Recruit disgruntled soldiers, Joma tells Reds
- Benjie Villa () - August 2, 2003 - 12:00am
The field is ripe for planting.

Calling the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) "fertile ground" for the seeds of a revolution, self-exiled communist leader Jose Ma. Sison has urged cadres and members of the communist underground to organize revolutionary cells right within the ranks of the military’s junior officers and young enlisted personnel.

Issuing a statement from Utrecht in the Netherlands, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said the July 27 mutiny in Makati City by 296 young officers and enlisted personnel of the AFP, who call themselves the Magdalo group, will not be the last.

Sison was branded a terrorist last year by the US government and the 15-member European Union.

The presence of disgruntled soldiers in the AFP indicates that "the ground (within the military) is exceedingly fertile" for the massive recruitment of soldiers into the communist movement, Sison said.

He told his comrades in the Philippines that organizing underground revolutionary cells within the military "is an urgent task for cadres."

Sison also said the Arroyo administration is compounding the problem by its stand that indicates the government "is determined to belittle and discredit the soldier-protesters as mere messianic mutineers and unthinking tools" of the administration’s political opponents.

Sison said the 22-hour standoff between the Magdalo group and troops loyal to the government was favorable to the communist movement’s goal of destabilizing and overthrowing the government.

He said the Arroyo administration "has become so rotten and isolated that even its officers and soldiers are rising up against it."

Sison likened the restiveness of the young AFP officers and soldiers to the restiveness among Russian soldiers that preceded the Bolshevik Revolution that overthrew Czar Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov in October 1917.

In 1917, the Russian ruler dragged 11 million peasants into World War I, even as Russia was on the verge of collapse, its economy in ruins and its people demoralized. This conscription triggered mass protests by women workers in February of that year and the Czar’s officials called out the army to squelch the protests.

The women convinced the soldiers to lay down their arms and help them in their cause paving the way for the Bolshevik Revolution in October 1917. Vladimir Illyich Lenin seized power and the three centuries of the Romanov dynasty’s often opulent rule ended shortly after.

In Sison’s words, the Bolsheviks were able to "persuade the czarist army to shift to the people’s side and, thereby, disintegrated the reactionary army."

He advised CPP cadres and underground elements of the New People’s Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) that organizing within the AFP will not be so complicated, since "the ordinary soldiers mainly (come) from the ranks of impoverished workers and peasants."

At the height of the siege of the Oakwood Premier luxury apartment along Ayala Avenue in Makati City’s main business district, CPP spokesman Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal declared that the communist leadership "sympathizes" with the renegade soldiers’ cause.

Rosal also agreed with the Magdalo group’s demand for the resignations of President Arroyo, Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) chief Brig. Gen. Victor Corpus and Philippine National Police (PNP) director Gen. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.

Corpus, who joined the NPA during the Marcos regime, has already quit as ISAFP chief but will remain with the military.

Rosal said that even before the Oakwood siege, communist rebels already suspected Reyes was behind the terrorist bombings in Davao City and elsewhere in Mindanao, an accusation also leveled against Reyes by the Magdalo group.

Rosal alleged Reyes was receiving "guidance" from Philippine-based covert agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Sison insisted that the cause espoused by the CPP-NPA-NDF — that of destabilization and revolution to change government and society — is the "correct path."

He also noted that few people heeded the call issued by Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin to gather at EDSA Shrine and support the Arroyo administration.

Sison also said some members of the political opposition, particularly Sen. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan and followers of ousted and jailed former President Joseph Estrada, failed to generate support for the Magdalo mutineers.

Honasan and Estrada are suspected of backing the failed July 27 mutiny.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with