The following is a press release from the Communist Party of the Philippines Information Bureau.
August 27, 2008
The Communist Party of the Philippines today warned that the Arroyo regime is taking advantage of the current troubles in Mindanao to “build up its local version of Hitler’s Brown Shirts.”
The CPP was referring to Local Goverments Secretary Ronaldo Puno’s encouragement and promotion of armed vigilante groups during his recent tours of trouble spots in Mindanao.
“Picking up from the example of North Cotabato Vice Gov. Emmanuel Piñol’s anti-Bangsamoro and anti-Lumad army of Ilagas, Puno is now encouraging, funding and promoting the all-out development of an armed ‘civilian’ army in Mindanao and eventually all over the country.” Initially, the justification given was to fight the MILF, said the CPP, but Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Chief Supt. Nicanor Bartolome said such groups could also be used to fight the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Puno has, since the Marcos martial law days been obsessed with building the local version of Brown Shirts Stormtroopers, Hitler’s loose ‘civilian’ army, whose unabated, sanctioned rampage against Jews and communists and all remaining resistance to the establishment of Nazi power preceded the official fascist transformation of the German state,” the CPP said further.
The CPP added that Puno initially developed his local “Brown Shirts” concept way back when he was serving in the same department during the martial law regime. “Puno’s concept then was to build up first Marcos’ barangay tanods as a barangay-based Marcos ‘civilian’ army, indoctrinating them as a fascist force and then arming them and letting them loose as an unofficial but key adjunct of the martial law regime’s fascist army. Puno had already initiated a number of secret training schools in Tagaytay and several other places for Marcos’ Brown Shirts, when the scheme was overtaken by the EDSA uprising in February 1986.”
“Now, with his support of warlord private armies and his current campaign for the recruitment, deputizing, funding and arming more ‘civilian volunteer organizations’ (CVO) and police auxiliaries in Mindanao, Puno has revived his ‘Brown Shirts’ plan, this time for Gloria Arroyo. His plan is to let them loose not only against the MILF and NPA, but also to commit genocide against the Bangsamoro and Lumad, as well as to suppress all opposition to the perpetuation of power of the ruling regime,” the CPP stated.
Puno has ordered that 1,000 shotguns be sent immediately to arm these ‘civilian’ auxiliaries. Basketball shirts have been initially distributed to ‘civilian’ auxiliaries who are still awaiting arms. Puno has been busy these days going around the troubled areas in Mindanao, donating police equipment and distributing “emergency funds.”