The next National Security Adviser (NSA) Dr. Clarita Carlos told the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) on Thursday to “stop this red-tagging”, and even said that a militaristic approach to counterinsurgency “never works.”
"Why are you ID-ing people as if you are concluding already? Stop this red-tagging," she said. "Empirical evidence after empirical evidence, the military route never works, so 'wag na. Para naman tayong loko-loko niyan, paulit-ulit na alam mo na ngang hindi nagwo-work 'yan eh. Do what works."
(Empirical evidence after empirical evidence, the military route never works, so stop it. We’re like fools repeating something that you know does not work.)
She emphasized that mindless labeling of people as communists is not productive due to nuances to the term.
"Don't waste your time doing these things kasi wala ngang katuturan 'yung sasabihin ko na ito terorista and all those labels,” she said. “Because labels are so endowed with political meanings, nuances, 'di ba. Mayroon bang katuturan 'yang sinasabi mo?"
(Don’t waste your time doing these things because these “terrorist” and all those labels have no value. Because labels are so endowed with political meanings, nuances, right? Is there value in what you are saying?)
No negotiations, just opportunities
Carlos wants to focus on providing opportunities as an approach to counterinsurgency, but provides no wiggle room for peace negotiations.
“Magbigay ka, 'yung sinasabi nila (Give them what they want), livelihood for people, give their children an opportunity to go to school and make them flourish as individuals. Isn't that human security?" Carlos claimed.
"And 'wag ka nang makipag-negotiate. Jusmio, parang bata pa ako nagnenegotiate na tayo. Tigilan na natin 'yan,” she said.
(Let’s not negotiate anymore. My God, it’s like we’ve been negotiating since I was a child. Just stop it.)
Despite this, Carlos believes inequality is a source of political violence.
She added, “Let us do the route of the peace councils because the peace councils are the ones nearest to these insurgents who really want to have jobs, who want to have education, who really want to dream to be journalists, architects, social scientists like me."
Because of worsening poverty, exploitation, and inequality, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) through its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), is currently waging a protracted people’s war in the countryside that has been ongoing for the past 53 years.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has been negotiating on behalf of the CPP-NPA, and is currently pushing for the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-economic Reforms (CASER), which lists out reforms on land ownership, wages, profit, prices, taxes, investments, trade, loans, and development.
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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