Worse than the last annus horribilis

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FRANCISCO S. TATAD

FRANCISCO S. TATAD

ANY hope that the second half of 2016, which coincided with President Rodrigo Duterte’s first six months in office, would wash away the ills of the Aquino regime, turned out to be a grievous mistake. A mirage. As the year ended on Saturday, the annus horribilis of the previous year turned out to be much more livable than that which followed it. It was the exact opposite of what most Filipinos had expected.

Before DU30’s watch began on July 1, when most people were saying they had seen the worst, I asked a group of enthusiastic partisans rather irreverently, what happens if Aquino’s watch turned out to be better than the next? It seemed hardly conceivable then that a thoroughly unprepared and abnormal President, who was inclined to spend more time with his nephew at the PlayStation than at his official duties, would be succeeded by someone with more distressing qualities.

The seemingly inconceivable, however, appears to have happened.

What to expect this year
In 2017, we will have a “still popular” President waging a “popular” war on drugs that will continue to kill mere suspects while supposedly resisting arrest. Condemnation of the extra-judicial killings will grow, even as citizens, participating in opinion poll “surveys” express support for the regime they have come to fear or despise. More and more people will realize that beyond the gruesome killings, which now include minors, pregnant women and lawyers doing their legitimate jobs for their clients, the police and the state had become killing machines which can no longer be restored to their original state, or the status quo ante.


Although a Senate inquiry, initiated by the presidentially indicted Sen. Leila de Lima, had failed to pin down DU30 on the alleged Davao Death Squad killings when he was still mayor of Davao City, the current nationwide killings may have actually created a National Death Squad under PNP Chief Bato de la Rosa. Conscience-stricken policemen, who could no longer stomach the killings, could prove the first major problem for the NDS. This is probably where DU30’s “Philippine Constabulary” could come in. Meant to include former members of the NPA, MILF and “vigilantes,” and to function as the equivalent of the “Republican Guard” of some fallen despots, this could become the umbrella for the NDS.

A more active Church
As in the years of martial law, the Church and religious sector will become more active in denouncing the atrocities. An increasing number of believers and churchgoers, convinced that the battle is no longer against mere flesh and blood but against powers and principalities, will be praying daily to St. Michael the Archangel and storming the heavens for a grand exorcism to rid the nation of the dark presence that seems to have come to possess the powers that be.

But DU30’s principal preoccupation will be how to survive “plots,” real or imaginary, to remove him from the presidency. An alleged “blueprint” for his ouster, attributed to the former US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, but denied by the State Department, is supposed to have given him a maximum of 18 months to remain in office. This fear will be heightened, rather than moderated, as he pursues his declared “pivot” to China and Russia, and they express strong support for his policies. DU30 will tend to assume that the alleged US plot to remove him will intensify as he moves closer to Beijing and Moscow.

Regardless of what the US will do or not do in response to DU30’s foreign policy initiatives, closer ties with the two US rivals will embolden DU30’s communist partners to fast-track their proposed communist takeover of the government. This could be done by declaring a revolutionary government, which abolishes the Constitution and the existing government, and puts DU30’s communist partners in charge.

This would free him from any constitutional successor, who could be installed in his place in case he dies or is constitutionally removed. Instead of an elected Vice President taking over in case of removal or death, it would be his communist-in-chief, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., taking his place.

Most powerful, potentially dangerous
Evasco is the rebel ex-priest who managed DU30’s presidential campaign, and is now in charge of 12 critical government agencies that used to be directly responsible to the President. Together with an array of selected full members of the CPP/NPA/NDF, he leads the Kilusang Pagbabago (Movement for Change), an embryonic political party supported with government funds and facilities that seeks full control of the entire government through the Office of the President. He is not only in charge of the powerful Presidential Action Center, he has also created under the KP, the equally powerful Office of Participatory Governance in the Office of the President, with two undersecretaries.

Evasco, rather than PNP Chief Bato de la Rosa, is said to be DU30’s real “co-president.” He has become the most powerful and potentially the most dangerous man in the DU30 Cabinet. While DU30 curses his way to the headlines and unsettles the US and its allies with his un-nuanced foreign policy statements, Evasco does all the quiet work for the eventual communization of the Philippine government.

Fairly or unfairly, he is described by some as the real source of the controversial and constitutionally questionable PNP Command Memo Circular 16-2016 of July 1, 2016, which proclaims “the neutralization of all illegal drug personalities” as the principal objective of Operation Double-Barrel, the main program in the drug war. The circular was signed by the PNP Chief.

Evasco is proud to call himself a communist, while DU30 merely calls himself a “socialist.” Initially described as a “rejectionist”—meaning one who rejects the leadership of Jose Maria Sison, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, as distinguished from “reaffirmist,” one who affirms Sison’s leadership—he is seen by some students of the communist Left to navigate a wider stream.

Smarter than Joma?
Where Joma Sison broke from the old communist party, the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) to found the CPP, on Dec. 26, 1968, and, with the reported intervention of the late former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., form a partnership with Commander Dante of the New People’s Army, Evasco is said to be more inclined to form a new communist party within the government and various elements of the CPP/NPA/NDF.

Because he is able to project this activity as enjoying DU30’s full support, he is able to neutralize the opposition that should canonically and naturally come from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the security and defense establishment. Thus, aside from Evasco, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, plus a number of communist undersecretaries and heads of agencies being appointed without the benefit of an enabling peace agreement, contacts between DU30’s communist partners and outside communist parties have been facilitated by the government itself.

During DU30’s participation in the ASEAN Vientiane summit, Evasco and company were reported to have met with communist party members from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. On the 48th anniversary of the CPP founding in Paquibato district in Davao on Dec. 26, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno was joined by Bello, Mariano, Secretary Liza Maza of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, labor undersecretary Joel Maglungsod, social welfare undersecretary Ma Fe Temple, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate and Anak Pawis party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao. At least six NPA armed platoons were reported to have marched on this occasion to shouts of “Love live the CPP and the NPA.” At least 2,000 others displayed high-powered weapons during the celebration, according to reports.

Unprecedented and unbelievable
A former AFP Chief of Staff and Secretary of National Defense has asked me to point out that nothing like this has ever happened before. Evasco looks so confident of success that as I mentioned in my last column he has started sending out to his friends photos of himself wearing a head gear with a big red star in front. I described it as a Mao-type cap in my column; on closer inspection, it looks more Russian than Chinese, which has reportedly become part of the KP leadership dress code. My apologies to the Russians and the Chinese.

I was in the Cabinet during the Vietnam war, and did not question the domino theory that was popular at the time. I saw communism as a serious philosophical, theological, political and social error, but I was never personally particularly anti-communist. I had friends who were communist or thought they were communist, and I have Marxist “friends” until now. But communism has failed—as we saw in China, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam and even Nepal. I do not wish to see its ideologyor methodology inflicted by any group upon the Philippines. This, however, is the danger we face right now.

After the end of the Cold War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, which a recent Emmy award-winning documentary attributes largely to the efforts of St. Pope John Paul II, it became totally out of fashion to talk of communism as a serious threat to any government or nation. The Maoists in Nepal were the last to opt for peace and a parliamentary government. But Evasco’s plan appears to have won the support of a number of communist parties abroad, from Germany, India, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia, all of which seem to believe they could recreate a resurgent communist state in the Philippines.

North Korea is said to be the recommended model, with DU30 as the new Kim Jong-un.

Support from China
Logistical and financial support from China, possibly coursed through North Korea, cannot be discounted, especially if it could change the power balance in favor of Beijing in the South China Sea. Qualified analysts believe that arms landings similar to the MV Karagatan episode in Digoyo Point in 1972 could soon be repeated in Mindanao, to support Evasco’s plans. China’s support for the CPP/NPA was cut off after Marcos accepted the One China policy during the normalization of relations between Manila and Beijing in 1975.

There could be a change of policy after DU30’s visit to China, when he said he would like to separate militarily and economically from the US, and align himself with China and Russia “against the world.” In Marcos’ time, the CPP/NPA wanted to take over government from outside; today, Evasco would like to take over the government from within.

DU30 will continue to play a pivotal role in this effort for as long as he is needed. But in the days ahead, when he continues to repeat his familiar vulgarities and begins to lose his shock and entertainment value, the KP will emerge as the real power to reckon with. This will reach its high point if and when DU30 proclaims his revolutionary government, as expected, and puts the KP in charge. He then becomes completely expendable, as he himself has prophesied, and Evasco could dismiss him as a vulgar son of the bourgeoisie.

* * *

Catanduanes Relief
People who know I am from Catanduanes, which was battered by the last typhoon, wanted to know if they could send relief assistance to the victims through this space. Thank you. The best way to do this would be to send everything to Bishop Manolo de los Santos of Virac, who has organized the diocese and all the parishes for this purpose. Shelter materials are most needed.

fstatad@gmail.com

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22 Comments

  1. Conscience-stricken policemen? Who are they? Are they the good ones who haven’t killed anyone? Then they will never be conscience-stricken because there is nothing in their personal constitution that would prompt them to react for they are not part of the killings , they would just shrug their shoulders and ignore.

    Now those who kill for any purpose other than legal are the ones who have conscience to reckon with because they kill with hidden motives. Hidden motives are usually evil and personal the reason why they are kept secret. These are the so-called conscience-stricken policemen , and as such they would not readily come out of their comfort zone to be exposed. How are they going to condemned the killings when they are the perpetrators of the crime? Of course , they could forever stomach the killings for they are the ones involved in the illegal drugs.

    Now the DDS and the NDS are mere fabrications of the evil media in connivance with the drug syndicates to topple the leader they hated most!

    I am telling you the truth , extra-judicial killings are done by those involved in the drug crime in the spirit of mutual slaughter because it is The Lord’s own way of destroying the lawless ones!

    Mutual Slaughter has been going on through the power of The Lord. It is right there in the bible , the certified book of the world. The Lord Himself testified in Psalm 34:21—

    21 Evil shall slay the wicked , and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

    With this wisdom that comes from The Lord , you can now solve the riddle of extra-judicial killings.

  2. This mr. tatad, is definitely “tadtad”. Tadtad ng paging biases, ignorance and really wants to poison the minds of the people. The good thing is people nowadays are not cowards anymore and tend to look for the truth than shove it to their throats like the friars that really destroy this country. We are not in the past anymore when one person can just fabricate things and people will believed it and he does not get it.Poor nincompoop. You are part of pest and scourge of this country and that should be illuminated to all. WE support the president and not because we are idiots because we see sincerity in him and we see it on the ground. May all of you pests of the Philippines gone and may we have a Philippines better than Singapore or Japan. Mabuhay ka Pilipinas.

  3. Mr. Tatad,s voice seem to be a voice in the wilderness,

    Let us all hope that his voice will be louder enough.

  4. Mr. Tatad,s voice seem to be a voice in the wilderness,

    Let us all hope that his voice will be louder enough. QUO VADIS, PHILIPPINES.?

  5. Sitting Ducks. Who are they? They have wealth accumulation and hold powerful position. They are just dancing with
    the Master. They believe on Black Propaganda. Nothing of the truth but purely lies. Even Manila Time become victim of these lies by not investigating their source of information. Who else we trust?

  6. Foolish individuals have been ascribing the killings to Duterte , for the simple reason that , they observed that the killings begin to mount when Duterte assumed office. Foolish wisdom !
    The criminals hate the president because he declared war on them , and so in the spirit of hate and rage they begun injuring and killing their own race.

    Compared with the previous administration where the former president was well-loved by the criminals because he live in harmony with them. Therefore the killings were not as rampant as it is today concerning drugs.
    In fact , a great number of the former leader’s top officials and subordinates were into the drug trade. They were then protected , so why should they kill?
    The ruler who ascends to the presidency now is a hater of illegal drugs , and all forms of corruption. And so the reason for the mounting killings because they hate the present ruler!

    DUTERTE SAID : STOP THE DRUGS , AND THE KILLINGS WILL ALSO STOP.
    OF COURSE , THE CRIMINALS ALSO COULD BE SAYING THEIR PIECE : WE WON’T STOP THE DRUGS , LET THE KILLINGS CONTINUE AMONG US !

    I say , AMEN to that—let the Spirit of Mutual Slaughter come upon you all !

    Study the fundamental. When both the good and the evil are living together and in accord with each other—nothing happens. Both will be hospitable with each other , avoiding even a slight of animosity between them. Each will try to pardon and make amends for the sins of both. There is a token of “peace” in the midst of these criminals. Christ said , “sinners love their own sinners” , same with criminals loving their own kind.

    Actually , this thing is biblical. And it is embedded in the teachings of Christ where both the good and evil are at peace and no barriers of hostility exist between the two opposite forces—so long as there is no agitation from The Lord to cause division and separation.

    However , if someone introduces destabilization so as to agitate the two , until the agitation becomes violent then war will break loose.
    The good and the evil forces will no longer be loving neighbors but become mortal foes. Thus , commences the war between the good and the evil which is , in reality , is what The Lord would like to happen in the end so that the good shall be separated from the evil.

    Hostilities shall be on an upswing—criminals will go after criminals and kill one another. This is what is termed as “mutual slaughter”. It is biblical and it has the stamp of The Lord God.

    You see , you do not need to armed yourselves to kill criminals , just utter the prayer that mutual slaughter should come from The Lord , and it certainly shall be granted because it is The Lord’s own doing.
    Read your bible , it is written in the Old Testament where you can read how the enemies of Israel killed one another of their own armies until all of them were wiped out—relegating the army of Israel to mere spectators. That was mutual slaughter and it was from The Lord.

    Psalms 34:21 (KJV)
    21 Evil shall slay the wicked:
    and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

    Very clearly , mutual slaughter is from The Lord and he uphold it. Sinners as well as criminals are bound to kill themselves mutually as the word of The Lord testified.
    The president and all of us can just pray and ask for mutual slaughter for criminals and all lawless enemies and it shall be granted by The Lord.

    Of course the police should perform its usual task–lest i be misinterpreted.
    What I mean is , let The Lord do the extra-judicial killing for us by having the mutual slaughter to continue unabated until all the lawless enemies are annihilated.
    Let those involved in the drug crime , drug lords and protectors hate one another and kill one another in the spirit of mutual slaughter!

    With the unfolding of this secret wisdom , you will now understand that the president has nothing to do with extra-judicial killing.
    Mutual slaughter has already begun for those lawless criminals , when he uttered the words that herald the commencing of the war among criminals by declaring a war on drugs , and that’s it–the Lord pick up the cudgel and does His usual job.

    Come Lord God the Almighty , fully—DESTROY THEM ALL! ANNIHILATE THE LAWLESS ONES!

  7. Yonkers, New York
    02 January 2016

    I seriously doubt whether psychotic Little Tyrant Rodrigo Duterte, who is also the country’s No. 1 Drug Addict [who is addicted to the powerful pain killer “FENTANYL” the same one which killed the entertainer PRINCE], is aware of the TERMITES led by this LEONCIO EVASCO JR, who are now effectively in critical positions of his Government, and who thus are in a perfect position to effectively implement the vow he made before Chinese President XI JINPING, in his October 18-21 state visit to Beijing that “I’VE JUST REALIGNED MYSELF WITH YOUR IDEOLOGICAL FLOW”–meaning incontrovertibly that he had just converted the Philippines from a “democratic” state to a Communist one–and added: “WE THREE–CHINA, THE PHILIPPINES AND RUSSIA”– against the world.”

    What he innocently forgets is that at just the time EVASCO and his cohorts decide to take over the reins of power, he [Duterte] will be pushed aside unceremoniously, and LEONCIO EVASCO JR. will be the actual “Leader.”

    That is to assume that Duterte will actually be deposed weeks or even months, via IMPEACHMENT, or PEOPLE POWER, or even a COUP D’ETAT, or ASSASSINATION, before Leoncio Evasco Jr. gets his act together.

    MARIANO PATALINUJG
    MPatalinjug@hotmail.com

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

    • You are one kind of a person who are “quick to shed blood” , does not possess even the slightest tint of Wisdom. This kind of attitude is an abomination to The Lord and it is deserving of eternal fire!
      You jump on the gun very quickly witht malice aforethought!
      Read the following biblical verses to get yourself informed that your sin and condemnation came ahead of you!

      Proverbs 1:16 (ESV)
      16 for their feet run to evil,
      and they make haste to shed blood.
      Isaiah 59:7 (ESV)
      7 Their feet run to evil,
      and they are swift to shed innocent blood;
      their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
      desolation and destruction are in their highways.

      This is the way of the people who are accustomed to maligning the President—without giving his every pronouncement the due process of rational wisdom.
      They are very eager to shed blood—with the President’s insinuation , they are so quick to conclude that “he is a murderer” because HE SAID SO! The feigned murderer is being murdered by the true blood-thirsty.

      These blood-suckers smell blood , they drink the blood of a man as water and very eager to devour like mad dogs!
      Blood-thirsty wild dogs who are in the habit of swallowing reason , gorging fair judgement and all. These are the very same people who are predestined to be swallowed by the eternal fire!

  8. It will be very difficult to destroy our democratic institutions in our country. Our democratic values are well entrenched in every aspect of Philippine Society. That we believe in the individual success instead of somebody or the state dictating that success. We always believe in fair competition not guided competition. Communism is not the answer to our problem but truly a nationalistic fervor that will rekindle everybody’s heart and mind that we live in a country full of promise for everybody considering its vast resources.
    President Duterte became our President because he was presenting solution to our problem. People view him as
    better than the alternative who knows that drugs, criminality and corruption weaken our path to social and economic development.

  9. It will be a horrible scenario if the Evasco led communists take over the reigns of government. Communists do not have conscience to kill anyone who will not support their ideology. The NPA killed their own in a purge to root out suspected deep penetration agents of the military. Sadly, those who died during the purge were not deep penetration agents at all. Right now the stage is being set for a killing field by the wanton deaths of suspected drug users and dealer, all of whom are coming from the poor and marginalized sectors of society.

    • Bonifacio Claudio on

      “COMMENTARIUS HORRIBILIS”, indeed in the manner of FVR… Judas to Marcos, supporters to Aquino … now traitors to Patriotism Duterte-Marcos Firebrand…

  10. Bert O. Romero on

    Where has the National Transformation Coiuncil (NTC) gone? Can it not be used as a vehicle to clounter the efforts of KP while everything is not too late yet?

  11. jose b taganahan on

    So Mr. Tatad, I urge you to write daily about the danger of an imminent communist takeover of our country if we Filipinos will not show that we are overwhelmingly against communism.

    • Yes Mike it’s correct … it will never happen … Scare mongering Tatad has only loud mouth to say this … in reality an Amboy like him who wants to be enslaved by the whites forever is like a dog on a leash. Remember he is a member of the so called Martial Law boys of FEM so i don’t even trust his writings. He who has a blood in his hands will never be true even to himself.

  12. better leave australian communist party out they have zero power only a handful of rednecks did not have one member running in the 2016 federal elections, they go against everything australia stands for, one of their main policys is to remove anyone who was not born in australia, just one of many a nuisance party we put up with.

  13. Purely conjectures and unfounded.I find this purely fictional story.Journalism at its worst.

  14. Mr. Tatad, in this eye-opening article you have reiterated the views of your earlier columns that the Philippines may fall victim to the communist ideology. It is ironic that in this day and age, when communism as a political ideology has failed in so many countries, that there are parties in the Philippines who wish to make this a national reality. If this does indeed happen, it will be a tragedy for the country.

    The Congress men and women, who have been elected to serve their country, should seriously debate this matter in their Congressional proceedings and demand answers from the Duterte administration. God save the Philippines.

    • Congress is serving the President and not the Filipino people so your suggestion will not be heard nor acted upon.