THE Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police eagerly want the revival of the Anti-Subversion Law but one of its staunchest supporters and a key ally of President Duterte, neophyte Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go is against it and instead is pressing for the resumption of the stalled peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Both the DILG headed by Secretary Eduardo M. Año and the PNP under General Oscar D. Albayalde have urged Congress to reinstate the Anti-Subversion Law, saying that outlawing the CPP will end the five-decade old communist insurgency.
Citing the ‘clear and present danger posed by the CPP and its armed wing, the New People’s Army and the front organizations that support it, PNP Director for Police-Community Relations, Major General Benigno B. Durana Jr. told lawmakers during the Senate hearing last week that it is the right time to reinstate the Anti-Subversion Law due to imminent threat of communist terrorism to the country’s security.
“There is a clear and present danger posed by the CPP-NPA and the front organizations that support it,” said Durana as he likened the CPP-NPA to ‘termites’ breathing through the support of their legal front organizations.’
Gen. Albayalde also expressed belief that the local insurgency movement will die a natural death when its ideological foundation is criminalized.
He issued the statement as he aired the PNP’s full support to the initiative of Sec. Año and other popular moves to restore the anti-subversion law that outlaws the CPP-NPA.
“Because the CPP/NPA employs violence and terrorism to advance its cause to topple government, all its organizational components including ideological roots must be subject to the justice system as violations of law just like the criminal actions committed by armed fighters of the NPA,” Gen. Albayalde said.
According to him, “criminalizing subversion will empower government to exercise its inherent right to protect itself against forces that seek to bring it down.”
The PNP chief also batted for an enabling law that will criminalize subversion saying it augurs well with national objectives in support of Executive Order No. 70 to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
He explained that such law will allow the PNP to effectively implement legal offensive actions against the CPP/NPA/NDF and all the criminal, economic and organizational support systems that sustain its terrorist activities.
Gen. Albayalde maintained that the repeal of Republic Act 1700 or the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992 emboldened the CPP/NPA to wage its campaign of terror across the country while at the same time strengthening its political base and legal fronts.
“They will continue to use the law to circumvent or violate the law. Using democracy to destroy democracy,” said Durana.
However, Sen. Go emphasized that the best way to deal with the problem is thru peace talks. “Ang akin dito, magkaroon na po ng usapang pangkapayapaan,’’ he pointed out even as he said that he is not ok with the proposal to revive the anti-subversion law, which criminalizes membership in communist groups.
Sen. Go also expressed his concern about the influence of leftist groups on students they are able to enlist into its ranks through its front organizations.
“Nabi-brainwash ‘yung mga bata sa eskwelahan pa lang at nagkakaroon ng galit sa gobyerno. ‘Yun ang dapat tingnan nang mabuti,’’ he said.
Another former PNP chief, Sen. Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson, the current chairman of the Senate national defense committee said he is also against the revival of the anti-subversion law.