BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The national spokesman of the country’s Armed Forces has questioned the presence of a peasant organizer of a mass organization the military had long accused of being a legal front of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines.
“Where does KMP (Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas) fit into? Why (was Joseph) Jimenez, a KMP leader… with Acosta, an important CPP and NPA leader in Negros, and NDF consultant, when the incident happened?” Colonel Medel Aguilar, national spokesman of the Armed Forces asked as he used the description of the Communist Party calling Ericson Acosta an” important leader” of the CPP in Negros island.
The KMP had consistently been named by the military as a legal front of the Communist Party, a tag bewailed by activists as part of “red tagging.”
Aguilar, who is also concurrent Civil Relations Service chief, said in his Facebook account shared by the 303rd Brigade on its Facebook page also laid down what he called as “some facts we need to know” that he outlined as follows:
- Agrarian revolution is a major CPP program.
- It is implemented by the NPA in rural areas to strengthen its rank.
- The NDF, through its member organization PKM (Pambansang Katipunan ng Magbubukid), organizes farmers exploiting socio-economic issues that the government is yet to address.
He also posted a graphic card from the ”Liberation”, the official organ of the National Democratic Front that showed, among other information, that the CPP had already “confiscated” 2,000 hectares in Central Visayas and Negros island now tilled by 1,000 families.
No specific areas were indicated in the graphic card in both Central Visayas region or Negros island.
DNX reverse searched the image used by Aguilar and it was traced to the website www.ndfp.org that led to a dead link when clicked.
Central Visayas includes the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor – all part of the unified regional organ of the CPP that is believed to be based in Negros led by Roy Erecre who used to head the regional Party organ in Bohol.
Former Communist cadre Jeffrey Celiz, who now uses the codename Ka Eric, had claimed last week in a DNX interview that Acosta and his wife, Kerima Tariman, were deployed to the island along with Central Committee member Loida Magpatoc to lead recovery efforts for the CPP that had been facing a host of organizational problems from a dearth of cadres, lack of Red fighters, lack of resources, and a shrinking mass base.
Acosta was found dead along with Jimenez 30 November 2022 by 94th Battalion soldiers in an open field in the mountain village of Camansi in Kabankalan, a city 100 kilometers south of here.
Tariman, on the other hand, was killed 20 August 2022 when a 62nd Battalion rifle unit clashed with a guerrilla team she reportedly led in the uplands of Silay City, 27 kilometers north of this provincial center.
Camp Gerona said Tariman was leading recovery efforts for the recently dismantled Northern Negros Front of the CPP.
Like her husband, she was also called by Leftist groups a poet and revolutionary.