Communist Party 'hit list' denounced Akbayan leaders fear for their lives

(Lead Story and Banner Headline of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec. 26, 2004.)

Updated 00:10am (Mla time) Dec 26, 2004

By Juan Sarmiento

Inquirer News Service

INDIVIDUALS and groups listed as “counterrevolutionaries” in a December

issue of the official publication of the Communist Party of the

Philippines (CPP) have denounced the roster as a “hit list.”

“We're fair game,” Walden Bello, a University of the Philippines

professor who is o­n the CPP list, told Inquirer editors. “We don't think this

is an arbitrary listing.”

In an open letter to CPP founder Jose Maria Sison o­n the 36th

anniversary of the CPP today, Bello and Akbayan Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales said: “The party which you founded 36 years ago views them as ideological and political enemies — class enemies, as can be 'gleaned from their international links.”'

In its Dec. 7 issue, the Ang Bayan identified the

“counterrevolutionaries” in a diagram of individuals and organizations and their links to so-called Trotskyites and social democrats abroad. The diagram was prepared by the CPP's International Department.

“Some personalities involved with some of these groups

are already dead, like Popoy Lagman, Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara.

Lagman, reportedly — and the latter two admittedly — in the hands of

your armed wing, the New People's Army. Another person o­n the list,

Ricardo Reyes, is already in your order of battle,” Bello and Rosales


“Outside of Ric Reyes who currently chairs Akbayan, we, Walden Bello,

chair emeritus of Akbayan and Loretta Ann P. Rosales, first Akbayan

representative, are also among the individuals listed. Does this mean you intend to kill us o­ne by o­ne?” the two said.

Lagman and Tabara were assassinated o­n Feb. 6, 2001, and o­n Sept. 26,

2004, respectively. Ang Bayan identified Lagman as someone from the PMP

[Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino], BMP [Bukluran ng Mangagagawang

Pilipino] and Sanlakas, and Tabara was identified with RPM

[Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Mangagawa]-Pilipinas.

Besides Bello, Boy Morales and Gani Serrano were tagged as Pop Dem

(popular democrats) and part of IPD (Institute for Popular Democracy);

Rosales and Reyes of Padayon; Manjette Lopez and Liddy Nakpil of PPD

(Partido Proletaryo Demokratiko); Sony Melencio of SPP [Socialist Party of the Philippines]; Nilo de la Cruz of RPM/RPA [Revolutionary Proletariat Army]-ABB [Alex Boncayao Brigade]; Ike de los Reyes of RPM-Mindanao; and Tito de la Cruz and Caridad Pascual of MLPP [Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines] and RHB [Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan].

“These are the people who left” the CPP and its allied organizations,

Bello said when he and Rosales visited the Inquirer o­n Dec. 15.

CPP spokesperson Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal strongly denied the

existence of an “NPA hit list.”

Figment of imagination

“That supposed NPA [New People’s Army] hit list was o­nly a product of

the malicious figment of imagination of military propagandists. It o­nly

aims to besmirch the popular image of the Red fighters from among the

masses,” Rosal said in a mobile-phone interview when asked about the Ang Bayan diagram.

Rosal said the perennial resurrection of the alleged NPA “hit list” was

part of the demolition job against the NPA being orchestrated by the


He scoffed at some former members of the revolutionary movement, who,

according to him, were spreading wild tales o­n their supposed inclusion

on the NPA list of people targeted for assassination.

“Probably, they are now in fear because they have committed crimes

against the people and the revolutionary movement,” Rosal said. “If they

have nothing to fear, then why live in fear?”

Rosal said other people also left the movement, “but since they have

done nothing against the movement, they just go o­n with their lives.”

He reiterated that the NPA had nothing to do with the murder of Lagman.

“Popoy was killed by his former comrades in the ABB [the former urban

unit of the NPA] because of his treachery when he turned himself as

partner of Ping [Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine

National Police] and Erap [former President Joseph Estrada],” Rosal said.

Deep sadness, anger

Activist Liddy Nakpil is also worried of the possible implications of

the Ang Bayan diagram.

She said she knew what it means to be labeled “counterrevolutionary” by

the CPP.

“Several former leaders accused of being counterrevolutionaries and

agents of the state have been killed by the CPP while others are harassed and pursued,” Nakpil said in a statement. “But former colleagues are not the o­nly targets-organizers and activists from people's organizations and movements not within the sphere of influence of the CPP are also being threatened and attacked.”

She added: “Many of us who have given our youth and much of the best

years of our lives in advancing the national democratic struggle, many of us whose loved o­nes have died for that struggle, and those of us who

dare follow a different path toward revolutionary change witness what the CPP leadership is doing with a mixture of deep sadness, frustration and anger. They are squandering whatever gains and successes achieved in all these decades of struggle.”

Nakpil, widow of Lean Alejandro, secretary general of the Bagong

Alyansang Makabayan when he was assassinated o­n Sept. 19, 1987, allegedly by government agents, said the CPP accusations and actions “have caused loss of lives and danger to individuals, as well as terrible harm to the socialist cause.”

Erroneous information

Nakpil said the diagram and an accompanying short article were another

pathetic attempt of the CPP to discredit Philippine progressive groups

in its effort to project itself as the o­nly true revolutionary


“The article and diagram are based o­n patently erroneous information,

outrageously biased judgments, antiquated analysis and sheer malice,”

she said. “More than pathetic, this is tragic for a movement claiming

itself scientific and revolutionary and seeking to be a governing force.”

Bello and Rosales said they were puzzled and a little annoyed because

“while we were all o­nce national democrats, our movement was part of a

much broader based anti-dictatorship united front that sought the end of o­ne-man rule through the ouster of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.”

They noted that social democrats and Trotskyites marched side by side

with national democrats, church groups and ordinary citizens who loved

the country and wanted an end to the dictatorship. “In the international arena, our combined ranks actively led in strengthening the social movements against the ill effects of globalization o­n struggling economies of the Third World.”

Rosales chairs the committee o­n human rights in the House of

Representatives, while Bello is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Noble Prize.

“Against which standards does the national democratic movement judge

such efforts as counterrevolutionary?” they asked Sison, who is based in Utretch, The Netherlands.

Universal human rights

Bello and Rosales said Sison would o­nce again stand pat o­n his claim

that he was waging an armed and just war in defense of the Filipino

people's national and democratic interests.

“Considering that we are no longer part of your protracted war, does

this make us class enemies and fair game as enemy targets?” they said in the open letter. “It bothers us that your 36-year-old obsession over

armed warfare asserts that all other forms of struggle are inherently

inferior and a threat to the primacy of the over-arching goal of a violent upheaval.

“Even more deadly, it is justified to eliminate such a threat since

your concept of revolutionary justice not o­nly excuses but necessitates


The Philippine Left is a much, much bigger community than the CPP wants

it to be, Bello and Rosales said.

“We want to impart upon Sison that if the party he founded is truly

interested in upholding universal human rights, it has to reassess its

role in the progressive movement — as an agent of discourse and peaceful co-existence, not as a fascist harbinger of violence, hatred and murder,” they said.

Rosales earlier told Inquirer editors that the CPP was angry at Akbayan

because the party-list group, which has won three seats in the House,

was taking a role that the CPP thinks it should do alone. “And we're

doing it without guns,” she said.

With a report form Delfin T. Mallari Jr., PDI Southern Luzon Bureau