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About 50 political prisoners set for release

Imminent release ‘different from president’s commitment to grant amnesty’

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By Rocky Nazareno

About 50 political prisoners—mostly women, elderly, sick and long-term detainees—could be set free in the coming weeks as part of the peace negotiations between the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

REDS AT THE PALACE — President Duterte welcomes Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and National Democratic Front (NDF) stalwarts at the Malacañang State Dining Room where he hosted dinner and discussed with them the agenda for the second round of peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway, on October 6-10. Greeting the President are (from right) NDF Peace Panel member Fidel Agcaoili, and NDF consultants Wilma and Benito Tiamzon, who were former CPP secretary general and chairman, respectively. (Malacañang Photo/Manila Bulletin)

REDS AT THE PALACE — President Duterte welcomes Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and National Democratic Front (NDF) stalwarts at the Malacañang State Dining Room where he hosted dinner and discussed with them the agenda for the second round of peace negotiations in Oslo, Norway, on October 6-10. (Malacañang Photo/Manila Bulletin)

“They are trying to release a batch of 50,” NDF consultant and former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) secretary general Wilma Tiamzon disclosed to the Manila Bulletin Saturday, October 29.

Asked if this could happen in time for Christmas, Tiamzon said: “Masyado na matagal iyon (That would be too late).”

A member of the government peace team (GRP), which has been in talks with the communist rebels since August, also confirmed this: “the next batch of political detainees will be released because of humanitarian reasons—many of them will be women, the sick, the elderly and those who have been detained for more than 10 years.”

The source added that both the GRP and NDF lawyers have been “exploring all legal means to secure the release of the prisoners.”

These include allowing the prisoners to post bail, pardon from President Rodrigo Duterte, or withdrawal of cases filed by the government.

There are still 432 political prisoners that the NDF has reportedly asked the Duterte administration to immediately release.

Benito Tiamzon, Wilma’s husband and previously CPP-NPA chairman, pointed out that while President Duterte made a commitment on the political prisoners’ release, the president also pledged to grant communist rebels amnesty.

“That’s another commitment (by Duterte) that we are pinning our hopes on,” he said.

The Tiamzons, who were arrested in Cebu last March 22, 2014, were in the first batch of 22 detainees ordered released by the Duterte administration last August.

Upon their release last August 19, they went to Oslo, Norway and served as NDF consultants in the resumption of the long-drawn negotiations between the government and communist rebels.

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  • Yolanda Santos

    Malacanang is now full of Communist starting from their leader Idioterte. The first batch to be release is composed of 50 Communist prisoners, next time, it will be more Communists to be released through amnesty. What did Communist Dutz get for us? Zero. No surrender, nil, Nothing. Buwisit.

    • Simon

      Presence of Communism in Government is already noticeable even in Congress and in Senate. They can be easily identified you know. One is if they are very supportive to DU30’s move against US and having and strong alliance with China, that’s it as simply as that. But I am telling you now earlier, promoting Tourism is a one way to flock Chinese Tourists in the PH with different agendas. One is to compete the local businessmen until their business were closed down. Second is that these Tourist will travel to different parts of the country to teach silently the Communism until we woke up finally transformed with hatred to US.

      • One World

        This is how China sees the Philippines:

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8218f4a8a858b7c9852bbda8f5609644b98e4c7c8ba75d322a0c84e196f66b01.png

        You’re just a “First Defensive Layer”.

      • Pierre zafeer

        well that is one way to put it. but it all looks fallacious to me. where are the specifics? academic theories that would prove this conclusion? your statements appears to be a perfect example of what hasty generalisation fallacy is.
        Also it doesnt sound any deductive or inductive validity. another fine example of illicit major.

        • Simon

          There’s no need to show the proof of the conclusion. What you have to do is to use your common sense as simply as that.

          • Pierre zafeer

            Judging from your statement I’m sure you just cant mutter any.
            According to my common sense your statement is oozing with logical fallacies.. hence you’re delusional.

          • annaganda

            There’s no use reasoning to people who doesnt have an in depth understanding of political and economic principles. This people think based on propaganda fed to them during decades of Cold War. Ask them if they understand basic political theories of free market economy, socialism, neoliberal economics etc, economic system in placed in China, U.S., Europe and Latin America…. they are fucking clueless

      • Yolanda Santos

        The federalism agenda is just a ploy to open our Constitution and insert Communism as our country’s ideology. That’s what Hugo Chavez did to transform Venezuela to Marxist-Leninist communism. We must remain vigilant.

    • OisinsList

      The Communist that you are referring to is now the biggest economy in the world. That means they will not achieve that if they practice communism….GO BACK TO THE 50’s IDIOT!

      • Yolanda Santos

        Hey ignorant dumbsh*t. Go read the history of China and learn some. China is just the second biggest, while the US is #1 biggest economy in the world. China too is a capitalist s county since 1978 when Deng Xiaoping instituted capitalist reforms but kept Communism so the Politburo could monopolize power by banning elections and freedoms of speech and press.

        China also has biggest debt among countries at $28 Trillion while the US has debt of $19.5 Trillion. China has a GNP per capita of just $6,800 as against the US 55,500 per capita. China is still a Third World country with over 700 million poor people.

        • Pierre zafeer

          LOL! 3rd world country?! what world are you living in?
          U.S.A is no longer the number 1 spot since 2014.. china is now number 1 and biggest economy in the world.. unless if you think investopedia is wrong. sure USA has larger GNP and GDP per capita. But based on PPP, China has a higher GNP and GDP.

          but seriously? 3rd world country? LOL!!

    • Edwin Subijano

      The leftist members in cabinet have performed very well. Are you against that?
      Or do you want more of the same from the AbNoy administration?

      • Yolanda Santos

        “Leftist”? They are Communists, you don’t have to use euphemisms. Call a spade a spade. These Communists are traitors who want to replace our democratic way of life with an authoritarian ideology where freedom is absent.

        Communism has been long dead. Out of the original 39 Communist states during the Cold War, only 6 remain today and those six Commie states are all poor.

        • Edwin Subijano

          You call them what you want. But they are good at their job. And very honest !!!

          • Yolanda Santos

            Communists are honest, Commie? How could you be so clueless? China is corrupt under the rule of billionaire oligarchs and power-hungry Politburo which deprive the oppressed Chinese people elections and freedom. Annexing Tibet and killing hundreds of thousands of Tibetans are honesty to you? Stealing our EEZ is nice to you? You are so naive, Dude. No wonder PH remains so poor.

          • Edwin Subijano

            Don’t change the subject. We were talking about leftists (or Communists) in the Duterte Cabinet. If you have nothing more to add then just shut up.

            And if you want to open another subject just say so and don’t pretend it is the continuation of the same topic.

          • Yolanda Santos

            Huh?

          • Edwin Subijano

            Nothing more to say?

          • Edwin Subijano

            BTW, calling billionaire Chinese oligarchs as communists is an oxymoron. Do you the meaning of communism?

          • Yolanda Santos

            I do, do you?

            The Chinese oligarchs are obviously capitalist. It’s their buddies at the Politburo who are Communists.

          • Edwin Subijano

            So their buddies in the Politburo allow their oligarch friends to be rich and they remain poor? Can you please get real !!! The Communist Party leaders in China are themselves the oligarchs. China is now capitalists in all but name. The Party has abandoned Socialism and its political line and doctrines are a hodgepodge of everything. Therefore I reassert my claim that calling oligarchs as communists (whether inside or outside of the Communist Party) is an oxymoron !!!

            Actually, China is now on the verge of imperialism with their actions in the WPS !!!

          • Yolanda Santos

            That’s what I had been saying all along, Dude.

        • donpag

          Yolanda, you are a hopeless ignoramus! And a bigot! There are no true communists in the Philippines or elsewhere. The farthest ay society has developed in our planet is socialism which is supposed to be consolidated towards communism. Sad to say, the Cold War has reverted the first socialist state–the Soviet Union– to capitalism because of capitalist roaders (or revisionists) like Krushchev and Gorbachev. But the Cold War was in essence a saboteur’s agenda led by the U.S. It’s because as an imperialist power (one which has reached the apex ;of capitalist development) it was in panic that the wealth of the earth’s resources will be shared equitably among all nations and peoples in lthe world via the socialist construction. The same thing happened in China after Mao Tsetung’s death. It will take perhaps 500 and more years before Communism becomes a reality in our planet. By the way, the true ‘communist man or woman’ is the most selfless human ever to tread on earth. And the capitalist (especially the imperialist) is the most selfish among mortals ,most mercilessly cruel–an exploiter and oppressor beyond one’s imagination. If you are a worker in a private corporation , you yourself can attest to a the veracity of his nature, because .profit motive is his religion.and there’s no limit to profit raking. That’s precisely capitalism will inevitably end up in monopoly-capitalism or limperialism.

          • Yolanda Santos

            You are a clueless dumbsh*t . Socialism and Communism are two different dogs. While Communism may have socialism like in Cuba, socialism does not make a country automatically a communist. Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, UK, Norway, Finland, etc. are socialist democracies but not Communists.

  • Inigo Montoya

    If he can dismiss the crimes of these communist and/or pardon them, why can’t he do they same to the simple Juan de la Cruz who just happen to have an addiction to substance or chemicals that are easily accessible, put together and becomes a dangerous drug? Majority of those so called political prisoners have actually committed crimes. The AFP has to make that hard decision again. A lot of those commies holds grudges towards some of personnel in uniform, to include PNP.

  • Jomaking

    any reaction from the Yellow Cult? or from their political party – the LP?

    • One World

      The Philippines loves democracy. Socialism and communism will only result in economic collapse and more hardship for the Filipinos. If problems persist, the Philippines will be very much in the same line as Valenzuela and their Pres. Maduro. I am hoping this will never happen–but who knows.

      • wildspecie

        There has never been a rich communist country, although China is communist it has free market economy.

        • donpag

          There is a Communist Party of China. But that does not make Chinese society a communist society. In fact, China is a capitalist economy,run by a “revisionist” Communist Party. “Revisionism” in Marxist parlance is no different from Capitalism. The revisionist rulers call themselves a Communist Party when they are bogus communists. Thbey arfe capitalist roaders! And now, they have reached .the highest stage in capitalist economic development — monopoly-capitalism or imperialism.
          Doo not be; half-cooked. Study more deeply and widely.

          • wildspecie

            I dont need I am just a common tao expressing my opinion but anyhow thank you for your unsolicited advice.

      • donpag

        For your information, “democracy” is not a social system in the same manner Capitalism and Socialism and Communism are. “Democracy” is a method of political rule or governance which can be adopted by rulers in a capitalist tor socialist society.
        But in order to be truly a democracy, there must be economic equity among the ciiizenry. Otherwise, civil liberties and freedoms would just be mee slogans, devoid of their true essence. Let me offer this essay about Democracy in lour Country . . .I thought it would be good to post again this essay I wrote one year ago today, and subject it to some perusal if the assertions made herein are still valid. Or perhaps, make it some kind of guideposts in our reflections on the wondrous significance of this big big day of our so called – our so called . . . our so called. . . Independence Day.

        Parameters of Unfreedom

        Philippine Independence Day used to be celebrated on the Fourth of July, on the same day the United States of America celebrates its own Freedom Day.

        On this day, in my land, Freedom Day was always held with rejoicing and fanfare. The general public, in towns and cities all over the archipelago, join in the so-called civic parade where floats of different forms and shapes and blinding colors filled the parks, plazas and streets. Flaglets of varying sizes adorned the houses, buildings, vehicles, lampposts and trees that lined the streets. And brass bands continuously played martial tunes hours before the culminating literary-musical program started in the public plaza close to the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal.

        And everyone — from the super-rich millionaires to the doubly poor slum dwellers — oh, how gloriously they cheered and waved their flaglets with wide grins on their faces while their hearts throbbed loud as they sang the national anthem in English.

        Pupils in the elementary schools and students in high school and college were made to contribute to the fanfare: folk dances and boy scout fancy drills by the elementary grade-schoolers, choral singing and declamation and oratorical pieces by high-schoolers, and Gala Parade by ROTC cadets. A well-known soprano in the town or city usually rendered a solo in the middle of the program.

        And not so far away in the residential houses, dogs barked in synchronous cadence with the festive noise in the air. And soon a leading politico — the city or town mayor —likewise barked with profuse rhetorics of Freedom bubbling in his lips.

        The chief executive of the nation, in the immediate space of his domain, delivered his address, again in English, in copious words of adulation to the war heroes of the Second World War. Not to be forgotten would be the American soldiers — the GI Joes! And they were very much around on Philippine soil in the US military bases.

        This was year after year after Philippine Independence was proclaimed in 1946. And after Manuel A Roxas, first Philippine President, conceded the patrimony of the nation to the American imperialists by appending the Parity Amendment to the Philippine Constitution which entitled American citizens the privilege of utilization, exploitation and development of our natural resources for a period of fifty years.

        Thirty years later, President Diosdado Macapagal moved the Freedom Day celebration to June 12. At this time, the upsurge of nationalist sentiments among the Filipino people was a phenomenon which could not be ignored. Certainly, it factored in this move of President Macapagal to alter the date of Freedom Day. Just the date!

        Could it have been a little substantial?

        The President must have thought it substantial enough, or he was just spitting out his words to the sky and they fell back flat on his face. But the ruling elite in Philippine society couldn’t have done better. In fact, its shameless gestures of puppetry would have preferred a more extravagant display of canine devotion to American imperialism rather than a show of defiance to what it may have deemed historically established.

        Another four decades elapsed and the Freedom Day celebration has been reduced to a mere wreath laying ceremony at some historical site in the country. It seems everyone is aware of the bare facts. Or the naked truth!

        National freedom and or national independence exists only as echoes of words issued by the vocal chords of the people residing in Malakanyang and those who frequent the halls of Congress and the Courts of Justice. In short, it is a mere lip service and nothing more.

        The bare facts are disclosed in the realities of life and social conditions experienced first hand by the masses of the people. And what are these realities?

        POVERTY is a wide chasm that separates the less than ten percent affluent from the 90 percent impoverished. It is the Mother of all Unfreedoms endured by the masses since time immemorial until the present.

        Where Poverty deprives the masses of enough food to eat everyday in their lives —
        There is NO FREEDOM FROM HUNGER AND WANT. We thrive in the sarcasm of our country being blest with vast tracts of agricultural lands and we suffer from insufficiency of rice, the chief staple food of our people..

        Where Poverty deprives the great masses of the right to proper nutrition and health care as well as the right and privilege to avail of medical and other health services, then —
        There is NO FREEDOM FROM DISEASE AND OTHER HEALTH RISKS AND HAZARDS.

        Where Poverty forbids many to own houses or lots whereon to erect dwellings, then — There is NO FREEDOM OF DOMICILE OR THE RIGHT TO HAVE SHELTER OR HOME. As a matter of fact the great many of our people are concentrated in slums where they dwell in the ironic reality of being “squatters in their own country.” A good many lie starry-eyed in the night with the sky for their roof and the breeze and the winds for their walls, in public plazas and parks and boulevards and other city streets.

        Good if foreign dignitaries’conferences are about to be held in our country—such as the coming APEC Summit late in the year—and they are carted away to be hidden from the eyes of the visitors!

        Where Poverty denies our people of the opportunities for employment and livelihood and have to seek for work in foreign lands as OFWs where they suffer from untold indignities and inhumanities by their employers but which they agonizingly endure just so their families survive and live decent lives, then – There is NO FREEDOM TO LIFE AND DECENT LIVELIHOOD.

        Where Poverty deprives the majority of the people of meaningful education and the opportunities for the development of the people’s mental and intellectual faculties —
        There isNO FREEDOM FROM IGNORANCE AND OBSCURANTISM.

        Where Poverty deprives the many of the significant knowledge and information about issues and concerns and other social problems because of lack of education, then —
        There is NO REAL FREEDOM OF INFORMATION.

        And corollary to this lack of freedom of access to information, the masses are deprived of the channels to know the actuations of public officials and politicians such that during elections, they have no real basis for choice and are vulnerable to vote-buying, and thus —
        There is NO REAL FREEDOM TO VOTE OR RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE.

        And where Poverty denies the moneyless but qualified and principled people from running for public office, the line-up of candidates to an elective post are limited to the wealthy whose interests run counter to the welfare of the poor, compounded by the conduct of the electoral system that gives high premium to the role of money and gimmickry, then –There is NO REAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE.

        Where Poverty begets and nurtures criminality and lawlessness — theft, robbery, rape, murder, etc. — There is NO FREEDOM FROM FEAR AND INSECURITY.

        Where Poverty deprives the poor people of the capacity to hire lawyers to defend and protect their rights as complainants or as accused in the Courts of Justice, especially in cases that involve conflicts between the rich landlords and the poor farmworkers, or between management and employees in factories and business establishments, then —
        There is NO FREEDOM FROM WRONGS AND SOCIAL INJUSTICES.

        Where Poverty prompts the poor masses to assemble and seek redress of grievances and their gathering is dispersed and their organization’s leaders are threatened and killed or summarily executed by the State security forces who roam the countryside in a policy of militarization meant only to protect foreign capitalist interests such as mining, then –
        There is NO FREEDOM BUT STARK VIOLATIONS OF PEOPLE’S HUMAN RIGHTS.

        Where Poverty prohibits the moneyless from availing of costly transportation facility,-
        and only moneyed people like Kris Aquino have the luxury of tours around scenic spots of our beautiful country,and the poor don’t even have the time and opportunity to move out within half a kilometer radius from their places of abode until their dying hours, then-There is NO FREEDOM TO TRAVEL OR THE RIGHT TO GO PLACES.

        Finally, where the leaders who run the government are obeisant to foreign interests, mainly American imperialist interests, our national sovereignty is compromised, as in fact and in truth, our national leadership caters to the wishes and dictates of these foreign interests, making of our foreign policy a matter of ridiculous happenstance, then —
        There is NO REAL INDEPENDENCE AND NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY TO SPEAK OF IN OUR LANDS.

        To sum it up, Poverty deprives the 90 percent of the Filipino people of their Human Right s as guaranteed in the Constitution, and this is tantamount to denying the great majority of the Filipino people of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

        Democracy, Freedom, National Independence, National Sovereignty are but hollow
        words and phrases that insult our intelligence and rational sensibility and stretch the elastic limits of our integrity as a people.

        Addendum

        As we seriously reflect on the meaningfulness of our so called Independence Day, an overwhelming stroke of sarcasm hits our heart like a Cupid’s arrow. Our President Noynoy, a veritable Fly –a table fly that can fly, yes!—sits prettily on the back of the Big US mascot the look-alike of a Carabao—and flaps its wings, and thought he is now bigger than a Carabao he is sitting or standing on—and shouts. . .shouts almost angrily at China to let it stop doing what it is doing in the South China Sea! President Noynoy is practically teaching China some basic lessons on Sovereignty! But what it drives away by its left wing, it welcomes very sweetly by its right wing. His is a marvelous sarcasm that says:

        “Get out of our sovereign territory, China! Come and build your Military Bases on our sovereign lands, America!”

  • One World

    Who’s going to speak for the Philippine Military and Police families who lost their loved ones because of these ideological extremists. If the NDF truly wants peace, then they should abolish their armed wing–NPA–and then approach their ideals through political means and through a democratic process. It is clear they don’t want peace but a hostile revolution and take over the Philippines.

    • Pierre zafeer

      NPA’s are not rebels. They are more of a bandit than a rebel. sure they are known for being a rebel.. but nah, they all act like a bandit. some of them even operate as private army of some corrupt politician. yet they are still being labeled as rebels. Obviously yellows benefited from them.

      Wont be surprise if some members of NPA can’t define communism or even know who Karl Marx is.

      but these political prisoners are different from those bandits. Surely releasing them is one way of achieving peace talk. but NPA’s should no longer be known as rebels. they stole land and extort money and we still call them rebels.

    • donpag

      You’re another victim of McCarthyist anti-communist .propaganda in the 1950s onward. People like yuou won’t listen to reason and rightly called “bigots” just like the Spanish colonialists and friars of old. You should study some more and be intellectually honest. What’s the root cause of rebellion, by the way? What do you think caused the Revolution in 1896? Do you know the real history of the Filipino people? Read Teodoro Agoncillo’s “Revolt of the Masses” and Renato Constantino’s “The Miseducation of the Filipino People”, and his other books such as “Dissent and Counter-conscioousness”, The Making of a Filipino”, and “The Philippines Revisited”. After you have read them, you will have realized what a big swindle “Philippine Democracy” is.

  • annaganda

    We’ve got Leftist in DSWD, Sec. Prof. Judy Taguiwalo who’s been doing a great job in making relief efforts more efficient and making politicians “hands off”. Silvestre Bello of Dept. of Labor who is pushing to abolish contractualization and brought home hundreds of stranded OFWs in Saudi for 3years now. We’ve got Leftist Sec. Rafael Mariano of Dept. of Agrarian Reform that has started to distribute lands for farmers from 3 major haciendas including Hacienda Luisita. We got Se. Manny Piñol of Agriculture who has launched free irrigation for the first time. Sec. Gina Lopez has suspended up to 12 mining companies that have violated environmental regulations. Duterte himself was able to forge national ceasefire with all rebel groups, NAIA has no more Tanim-Bala, processing of governme t documents are faster, Customs have now CCTV in every counter, policemen and soldiets found positive in drugs were relieved, corruption and red tape are being hit hard, infrastructure project worth 70 billion will roll out next year, the U.S can no longer dictate its interests to us while we reestablish better relations with Singapore, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan together with billion dollars worth of investments and our fishermen are able to fish again ain disputed waters and bring food to their families. These are Leftist and Progressive leaders in government and they have achieved more in 3 months than Pnoy ever did in 6 years. You people live in the 80s Cold War propaganda bubble. Its already 2016 folks!