BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – An anti-Communist alliance that will “confront” the political operations of the Communist Party of the Philippines in city and town centers is set to launch in Negros island, one of the areaa where the local insurgents used to hold sway.
The Sentrong Alyansa ng Mamamayan para sa Bayan (Sambayanan), literally the “Alliance Center of the People for the Nation,” is firming up its formation for Negros after its “successes” in Panay island where it has already formed a chapter.
Winifredo Doblizo, a confessed cadre of the CPP who led urban operations as an operative in multi-sectoral alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Panay and other “front organizations” of the CPP, told DNX Sambayanan is a people’s initiative that seeks to confront the CPP’s operation in city and town centers and seeks to be part of solutions to social issues and problems.
He said Sambayanan, as part of the whole of nation approach in ending the half a century old rebellion, will harness the participation of citizens in truly resolving economic and political issues.
“The purpose is to come up with solutions to truly bring about peace and progress for the Filipinos,” he told DNX in an interview on the sidelines of the orientation he led here recently.
“The CPP and its front organizations highlight their so-called people’s issues and use it endlessly against the government with the sole intent of advancing its armed revolution and to overthrow the government,” he added.
Sambayanan, on the other hand, seeks to engage government, through its officials, and agencies, to come up with shared and collaborative solutions to problems.
Doblizo also said the decline of the Communists in Negros is” irreversible” though he notes that they are attempting to regain their strength similar to their so-called “Rectification Movement” in the 1990s when the CPP sent former priest Frank Fernandez here to lead recovery efforts.
Since former President Rodrigo Duterte adopted a whole of nation and whole of government approach to combatting the insurgency, however, State security forces have been reporting a steady decline in the CPP’s strength in all areas – from its armed strength, its political infrastructure or mass bases, to its urban-based ooerations to finance generation.
“We are not just winning the war, we arecwinning the peace in the barangays,” Brigadier General Orlando Edralin told DNX after thanking participants from the youth, former rebels, and civilian officials who joined State security officers who joined the activity.
Edralin said the 303rd Infantry Brigade that he commands has been recognized by Armed Forces higher headquarters as having the most number of combat engagements from the start of the year.
Edralin said the Brigade, through its maneuver battalions – the 79th, 62nd, and the 94th – have been relentless in its field engagements.
He clarified, however, that the increased combat operations does not mean rebel strength is still significant.
“The people are rejecting them and are cooperating,” he said.
“The people want peace and development.”