There is no doubt that the Philippines is in a strange position. After years of judicial and diplomatic procedures, a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled broadly in favour of the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute. However, the newly elected Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, seems as unhappy as the Chinese officials with the international court decision. It is not his bombastic style or his campaign against former president Aquino that motivate Duterte’s stance. His ties with China are more profound. A long-time sponsor and supporter of the New People’s Army, Duterte vowed to rule the Philippines with his communist friends. Shortly after he was elected, he urged NPA to start the vigilante killings. NPA is a Chinese creation and, currently, a Chinese-backed organization.
NPA is in Malacañang
As OSI predicted (link), shortly after being elected Rodrigo Duterte appealed to his terrorist friends from NPA in his effort to extend the Davao Death Squads model to the entire country. Duterte has promised 100,000 extra-judicial killings and the perpetrators are not the Filipino military or the police.
In fact it was during the turn-over of command at the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Quezon City, on 1 July 2016, when president Duterte publicly urged NPA to start killing anyone they considered to be “drug addict”. He even encouraged the communist rebels to use their mock courts to convict and execute people: “Well, Duterte said, the NPA is listening, you’re still in place. What if your courts, I don’t know if it’s a kangaroo or otherwise. Just kill them so we can easily solve the problem. If you encounter them and they are committing a crime in your presence out in the jungle, just go ahead and finish them.”
The Communist Party of the Philippines immediately gave “a positive response” to Duterte’s call for vigilante killings. In a statement released a day after Duterte’s proposal, the CPP reiterated that “it carries out a cultural revolution among the masses” and its armed wing, „the NPA, is ready to give battle to those who will resist arrest with armed violence”.
As a direct result, the body count rises. Dozens of alleged drug addicts have already been killed.
A Chinese-backed terrorist organization
The Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army is on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. CPP/NPA aims to install a communist state in the Philippines through armed revolution and to expel US influence from the country. It has an active infrastructure to conduct terrorism and uses city-based assassination squads.
CPP was re-established on 26 December 1968 as a Maoist movement. The date was symbolic, as it marked the 75th birthday of Mao Zedong. CPP’s armed wing, the NPA, was founded a couple of months later, on 29 March 1969.
CPP/NPA is a Chinese creation. The Chinese government supplied Filipino communists with money, weapons and training. Hundreds of thousands of US dollars from China fuelled the so-called “protracted people war”. The NPA assassination squads were armed with weapons shipped from China.
In the late 70s, following Mao’s death, the Philippines and China normalized their relations. China reduced its support for the CPP/NPA, with Chinese officials publicly declaring that, as long as the Filipino communists are banned or considered illegal by the Manila government, China cannot have “normal relations” with CPP/NPA. However the ties between the Filipino communists and their Chinese sponsors have never been broken and have become quite close again with the tensions between the Philippines and China.
NPA fighters are now armed with new Chinese-made AK-47 rifles shipped from China.
Duterte is on China’s side
It is the former Filipino Government who is to blame for the Philippines-China tensions – that is the official position of China-sponsored CPP/NPA on the South China Sea dispute. According to the communists, the Aquino administration fostered the conflict through “undiplomatic and agitative statements against China”.
Not surprisingly, the CPP/NPA stance is identical with that of his long-time supporter, Rodrigo Duterte. Criticizing the incumbent Benito Aquino during the presidential campaign, Duterte dismissed the Philippines’ international arbitration case. When speaking about China, the tough talking former mayor of Davao suddenly became very polite: “I would rather be friendly with everybody”, Duterte said when asked whether he wanted to continue his predecessor’s efforts. He even proposed a joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea and offered to back off in the territorial dispute in exchange for a phantasmagorical China-built “railway from Manila to Bicol”.
There is no such thing like a “Duterte’s South China Dilemma”. The Philippines have won the South China Sea dispute. But the country’s new president and his terrorist friends from CPP/NPA are on China’s side.