to finally crush the NPA, which have proven itself time and again to be resilient to such purely military-solution to the insurrection in the country where feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism prevail. They quipped that until now the military has not dismantled the ragtag Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF), which are confined in specific areas of Mindanao.