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CPP: ‘Desperately seeking political relevance’ in 2022

A short analysis of the CPP’s 53rd anniversary statement (1)

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(Editor’s Note: The following is a short analysis, cum critique, of the official statement released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines on the occasion of its 53rd founding anniversary last December 26, 2021. Pinoy Exposé is making this small contribution with the aim of contributing to the discussions on what this most sophisticated of all local terrorist groups would do, or intended to do, in the coming days. To the uninformed, all Central Committee statements, while packed with pseudo-Marxist jargons and pseudo ‘revolutionary’ slogans are, in fact, directives to all CPP cadres and officials that they are obligated to accomplish as loyal members of the party. In short, these statements are guideposts that can help alert everyone on the tactical and strategic plans the party intends to pursue as it battles to survive and maintain its socio-political relevance. Thus, understanding the CPP’s intentions can go a long way in clarifying many issues and developments that every Filipino may be confronted with in the coming days.

REMOVING the usual, over 50-years of gloom and doom and downright false ‘historical analysis’ of the CPP from its latest statement, one was left with the impression that the CPP is desperately seeking political relevance in an environment that has matured from its falsehoods.

This is most evident over its statement related to the candidacy for resident of Vice President Leni Robredo (the last paragraph under page 17).

But even here, its analysis was grossly wrong when it claimed that Robredo poses the “biggest opposition challenge” to the tandem of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos and Davao City mayor, Sara Duterte in the coming May 9, 2022 elections.

To date, all respectable pre-poll surveys showed Robredo, at her best, garnering some 20 percent of voters’ preference—compared to the more than 50 percent approval by Marcos and Duterte.

Why a 30 percent disparity in favor of Marcos can be considered a ‘threat’ or even a ‘big challenge’ to his candidacy was simply glossed over by the CPP.

Displaying an ambivalent attitude towards Robredo, the CPP, on the one hand is criticizing Robredo over her apparent change of position, especially in relation to the military and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC); on the other, it is still hoping to win her back as it is the party’s only way to gain political relevance in the runup to the 2022 polls.

“(Robredo), however, has chosen to distance herself from the national democratic forces that have a proven electoral base of at least several million votes. She generated further antipathy of the patriotic and democratic forces by endorsing Duterte’s NTF-Elcac in trying to (secure) the support of the military.

“She can still win the support of the patriotic and democratic forces by further strengthening her opposition to the Duterte regime… free all political prisoners… and seriously pursuing

peace negotiations with the NDFP.”

And so there lies the ‘quid pro quo’ the CPP is “dangling” before Robredo and their allies under the 1Sambayan coalition that supporting Robredo:

In exchange for its “proven electoral base of at least several million votes”— the release of arrested top CPP officials and resumption of the long-ended peace talks. And it goes without saying that along with them is the CPP’s follow-up “demand” for the non-arrest and freedom of movement of its now fugitive leaders like the Tiamzon couple, Benito and Wilma.

However, the CPP clearly missed the obvious in the current political arrangement: although part of 1Sambayan thru its front organizations, it has also been relegated to the sideline with 1Sambayan’s rejection in its slate of two of the CPP’s senatorial candidates, Atty. Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna) and Elmer Labog of KMU.

The message is quite clear: while Robredo and 1Sambayan ‘welcomes’ the purported “millions of votes” that the CPP can deliver, they do not want anything official to do anymore with the CPP as its front organizations are by now wholly exposed and discredited.

For an opposition group wishing to be seen as ‘respectable,’ it does not want to be seen in the company of known terrorist groups. The electorate does not like that, either.

Nevertheless, should Robredo and 1Sambayan cave in to the CPP offer, it would not also be a surprised. Both sides are, in fact, being threatened with political oblivion after the over 30-years political alliance between the CPP and the Liberal Party (LP) has become public knowledge in recent years, especially with the advent of the Internet where long-buried secrets and information are now readily available.

Evidence of the dwindling CPP/LP political influence can be found in the result of the 2019 midterm polls, when not a single senatorial candidate from the LP won while the Makabayan Bloc was, for the first time, dislodged as the top partylist group by ACT-CIS, a partylist closely allied with Pres. Duterte.

Thus, the 2022 election is crucial to the political relevance—and survival—of both the CPP and the LP, its mainstream political ally of several decades (end of first part).