Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), never came close to achieving its goal of ovethrowing the government and replacing it with a communist one.
Lorenzana made the remark as the CPP celebrated its 52nd founding anniversary Saturday.
“Fifty-two years ago today, the Communist Party of the Philippines was founded by Jose Maria Sison with the avowed mission of supplanting our democratic government with a communist one,” Lorenzana said in a statement.
“In those five decades, the CPP-NPA never came close to achieving its goal and has instead left a trail of death and destruction all over the country that continues to this day,” he added.
Five decades on, the Defense chief said the communist group continues to “perpetrate the killings of civilians and government troops, recruitment of young children to the underground movement, destruction of properties, and massive extortion of businesses.”
He also described the CPP-NPA’s ideologies as “discredited” and “bankrupt” which “has long been eschewed by former communist countries.”
However, the CPP said it was the government which is “highly despicable” for the killings of suspected communist members, whom the party claimed were unarmed civilians, in made-up encounters.
In a statement, the CPP Central Committee condemned the remarks of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay who cited among the military’s “tactical achievements” the killing of at least 13 alleged communist rebels since Oct. 31.
In Tandag City, Surigao del Sur, Gapay said three suspected communist rebels were shot dead by operating troops during an armed encounter.
Five more were killed in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato on Dec. 2; and another five wanted rebels were also killed in Baras, Rizal on Dec. 17 after supposedly resisting arrest during a law enforcement operation.
But the CPP claimed the fatalities were not combatants.