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Enough of 52 years of oppression, Panelo to NPA

April 06, 2021 - Tuesday 1:04 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image ENOUGH. Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo advises the New People's Army in his Easter Sunday message to stop committing atrocities and violence. Instead, he said the rebels should realize that their revolution has achieved nothing after more than 50 years. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo called on the New People's Army (NPA) to listen to the people's cry to stop committing atrocities and violence.

Panelo lamented that for decades, communist rebels have done nothing but to destroy lives, kill the innocent, and illegally collect revolutionary taxes.

Sa halip na sirain ninyo ang ating bansa ay kung maari lang, huminto na kayo sa inyong ginagawang pagpatay sa ating mga kababayan, pagsisira ng mga ari-arian, pangingikil sa mga negosyante, pagpapahirap sa mga mahihirap (Instead of destroying our country, please stop killing our countrymen, destroying properties, extorting from businesses and torturing the poor)," he said during his daily commentary show “Counterpoint” on Sunday.

The sufferings caused by the NPA for more than 52 years should be halted.

"Enough is enough. Sa 52 years na, eh wala naman kayong nagawang kabutihan para sa inyong pinaglalaban. Sa halip lalong nalugmok sa putik ng pagkasira ng lipunan, pagkamatay ng mga miyembro ninyo pagkasira ng pami-pamilya kung hinugot niyo para sumama sa himagsikan (After 52 years, you have achieved nothing with your revolution. Instead you sank deeper, destroyed society, your comrades died, families destructed, of those you urged to revolt)," he added.

Panelo recounted that the NPA was formed after Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison joined forces with Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon in 1969.

It was the start of a bloody revolution of the communist rebels who engage government forces and resulted in deaths, including innocent civilians.

Panelo cited the testimonies of former rebels who returned to the fold of the law.

"Ang reklamo ng mga sumuko, ang mga lider nila sa halip na namumundok, eh maganda ang buhay sa siyudad (The rebel returnees complained that their leaders enjoyed luxurious lives in the city instead of joining them in the mountains)," he said.

He said Sison has been living comfortably in the Netherlands, while the NPA members are living awful lives in the mountains.

Easter message

"Ito pong Easter Sunday, sana ito po ay maging inspirasyon sa inyo at sa ating lahat na mayroong panahon ng paghihirap, mayroong panahon ng pagdaranas, panahon ng himagsikan, mayroong panahon ng rebelyon pero mayroon ding panahon ng kapayapaan, mayroong panahon ng kasaganahan, mayroong panahon ng pagbubuklod-buklod pagpapatawaran sa isa't-isa (This Easter Sunday, may it give you an inspiration that there are times of crisis, revolution, and rebellion. But there are also times of peace, prosperity, unity, and forgiveness)," Panelo said, addressing NPA members.

He said it's time for the NPA members to surrender and start anew.

Amid the prevailing health crisis, the government continues to push for efforts and effective solutions to address insurgency.

One of them is the Barangay Development Program, a counter-insurgency plan aimed at delivering government programs in conflict-afflicted and geographically isolated villages that have been considered "cleared" of the influence of NPA rebels.

Panelo said the communist insurgency has been the biggest problem of every administration for the past 50 years.

"The administrations of all, as well as of President Rodrigo Duterte, have to concentrate on quelling your rebellion – your murderous rebellion,” he said.

He noted that the government, instead of focusing on more important societal problems such as providing livelihood, education, work, and land, must quell terrorism.

"As we always say in this program, let us tread the path of the roses, let us tread the path of righteousness, let us tread the path of love and forgiveness," he said.

The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. Lade Jean Kabagani