MANILA – Instead of parroting the lines of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chief Jose Maria Sison, Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago must exhort the New People’s Army (NPA) to lay down their arms and take the path of peace.
This was the challenge posed by Metro Manila Development Authority Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago to the Makabayan Bloc member, branding the call for the resumption of the stalled peace talks a smokescreen and a damage control mechanism.
“In PR (public relations), it’s just a smokescreen, damage control. Masabi lang na may ginagawa. Alam naman namin ang kanilang talagang intensiyon (Just for the purpose of showing you did something when your real intentions are obvious),” Pialago, who is also the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) spokesperson on public affairs and youth concerns, said in an interview over radio station DZAR.
The NTF-ELCAC official was reacting to Elago’s pronouncements following the death of 21-year-old football player Kieth Absalon and his 40-year-old cousin, Nolven, in an anti-personnel mine (APM) attack by the NPA in Masbate on Sunday.
The local communist movement owned up to the killing while other reports indicated that the Absalons were even shot at close range.
Pialago said the peace talks, which Sison himself wanted resumed by ordering the NPA to launch more vicious attacks, is “not definite and has no dynamics.”
“If they really are for peace talks, they must surrender first. All leftist groups that are responsible for these attacks, if they really want peace, must surrender,” Pialago said in Filipino.
She noted that it is common knowledge that Elago and the other members of the so-called Makabayan Bloc are “fronts” of the CPP.
“We all know their intentions. How more young people will have their future shattered?” she asked, adding that NTF-ELCAC will continue to educate and inform the youth to keep them away from the reach of communist terrorist groups.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)