Opinion: Desperate Arrest of Peaceful Activities Shows Weakness (Part I)
ARREST OF LEADERS OF COGs SHOWS STATE WEAKNESS. It was Tuesday last week when we proceeded to the area near the Rizal Elementary School, where activistsbelonging to various sectors, students and youths, urban poor, drivers and workers, were assembling to stage what they called a "Kalbaryo Sg Pumuluyo". It was a lazy Tuesday, in effect and when we usually finish early gathering news reports. We had interviewed Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Negros Secretary-General Christian Tuayon and Karapatan-Negros Secretary-General Fred Caña for their views on the celebration of their version of Holy Week’s "Kalbaryo" and we did not think that something was to be relatively big news that day - the arrest of Tuayon and several other leaders of sectoral organizations in the province and which included leaders of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW). Then, after marching to the public plaza to hold a rally at the rotunda, more than two dozen soldiers and policemen in plain clothes swooped down and arrested the Bayan-Negros leaders. Arrested first was Tuayon. A MILITARY, POLICE HANDIWORK. We are not citing everybody in the military and police for the arrest of what we believe are innocent people.
Those arrested were really innocent because from what we know, having been the Chairman of the now outlawed Kabataang Makabayan (KM) during the Marcos period which was in 1971 onwards, with the sweeping arrest of activists done during martial law which was September 21, 1972 onwards, members of the KM or youth movement were never armed guerillas when they worked above ground. It would have been stupid doing legal work and then doing something clearly illegal and the arrest warrants said it was because of the raid on the fishpond of a member of the Sarrosa family. Only idiots would participate in a raid such as that because when one does so, he must be a trained fighter and that if he does not know his phases, he could jeopardize the whole unit. That is as simple as that. Whoever planned and caused the arrest of pure and simple activists linked supposedly to the raid on the Sarrosa fishpond, is nothing but clutching at straws, desperate and nothing less than an idiot, because legally and politically, it would be a setback if we are to analyze it. When peaceful, legal activists are harassed, intimidated, pressured and oppressed and without any peaceful option, the next best thing they will do is join the guerillas of the New People’s Army (NPA) to train and launch a guerilla war against the government.
ANALYSIS OF FUTURE PLANS. Without any more options, which the present government under President Benigno III is denying those arrested, the next thing they would do is of course, to go underground. That is the best thing if one asks the CPP-NPA and NDF which Marcos did when he declared martial law then. If the government of President Aquino is really nice and more intelligent than the plundering administration of the past regimes, it should continue to make available the legal options for activists, progressives, partylist parliamentarians of the national democratic movement and the like.
The military and the elites who want the system of exploitation and oppression to remain as is, along with their puppets in the breakaway groups, they should continue to arrest and cause the activists and national democrats to be arrested on trumped-up charges.
What is the judicial system up to? foment a revolution? Indeed, when former Ambassador Kerstie Kenney in 2006 commented in Wikileaks that the "insurgency will be long and deadly" and that the revolutionaries of the NPA can no longer be defeated, she was not talking through her hat. She was talking realities. Tell you me. But, indeed!*