NPA faction wants to disrupt May 10 poll: military
MANILA, Philippines – A faction of the communist New People’s Army is working for the failure of the May 10 elections as part of their overall plan to cause further insurrection, the military revealed Thursday.
AFP civil relations service chief Brig. Gen. Francisco Cruz said the NPA group is led by a certain Benito Tiamzon, who advocates an armed revolution. He said Tiamzon’s group believes a failure of the elections will help them recruit more fighters.
“They want violence to erupt. An uprising is their agenda. If you look at their campaign plan, that is their agenda – uprising, urban insurrection until it becomes nationwide…It will benefit them if there will be violence. If there will violence, that’s the time for them to recruit,” he said.
Cruz said Tiamzon’s vision differs from that of Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison. “Joma would like this (election) to succeed but not Tiamzon. He (Tiamzon) is for failure because Tiamzon is a hardcore (communist leader). He is for armed (revolution). Tiamzon is for a military victory while the strategic vision of Joma is now leaning towards electoral politics. The two have difference in strategy,” he said.
He added that known leftist sympathizers and senatorial bets Satur Ocampo and Liza Masa are for the successful conduct of the elections.
Meanwhile, Cruz denied allegations by the leftist Bayan Muna party list group of a so-called Oplan Rafael. The plan allegedly details steps by government officials to keep President Arroyo in power beyond June 30 once there is a failure of elections.
“That’s part of a fertile imagination. There is no such thing as Oplan Rafael. Nobody is planning for any extraordinary eventuality. We are predicting a successful election,” said Cruz.
On Ocampo’s allegations that the military is harassing their supporters, Cruz challenged Ocampo to name the soldiers involved so that prompt investigation and punishment will be imposed.
Ocampo has filed a complaint against AFP chief Gen. Delfin Bangit, Army chief Lt.Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu and Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales for the supposed harassment activities by the military.