NPA ambush on Guingona

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    Associated Press
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    AFP News
    Philippines to fly over disputed South China Sea: Aquino

    Philippine military and commercial aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings over the airspace, President Benigno Aquino said on Monday. "We will still fly the routes that we fly based on the international law from the various conventions we entered into," Aquino told reporters when asked whether the Philippines accepted China's position. The Chinese military last week ordered a US Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane away from airspace …

  • Philippines seeks stronger commitment from U.S. in South China Sea dis …

    Philippines seeks stronger commitment from U.S. in South China Sea dis …

    Reuters
    Philippines seeks stronger commitment from U.S. in South China Sea dis …

    The Philippines is seeking a "stronger commitment" from the United States to help its ally, the defence minister said on Monday, as China asserts its sovereignty over disputed areas of the South China Sea. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims. China said on Monday it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a U.S. spy plane that flew …

  • Chico's meets 1Q profit forecasts

    Associated Press

    On a per-share basis, the Ft. Myers, Florida-based company said it had net income of 22 cents. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs, came to 28 cents per share. The results met Wall Street expectations. ... …

  • UK's re-elected Cameron outlines plans in Queen's Speech

    UK's re-elected Cameron outlines plans in Queen's Speech

    Associated Press
    UK's re-elected Cameron outlines plans in Queen's Speech

    LONDON (AP) — Britain's first all-Conservative government in two decades unveiled its plans for power Wednesday, including laws to hold a referendum on European Union membership, give Scotland more autonomy and toughen immigration policies. …

New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas attend a ceremony to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist …
The ambush by the New People’s Army (NPA) unit on the convoy of Gingoog City Mayor Ruth de Lara Guingona last April 20, 2013 deserves universal condemnation.  This attack is only the latest of the series of attacks on civilian targets by this armed group in recent weeks. The Mindanao National Democratic Front (NDF-Mindanao) blamed the mayor for traveling in armed company and defying the NPA “checkpoint.” This backhanded apology only underlines the obvious—it was a premeditated act with full knowledge of the target.

The facts of the incident showed that the Gingoog city mayor was the clear target of attack by the alleged perpetrator—the only vehicle initially targeted was her vehicle. The NDF indirectly admitted that its NPA ambush unit knew that civilians, specifically including Mayor Guingona , were in the vehicle. It claimed that the NPA unit set up a “checkpoint” merely to disarm the mayor’s escorts and talk to her on her campaigning in its “territory” without its permission.

Mayor Guingona was still ambushed despite her family’s record of nationalist and progressive politics. Her husband, former Vice-President Teopisto Guingona, Jr., has been identified with progressive groups like Bayan Muna, sharing with them similar positions on various issues. This fact does not seem to be important for the CPP and NPA in Mindanao, who still insist that all candidates “recognize the Red political power and respect the revolutionary policies.”

Relate story: NPA 'sorry' to Guingona, says it was not ambush

NPA violence is part of the 2013 election violence scenario. It is an irony—despite an avowed derision for the parliamentary struggle—that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is in it up to its neck. In the 2013 elections, it is fielding its own candidates, negotiating votes with its politician allies, forcing “class enemies” to cough up “fees,” “contributions,” and even guns for their own election campaigns, and meting out punishments, including ambushes and assassinations, on their electoral opponents.

The ambush of Mayor Guingona is a case in point. The “permit to campaign” referred to by the NDF-Mindanao is applied to all politicians in the NPA area of operations and is enforced solely through threats or actual use of its armed might. It is not insignificant that the letters sent to politicians were invariably written in NPA stationeries. Mayor Guingona, obviously failed or refused to pay the “permit fee.”

Also read: Mayor wounded, two dead in Philippine ambush

The rebel group has evidently embraced the traditional politics of “guns, goons, and gold” to the hilt. Reportedly, it even negotiates now for “permit to win” arrangements, offering its armed services to warlords and “friendly” politicians. In many provinces where it has a presence, the NPA actively participates in the local elections. It does so—not by supporting progressive or reform candidates (who usually do not have the monetary capacity to pay the required fees)—but by allying with the “friendly” traditional politicians.

Of course, the CPP policy presented a dilemma to its own forces in the electoral arena. In a traditional political setting, they became vulnerable to the backlash from opposing politicians, the rightist extremists, and the military.

The Guingona ambush and other recent NPA attacks on “soft” targets signals the readiness of the CPP-NPA rebel group to set aside its commitment to human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL). Does this presage the shift to terrorism tactics as well?

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island on Wednesday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Fall on renewed U.S. rate hike concerns

    BANGKOK, May 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets tumbled on Wednesday as investors resumed selling on expectations of an interest rate hike in the U.S. sooner rather than later, derailing Philippine ... …

  • Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute
    Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute

    As US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan began its journey to Asian waters amid China’s power flexing in the region, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin would try to hear directly from his US counterpart how far America is willing to go to aid its long-time ally against China’s threatening moves in disputed waters. Gazmin flew to Hawaii last Monday to attend ceremonies for the turnover of leadership of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from Admiral Samuel Locklear to Admiral Harry …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options