Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has received information from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the people’s prosecution office that Ricardo Reyes is facing criminal charges related to Kampanyang Ahos (Campaign Garlic) and other crimes and that there is prima facie evidence against him to support the warrant issued by the people’s court for his arrest.
The most serious charge against Reyes involves Kampanyang Ahos and has been pending long before the formation of Akbayan. Since 1992, he has been formally charged before the people’s court for abusing his high position in the CPP Mindanao Commission and violating human rights by instigating, approving and conducting Kampanyang Ahos.
This campaign involved the kidnapping, torture and murder of hundreds of CPP cadres and members, NPA commanders and fighters and mass activists who were falsely accused of being enemy deep penetration agents (DPAs). It was a bloody witchhunt reminiscent of medieval times in Europe. The accused were deprived of the right to due process and other democratic rights.
As deputy secretary of the Mindanao Commission, Reyes systematically spread the hysterical claim that DPAs had heavily infiltrated the revolutionary organizations in Mindanao. While the secretary of the commission Benjamin de Vera was in Luzon, Reyes as deputy approved in mid-1985 the formation of the so-called caretaker committee to carry out Kampanyang Ahos. This campaign raged in the second half of 1985 and continued up to several months in 1986.
Reyes extended the campaign to the national capital and tried to malign as DPAs some prominent mass leaders of the national democratic movement, falsely accusing them of criminal links with those arrested as DPAs in Mindanao. The CPP Executive Committee defended and protected the mass leaders and stopped Reyes from making a pogrom in the national capital.
But still Reyes managed to carry out the abduction of Dave Barrios from the UCCP building in 1986, with the assistance of Nathan Quimpo and an armed team assigned by Romulo Kintanar. Reyes was the one who twice injected the drug to put Barrios to sleep and who drove the car that brought the victim to a safehouse for torture and murder. The testimonies of two direct witnesses are among the evidence before the people’s court.
When he was investigated in 1987 for allegedly causing the 1986 arrest of Rodolfo Salas by informing the enemy, Reyes admitted to the investigating committee that he had signed up in 1982 as an intelligence asset of then Colonel Robert Delfin but that he had done so to become a double agent, with loyalty to the CPP. This finding of the investigating committee could not be further pursued due to enemy offensives in the national capital region and in the countryside from 1988 to 1991.
In the years leading to the start of the Second Great Rectification Movement (SGRM) in 1992, Reyes secretly wrote anti-CPP poison articles under the direction of a team run by the Bureau of Foreign Intelligence of the US State Department. During the SGRM, Reyes publicly attacked the CPP and received “consultancy fees” from a Ford Foundation-financed “nongovernmental organization” (NGO) and another NGO funded by the US AID.
According to the CPP, it is looking further into what apparently could be a continuing criminal career of Reyes and into his criminal liabilities indicated by the following circumstances:
- Akbayan has collaborated with the Philippine Army (PA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) not only in psywar operations and in the commission of electoral fraud and terrorism against the six progressive parties in the party list but also in deploying Akbayan officers and members as informers in murderous operations against the revolutionary forces and people in Batangas, Bondoc Peninsula, Mindoro provinces, Agusan, Davao provinces and Bukidnon.
- Akbayan has organized local armed gangs acting as the barangay intelligence network (BIN) and paramilitary units of the armed forces of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). For instance, Pedro (otherwise known as Dioscoro) Tejino, who is being misrepresented in the press by Etta Rosales as an innocent poor farmer, “hounded” by the NPA and “hiding” in Manila for more than one year, is actually the gang leader of the BIN in Bondoc Peninsula. Twenty-nine peasants of San Narciso, Quezon denounced him as a military agent on March 2, 2004, responsible for terrorising and destroying the local peasant association.
According to the CPP, there is prima facie that Ricardo Reyes is engaged in very recent criminal acts against revolutionary forces but he must face first the charges against him for Kampanyang Ahos. He is required to surrender himself for investigation to the authorities of the people’s revolutionary government.
It is advisable for him not to resist the warrant of arrest issued by the people’s court. Thus, he can avoid the risk of being regarded as an armed and dangerous criminal suspect, who is open to battle. In any legal system, the arresting team is authorized to act in self-defense against an armed suspect and his armed bodyguards, especially under the current conditions of civil war.
I am deeply interested in the truth about Kampanyang Ahos. First, because the families of victims and the people cry out for justice against this barbaric crime inflicted on the revolutionary forces and people. Second, because I wish to stop the ceaseless unjust attempts of the perpetrators of the crime to put the blame on me.
Since 1988, the US, Philippine and Dutch intelligence services have unjustly blamed Kampanyang Ahos on me to oppose my application for political asylum despite the fact that I was under maximum military detention from 1977 to March 1986. They have coddled the chief perpetrators of the crime and are using them for propaganda against the revolutionary forces.
Reyes should not obfuscate his criminal culpability or claim immunity and impunity by blaming others for Kampanyang Ahos or by citing other alleged crimes and claiming that these have not been properly dealt with. Under the legal and judicial system of the people’s revolutionary government, the merits and demerits of a definite charge must be tackled according to the facts and the law.
As regards to the question of line and policy about Kampanyang Ahos and similar phenomena, the Second Great Rectification Movement (SGRM) has identified the major errors and shortcomings, criticized, repudiated and rectified them. By undertaking the SGRM, the CPP has made clear that previous decisions by any organ that Kampanyang Ahos was a “complete revolutionary success” or “revolutionary success, with excesses” is utterly wrong.
The wrongdoers are accountable for their own politico-military errors like urban insurrectionism and crimes like Kampanyang Ahos. Crimes are distinguishable from political errors and are submitted to the legal and judicial system of the people’s revolutionary government for investigation and possible trial.
I wish there were more space to discuss Kampanyang Ahos and other issues, including those raised by Walden Bello, Etta Rosales, Ronald Llamas, Riza Hontiveros and the staff of the Focus on Global South. But it is good to have some focus on Kampanyang Ahos here. The readers can get further information about issues from www.philippinerevolution.net.