Home Press Release The Lying Rigoberto Sanchez and the End of the Communist Insurgency

The Lying Rigoberto Sanchez and the End of the Communist Insurgency

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For those following reports about the communist insurgency, the name Rigoberto Sanchez has become familiar. In press releases usually published online in http://www.ndfp.org and sent to media outfits, Rigoberto Sanchez is the spokesperson for the Regional Operations Command of NPAs in Southern Mindanao.

The Propaganda machinery

One noticeable feature of the Communist Insurgency is their emphasis in propaganda. The movement (as they say) is driven by issues that are said to be the root causes of insurgency which they fight through an armed revolution. In all instances, propaganda is their tool for their AOM technique which is to Agitate, then Organize, and then Mobilize. Propaganda is what propels all steps in this technique for their political end of overthrowing government and replacing it with their ideal form.

It is then not a surprise that the way they deliver information is always directed towards a certain end and without consideration for the truth. They have an elaborate machinery that ensures that their propaganda line is the one being delivered to the public. A quick look at organizations affiliated with the National Democratic Front, the issues they support, pronouncements of their Partylist Representatives, CPP nominated Cabinet Secretaries and NPA leaders all point to the same propaganda line.

A rehash and obsolete line

In all of their propaganda schemes, common themes have always been the staple topics. Corruption on government, US Imperialism, exploitation of the rich on the poor, fascist state forces and a reference to the NPA as the soldiers of the poor. Everything is connected to these issues which justifies their rallies, vandalism and many other modus operandi.

Recently, they are saying that the collapse of the Peace Talks was the fault of government and that the NPAs were true to their unilateral ceasefire declaration. The more absurd claims are that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is a CIA Agent who asserts US interest in the country especially in fighting the NPAs and that it is the fascist AFP that insisted on an all out war against the NPA because they do not want peace. All this issues still point to their rehashed and obsolete propaganda line that justifies all their actions.

Actions justify the words

While they have gained some leverage in their propaganda methods, people can not be fooled forever (walang forever!!!). People nowadays have more access to information, they are more discerning and if I may add, a renewed confidence in the new Administration who has promised change has turned the tables against them. With that, people now are able to observe their actions and relate it with the words that they say. Social media has encouraged greater interaction from all walks of life such that flow of ideas has exploded. Propaganda or information that deviate from the truth are easily discovered and dismissed. At this time and age, actions, or perception of ones actions justify the words; in this case words in their propaganda line.

The propaganda line that they wish to propagate has been overtaken by a more informed society, a vigilant citizenry and a genuine devotion to country. In previous times when it is easier to dismiss government as being apathetic to the plight of the poor, information that explains the slow arrival of services or even assurance of immediate actions to address the issue instantly trumps the lies they wish to propagate.

The truth that can not be hidden

So we now go back to the statements of one Rigoberto Sanchez. In three recent instances, Rigoberto Sanchez lied of the casualty count on encounters that transpired between state forces and his NPA.

In the January 21 Makilala clash, the lone  casualty, NPA Rojit Ranara, was widely reported. Sanchez, on the other hand, reported eight casualties from the Army. Surprisingly, the same claim of eight government troops killed was again reiterated by Ka Oris when he declared the termination of their Interim Unilateral Ceasefire on February 1.

In the Lupon clash during Valentine’s Day, Sanchez reported two days after the incident that “five AFP troopers were confirmed killed while several others were wounded.” Official reports will later belie his claim as there were no casualties on the government side. On February 17, the family of casualties from that encounter reported that they were approached by NDF Group KARAPATAN. The two casualties was later discovered to be 18 and 17 years old. It was clear that statements of Sanchez deliberately ignored reporting casualties from their end and the important information that one of the casualty was a minor.

Then most recently, the landmining incident in Barangay Lamanan, Calinan District, Davao City where two Army Troopers died was reported by Sanchez as 12. He also claimed that out of the three bodies that were found after the skirmishes, only one was a “martyred” NPA while the other two were civilians summarily killed by the soldiers for they were “incapable of resisting the(ir) fascist nature take it out on hapless civilians when they suffer heavy casualties in the battle field.” Reports from large networks particularly ABS CBN would belie this claim as only one was confirmed to be a civilian who, according to his family, went to his hut despite of the skirmish believing that his children were still there. The other one, whom they conveniently labeled as a “commuter” to justify him being there in the area was found near the other NPA. Later on, Army troops reported the passing of the originally wounded soldier at the hospital. He is the third Army casualty in the incident.

The power of information

Information has become a potent force that shape societies. How we act are influenced by the amount of information we have access to. The CPP NPA NDF has recognized this and has embraced new platforms. However, they have not ceased to believe in their propaganda schemes that is only after their ultimate goal no matter how far it is from the truth. The joke goes that they have been lying so much that while they know that theirs are “concocted truth” they have believed it themselves.

They proudly announced their existing “people’s democratic government” in more than 100 provinces. They say that these are established government organs capable of providing for their mass base yet extortion is still their primary means for survival. Nobody has claimed to be a citizen of their so called state yet they insist that it exists. The way they claim the casualties incurred on government forces is a representation of their lost cause. Like their pronouncements, everything has been exaggerated. In the end the truth will be the ones that will decide the fate of their organization. That is the undeniable power of information.

An informed Filipino

These days, lies can only do so little. The way information is so accessible prevents any of these lies from hurting society. That is why a society founded on truth becomes a solid basis to move forward. By that, it means that an informed Filipino: informed of the truth that is, is a potent force to move this country forward.

The end of communist insurgency is not that it has lost its relevance. It was never relevant to begin with. It was merely taking advantage of lack of information, government’s limitations and people’s aspirations for a better life. All in all, the communist insurgency was based on a lie playing with words and taking advantage of a country’s difficulty instead of helping overcome it. To finally end them demands the participation of everyone; every Filipino who loves this country. Our individual actions will decide not just the end of insurgency but the future of this country. For that, each Filipino should aspire to find out the truth and then act on them in a manner that will contribute to the greater good of the country. There is no other way. Only this way.

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