NTF-ELCAC’s “persona non grata” resolutions are meaningless
For more than three years now, the military, police and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) have campaigned to have local government units (LGUs) to secure resolutions declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as “persona non grata.” Yesterday, the DILG bragged that 84% of all 1,715 LGUs have already signed such resolutions.
1) During this period, these resolutions have largely been meaningless in terms of preventing the NPA from expanding its territory and base of support among the masses. The effect of these resolutions have largely been unfelt by the peasants and minority people who find in the NPA and the revolutionary movement the only solution to their aspiration for land and justice. These resolutions cannot be enforced in many areas where the masses are aroused and organized and where they enjoy the protection of the NPA.
2) We estimate that in most cases, the signing of these resolutions are empty gestures of local politicians either to ingratiate themselves with the all-powerful military and police, or avoid becoming targets of the zealous red-taggers. Many in the latter group cannot afford getting the military’s ire as what happened to Mayor Isko Moreno of Manila City who was impugned by General Parlade as a supporter of the NPA when he tore down the anticommunist tarpaulins set up by the NTF-ELCAC. In different provinces, local politicians have secretly approached the CPP/NPA to assure the revolutionary movement that their resolutions were only issued because the military and police demanded them to do so.
3) The NTF-ELCAC is using its ₱16.4 billion military pork barrel fund to bribe local officials at the town and barangay levels with “development projects” not only to secure “persona non grata” resolutions, but also to gain favors such as allowing military units to conduct “civil-military” operations, set up camps or detachments and recruit paramilitaries in their barangays to the detriment of the local masses.
4) The purposelessness of these LGU resolutions will become even clearer in the face of the upcoming national and local elections. Across the country, politicians are starting to touch base with the local revolutionary forces to express their willingness to cooperate and coordinate their campaigns, in recognition of the political power and authority of the organized masses and revolutionary forces in their areas.
5) This business of declaring the CPP and NPA as “persona non grata,” “enemies of the people” and other execrations has been a tactic applied by the AFP and police since the time of Marcos. It bore nothing then, it will bear nothing now.