Duterte has turned the entire reactionary government bureaucracy into a counter-revolutionary, psywar and spin machinery with his “Whole-of-nation approach”, a copycat of the failed US counter-terrorism mantra of “Whole-of-government approach”, for his pipe-dream to end the CPP-led armed revolution. With the penchant desire of a tyrant, he has piled up more than 60 former military officers to fill up his cabinet and other key positions which virtually transformed his government into a civil-military junta.
He thus appointed retired Col. Allen Capuyan, a former MIG 21 officer involved in the “hello Garci” scandal, to head the NCIP and consequently assigned him as Executive Director for the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) which he chairs as Commander-in-chief. True to form, the NCIP under Col. Capuyan has virtually ranged its program and services to feed the coercive military and police troops to implement Oplan Kapanatagan-Cordillera.
In recent pronouncements, Col. Capuyan and other ranking NCIP officials chorused with army and police generals to push the program and services of NCIP which they boasted would “restrict and end the influence of communist rebels in the Cordillera region” in targeted “47 red areas”. But like all previous regimes who had the same grandiose plans, this task force will certainly fail. The obstinate refusal of the ruling classes to acknowledge the root causes of the raging armed struggle in the countryside is the reason behind their hallow prattle.
In as much as the Cordillera people are concerned, Col. Capuyan, a self-proclaimed life-long “IP advocate”, has never in any way stood with us in our life-long struggle for the recognition of our right to self-determination. Where was he all these past decades when we were in life and death fight to defend our ancestral lands? It was the revolutionary movement led by the CPP and its armed wing, the NPA who fought shoulder to shoulder with us because they are from among us. The people have long cherished their true army.
The people fully know that had it not been for the serious and active support of the NPA to the struggles of the national minorities, our ancestral lands would have been long landgrabbed and plundered by corporate development aggression always escorted by private and state security forces.
And then from out of the blue Col. Capuyan comes to herald his supposed concern for our interests and welfare. No thanks Colonel. We will not buy your rhetoric. That’s patently insincere. All these 22 years, NCIP pimped our lands and resources to investors both local and foreign. It twisted indigenous socio-political systems to favor the interests of rapacious multi-national corporations. Had we not stood our ground, what would we be as a people now? That the revolutionary movement thrived and continues to advance in the Cordillera is common sense. Militarization nor a mere band-aid prescription for the social ills besetting Cordillera and the rest of the country are destined to fail.
It is presumptuous of the NCIP to boast that upon the implementation of its three component program to buttress the “Whole-of-nation approach”, it can derail the advance of the revolution. It is bad enough to have a law in IPRA and the NCIP that emasculates the rights of national minorities that it ought to protect and recognize. It is worst to have a retired military man who claims to have come from a national minority community and pretend to champion the interests of his people but does the contrary. ###