LEADERS of the Communist Party of the Philippines have ordered the New People’s Army to arrest and even kill drug traffickers if they resist, in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against drug trafficking.
“While the CPP does not accept his reference to the duly constituted people’s courts as ‘kangaroo courts’ and reiterating the right to due process of criminal suspects, the CPP and the revolutionary forces accept President Duterte’s offer of anti-drug cooperation,” the CPP said in a statement.
At rites to mark the turnover of command at the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Duterte sought the cooperation of the communist rebels in the government’s fight against drug trafficking.
“Well, the NPA are listening. What if you try them in your courts?” Duterte said in Filipino. “I don’t know if they are kangaroo courts or otherwise but why not just kill them so that we can find a faster solution to our problem? If you encounter them and they are committing a crime in your presence out in the jungle, just go ahead and finish them.”
The CPP said they will intensify its war against illegal drugs.
“The NPA is ready to give battle to those who will resist arrest with armed violence,” the CPP said.
The communists said the NPA has long sought “to disarm and arrest the most notorious criminals including the biggest drug traffickers, in order for them to be subjected to prosecution and just punishment.”
Chief Insp. Arnold Ongachen, chief of police of Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, was seized by NPA rebels on May 29 for alleged drug trafficking.
Upon learning the Ongachen’s alleged involvement in drug trafficking, Duterte said he would not bother to ask for his release and just let the rebels decide on his fate.
The CPP said Ongachen “is currently under detention and undergoing investigation for involvement in the illegal drug trade.”
“The proliferation of illegal drugs, especially shabu, and the concomitant rise in incidents of violent crime serves the perpetuation of the ruling system. The biggest and most notorious drug traffickers are those in the top echelons of the AFP and PNP, who are also in cahoots with key officials in the local and national bureaucracy. It is apparent that President Duterte is fully aware of such,” the CPP said.
“Historically, the colonizers and ruling classes have deliberately encouraged the propagation of drugs as a means of desensitizing the oppressed and exploited masses. Drug abuse numb them of the acute effects of poverty, hunger and state violence. Drug abuse disunites the people and prevents them from effectively carrying out revolutionary struggle,” it added.
Formal peace talks between the government and the CPP-NPA through the National Democratic Front will start later this month in Oslo, Norway.
“In line with peace talks, the revolutionary forces anticipate the possibility of a mutual ceasefire in the coming weeks as a result of negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Philippine government. Until then, the NPA can continue to carry out select operations in defense of people’s rights and welfare, especially against the biggest criminal syndicates and their nefarious military and police cohorts,” the CPP said.
Anti-drug operations continued in different parts of the country.
Police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao reported six people involved in the illegal drug trade were arrested with shabu and guns with an estimated value of P1.5 million.
In Baguio City, some six drug pushers and 156 users surrendered to barangay and police of the last few weeks.
“We have given the drug personalities the ultimatum and we will now aggressively go after them in order to reduce or even rid the city of drug personalities,” said Senior Supt. George D. Daskeo.
He said those who surrendered before the ultimatum last Thursday signed promissory notes declaring that they will no longer be involved in the trade and use of illegal drugs and that they are willing to reform themselves to become productive residents of the city.
Also on Sunday, the chairman of the Commission on Human Rights said he would take an active role as a “referee” to make sure that the Duterte administration respects human rights.
“Our role is just as a referee,” said CHR Chairman Chito Gascon. “We implement the rules of the game under the Constitution.”
Gascon welcomed the President’s promise in his inaugural address that he would adhere to the rule of law in going after criminality, drugs and corruption. With PNA, Rio N. Araja
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