• In the open, a government effort to make our country communist

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    There is more than abundant reason for this newspaper and the nation to be concerned that a reported paper by former Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg on how to deal with the Duterte government in the next 18 months has now provided President Rodrigo Duterte and his Leftist colleagues in the Cabinet not only a convenient excuse to intensify their political attacks against the United States, which remains a friendly government, but more than that, a smokescreen to cover concrete and dangerous moves to fast-track the intended communization of the six-month-old government.

    We take very seriously the observations made in his Friday column by Times columnist Francisco S. Tatad, a former senator and Cabinet minister, who has identified Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. as the moving force behind this extremely dangerous project. Evasco is an ex-priest, ex-rebel and ex-mayor (of Maribojoc, Bohol), who served as Duterte’s campaign manager in the last election, and ended as Cabinet Secretary after the position of Executive Secretary went to a lawyer-friend from San Beda College of Law, Salvador Medialdea.

    The position of Cabinet Secretary is in principle an innocuous one. And for a while Evasco looked perfectly powerless, harmless and purely ornamental in that position. But in one dramatic move, Duterte put him in charge of the “supervision” of 12 strategic agencies, with access to billions of pesos in operational funds and a direct constituency of millions of people, notably the poor. These included the Cooperative Development Authority, the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, the National Anti-Poverty Commission, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, the National Food Authority, the National Youth Commission, the Presidential Action Center, Office of the President, the Philippine Commission on Women, the Philippine Coconut Authority, the Philippine Commission on the Urban Poor, the Technical Education Skills Development Authority.

    These agencies used to function directly under the President, who, under the Constitution, exercises “control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices.” By putting Evasco on top of these critical agencies, including the HUDCC, which was headed by Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo until she was sacked from the Cabinet, Duterte made him more powerful than any Cabinet member—-more powerful than the Vice President. This did not necessarily make him a dangerous man. What made him a dangerous man——in fact the most dangerous man in the administration——is his command and control of the communist cluster within the government, and his unimpeded effort to make this group the dominant force in government.

    In the beginning, the public was made to believe only four communists or communist recommendees had been appointed to the Cabinet, without the benefit of a peace agreement with the CPP/NPA/NDF. These included Evasco, Rafael Mariano of the Department of Agrarian Reform, Judy Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Silvestre Bello of the Department of Labor. Tatad’s subsequent expose revealed that even the Executive Secretary Medialdea was also a full CPP member, and several undersecretaries and heads of agencies, like Delfin “Dale” Cabrera, were also CPP members. Tatad’s latest expose has revealed that all of the regional coordinators of Evasco’s Kilusang Pagbabago (Movement for Change), which has begun its open organizational activities nationwide, are also CPP members.

    There is nothing clandestine about any of these. Evasco’s organizing activity is out in the open. Government funds and facilties are being used to support the KP’s nationwide activities. Duterte has openly proclaimed his preference for a revolutionary government and the methods he has used in his war on drugs are fully in accord with his preferred government. A communist coup by Evasco is a declared objective. All these must be clear to us at this stage.

    Because of the collapse of Soviet communism in 1991, and China’s shift to market economics even before that, most people, including Filipinos, no longer seem to think the communist danger still exists. But the recent parade by some 2,000 armed communist warriors in Davao to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines, plus the demand for the release of communist prisoners by the government, tells us we cannot take anything for granted. Evasco himself has begun sending to his friends photos of himself sporting a Soviet cap with a red star in front, with all the implied message.

    Unless and until Duterte deals accordingly with Evasco and his activities, we have no choice but to hold him responsible for their consequences.

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    16 Comments

    1. Victor Arcega on

      Democracy in the Philippines has rewarded the most powerful tool to the communist movement — the right of choice. This so-called movement, hitherto considered the rebels or noble disruptors of orderly living, has turned the tables on Philippine lawmakers and poltiicians. I don’t see any hint of leadership, or even worse, a basic understanding of the issue — the drift to communism.

      But there is time if the “opposition” — chilling word — could get their political and legal resources together and draw a line against internal and international changes beginning to happen. The people are still there in support. The move will have been proactive at this point. If this deteriorates into just a disorganized reaction, the only step left is again, to call on the old friend, the U.S., to come help. But with PEOTUS Trump, hope is down to speculation. So, we’re ideally and fatally on our own here.

    2. Jovelyn Rojas on

      The drug war is a proxy for the communist take-over of the government. Let’s move now.

    3. This is a matter of great concern. Thank you for highlighting it. I hope this opens the eyes of all those Duterte supporters. They should carefully consider all the actions taken by Duterte which are leading the Philippines to becoming a communist state, for example, his quarrels with the USA, his friendship with China and Russia, and his effort to obtain more power for himself. To all those who have been elected to Congress to serve the people, now is the time for them to raise this matter in their congressional meetings and to demand answers from the President.God bless the Philippines.

    4. What a worrywart people are you. What’s wrong with the Duterte government. Free education for all levels, free irrigation, universal healthcare, etc. This government has been doing its best for the country. How disappointing for this newspaper to attempt to scare the people for no basis at all. What a shame!

    5. What are you talking about, Don Quizote? Don’t feed us your whimsical comments. What Duterte wants is very clear and simple to understand, a Federal Form of government, which is now formulated in Congress.

    6. Much ado about nothing! You have a very very very active imagination. Your country will benefit when if divert that into action and put to good use like taking care of our environment! You cannot even clean your own backyard! WTF!

    7. Desperate? Paint your enemy as a Commie! Haha.. ridiculous article! The author should ask his fellow MT columnist Bobby Tiglao for some genuine leftist opinion on Duterte. Bunch of daisies you anti DU30 desperados!

    8. jose b. taganahan on

      NO TO COMMUNISM, Pres. Duterte should resign NOW as promised if he failed to eradicate the drug menace and corruption in dovernment with in six (6) months of his Presidency.

    9. Communism does not scare us anymore. There are no communists anymore. What we have here are people in government who truly work for social justice, the masses, as against those who are part of the oligarchy that controlled much of our resources until now. Sec Jun Evasco, a priest and forever a priest in the order of Melchezidec, is not a communist at heart. He wanted drastic change in the manner that government policies must be formulated from the viewpoint of the masses, and not from the perspective of business.

    10. aladin g. villacorte on

      Talking to a wall. . ?

      The peace talks with the Left is like a “movable feast” – to borrow Hemmingway’s language, a sort of migratory bird. The first of many bilateral engagements happened in the Netherlands during the 90s, once only in neighboring Belguim, then back to the land of windmills and tulips until 2001. That same year Norway came into the picture as Third Party Facilitator, and has since been playing host to the negotiations.

      Why travel to the far end of the earth – the Arctic circle – to negotiate peace in our country? Why go to Oslo for meetings when President Duterte’s home turf – Davao City – which is friendly territory to the Reds, would be ideal as venue? (Now we are told the third round of talks will be held early next year in Rome.)

      My point is not so much about the distance or the time spent coming and going, or even the huge expenses incurred by these globe-trotting pro-poor militants (the gracious host will foot the bill anyway), as the perception that the participants could be hiding something from the Filipino people. Would the agenda be any different from that of the past negotiations? What are the topics on the table, for instance, and what have they agreed on so far? After a series of peace talks and nearly a dozen signed agreements under five presidents, what are the chances of achieving a lasting peace agreement this time around?

      Fr. Conrado Balweg, a folk hero in the Cordilleras who died at the hands of his former comrades, had given us a clue as to why any peace talk with the CPP-NDF-NPA will not prosper. “Talking peace with the Left is like talking to a wall,” he confessed in an interview. “Their agenda is politics, not peace.”

      A question of loyalty

      One thing is certain: The Left will still be represented by the same old faces, with the same rhetoric.

      I have also often wondered who is calling the shots now, who is orchestrating the whole show? – the absentee leaders, the arm-chair guerillas who are living comfortably and safely abroad? They must be kidding!

      This leads me to my next point which has rarely been raised, if ever: Explain why no one from either the public or private sector ever questioned Luis Jalandoni’s loyalty and patriotism ? Jalandoni, an ex-priest, has long turned his back on the Philippines by becoming a Dutch citizen. He acquired Dutch citizenship by naturalization through a Royal Decree issued on November 12, 1985. I should know; I was the one who stumbled upon this piece of information and reported it posthaste to the Home Office.

      During my posting in The Hague from 1985 to 1989 our Embassy had transmitted to Manila several reports via telex and despatch on the subject of Jalandoni’s change of citizenship and his active involvement in the underground. One such report contained my comments that “as a Dutch citizen” his activities on behalf of the Left and the insurgency groups (such as propaganda work, fund-raising, etc.) and his continuing liaison with them in one form or another “may well be regarded as direct intervention in purely Philippine affairs”

      What is the Left really up to?
      Let’s face it, what gives this new round of talks more than a fighting chance of success is the fact that the leading government actor is a self-confessed leftist. President Duterte once sat at the feet of the master himself – Jose Ma.Sison – during his college days at the Laurel’s lyceo in Intramuros. The ideological thread that connects the two is quite obvious.

      Study the current starting line-up of both teams and their coaches. The leaders of the negotiating panel and their members are no stranger to each other, politically speaking. They talk the same language. Together with the rest of the team Evasco, Mariano, Taguiwalo, Maglunsod, etal, their game plan should not be too difficult to discern.

      Consider this – without firing a single shot the leftist camp has secured almost everything they want from the government: a unilateral ceasefire, appointment of leftists in the cabinet, release from jail of the Tiamzon couple plus other members of the politburo who will serve as both negotiators and consultants, the granting of safe conduct passes, trips abroad and propaganda exposure. What Sison, Jalandoni & Company and their band of rag-tag guerrillas failed to achieve in more than forty years, they got them all in less than six months under the new administration.

      President Duterte proudly announced: “The Reds will die for me,” with resounding audacity. Seriously, if I were the leader of the government negotiating team, my first order of business is to require everyone on both sides of the table to pledge allegiance to the Philippine flag and to our Constitution.

      Ambassador Aladin G. Villacorte
      Former Assistant Secretary, DFA-UNIO, Guest Lecturer at LPU

    11. Not sure why it took this long to see the push for communism by the Duiterte administration,

      Duterte starting making regular televised pronouncements insulting the US as soon as he got elected. Duterte created a enemy out of America so the masses will go along with his switch to communism.

      Duterte claimed the CIA had a plan to get rid of him and now the Goldburg plan to get rid of him magically appears.

      The only thing surprising is how gullible Filipinos are.

    12. At last you have acknowledged the true intentions of the Du30 government. They started innocently on war on drugs but with a hidden agenda that fear will be used thru actual killings to silence all opposition. At the bottom, Du30 and Evasco is more deeply interested in total consolidation of power in order to have a communist revolutionary government. If ever this happens, GOD help our country because it is worst than Martial Law!

    13. Du30 and Evasco with the rest of the cabinet members should get out communistic ideology. All nations that had been with communistic government or totalitarian rule had already proven it a mistaken route of their time. All nations that had been with the communistic government had already shifted to a democratic one, and the recently one was Cuba. I met so many Cubanians who spoke to me with sadness over their government the led people to poverty and less opportunity to life, the wounds by remorse that may take many years before they can be cured. I wonder why Evasco is doing his leftist organizational political grouping down to the Barangay level when all nations that had been through communistic ruling had already shifted their gears to a democratic one. Evasco should rather think twice for him to be of help to the nation, for what he is doing by organizing leftist individuals to launch a communistic or totalitarian government is not what the people want. Evasco and Du30 should use their time and money of the taxpayers to help the people in their poverty and other miserable condition with due respect of their rights as a person endowed with reason and will to lead themselves to destiny.

    14. If that is true, the sovereign Filipino nation must resist any attempt to make our nation a Communist state as it will wreck our democracy.