By FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee
Peace Advocates for Truth, Justice and Healing (PATH) is not worthy of the generalities in its verbose name. It denies what the Communist Party of the Philippines and other revolutionary forces in the Philippines have done to uphold justice and respect for human rights, to condemn and repudiate the crimes related to the anti-infiltration campaigns and to hold to account those criminally responsible.
- The Second Great Rectification Movement (SGRM), launched in 1992 and carried out for more than 10 years rooted out, criticized, condemned and repudiated the ideological, political and organizational errors that allowed certain violators of Marxism-Leninism and renegades to commit grave crimes by carrying out so-called anti-infiltration campaigns of hysteria which were in fact bloody witchhunts bereft of respect for human rights.
- The SGRM paved the way for the proper investigation of the aforesaid crimes and, whenever the evidence was sufficient and the accused were available or in custody, for administrative disciplinary proceedings within the Party (in the case of Party cadres and members) and for prosecution and trial on criminal charges before the people's court or before the martial court in particular (in the case of NPA commanders and fighters).
- In administrative disciplinary proceedings within the Party, the Party meted out disciplinary measures to those found responsible for criminal offenses according to the gravity of their responsibility without prejudice to criminal court proceedings:
- expulsion, with endorsement of trial as a principal accused before the people's court or court martial,
- expulsion, with recommendation as a state witness or as subject of clemency,
- suspension, demotion and reprimand, as the case may be.
- In the criminal court proceedings before the people's court or court martial, those accused who were proven guilty received sentences according to the gravity of their criminal responsibility, taking into account both aggravating and mitigating circumstances:
- Death sentence to those accused principals who were proven as the worst offenders and as remorseless.
- Imprisonment or limitation of freedom and penal service under the supervision of the organs of political power, the people's army and militia.
- Acquittal if there was no sufficient evidence to convict the accused.
- In order to remove the poisonous atmosphere generated by those most culpable for the crimes related to the anti-infiltration campaigns of hysteria, the people's democratic government issued pardons to those with limited criminal responsibility, who were remorseful and who were forgiven by the victims concerned, and eventually a general amnesty in order to put at ease those who feared prosecution for minor or unwitting participation in the criminal offenses.
- The overwhelming majority of those most culpable for the crimes related to the anti-infiltration campaigns of hysteria ran away from the criminal justice system of the people's democratic government.
They either established or joined imperialist-funded NGOs or joined the reactionary government to conduct anti-communist psywar, intelligence and paramilitary operations. They are not covered by the general amnesty mentioned in the preceding paragraph and are liable for arrest and trial or subject to battle if they are armed and dangerous criminal suspects or as armed combatants.
The PATH is an imperialist-funded NGO, with the sole obsession and objective to discredit and destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines and the revolutionary mass movement of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and domestic feudalism. It receives money from certain North American and European agencies directly and indirectly through NGO conduits run by Joel Rocamora, Sixto Carlos and Ed de la Torre.
The PATH is a dishonest psywar operation because of the following:
- It continues to blame the CPP and the revolutionary movement for criminal offenses that they have condemned, repudiated and acted upon in the SGRM since 1992 and apparently seeks nothing less than the liquidation of the revolutionary forces.
- It conceals the fact that the most culpable for the aforementioned criminal offences are now in the service of the reactionary government and imperialist-funded NGOs.
- It has failed to file before the proper court the formal criminal charges against those it accuses of committing grave crimes against human rights and has opted to make wild psywar attacks against the CPP and the revolutionary movement, instead of against the specific suspects.
- It pretends to call for a Truth Commission in order to obscure the fact that the revolutionary forces have their own system of discipline and the people's democratic government has its own legal and judicial system.
- It takes on a false air of moral superiority (with money from US, Dutch and other foreign funding agencies) and pretends to be higher and above the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations which have already resulted in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the formation of the Joint Monitoring Committee.
- It is in fact a tool of the US for misrepresenting the revolutionary forces of the national liberation movement as "terrorist" and for favoring the preservation of US imperialist domination and the domestic ruling system of big compradors and landlords.
- It is shamelessly silent on the grave human rights violations being perpetrated by the US-Arroyo regime.
In all earnestness, we must condemn the malicious campaign of PATH and other imperialist-funded NGOs, masquerading as progressive forces, to seek the political and physical liquidation of the Communist Party of the Philippines and other revolutionary forces through a slanderous and deadly anti-communist witchhunt aligned with the US-directed "war on terror."