MANILA – A former cadre of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) said the neutralization of Menandro "Ka Bok" Villanueva is long overdue and has long been wanted, most especially by the people he terrorized.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Noel "Ka Efren" Legaspi refuted the claim of Marco Valbuena’s CPP information bureau that Villanueva dedicated his life to the oppressed masses.
“It is not true that all Ka Bok’s life was dedicated to the cause of the oppressed and exploited masses, but rather to the terroristic cause of the CPP-NPA-NDF which is the violent overthrow of our duly constituted government,” Legaspi said.
Legaspi served as deputy secretary of the CPP Far South Mindanao Regional Committee and long-time spokesperson of the National Democratic Front (NDF) Far South Mindanao before he returned to the fold of the law.
He surrendered to government troops in January 2018 in South Cotabato province along with his wife Jeanalyn Defensor Bendalian, after nearly 26 years in the communist terrorist organization and availed of the government’s reintegration program.
Legaspi said Villanueva opted to die for the CPP’s futile and lost cause that is the national democratic revolution.
He added that Villanueva’s act was not heroism “but an act of stupidity and stubbornness”.
“He wasn’t serving the Filipino people at all, instead, he sowed fear and terror within our midst,” Legaspi said.
He said in the guise of nationalism and democracy, Villanueva led the party movement in Mindanao for five decades, and five years ago the entire NPA, in sowing terror across the country.
“They murdered civilians, burned properties and equipment, extorted money, destroyed families, deceived and killed the youth and the indigenous peoples, robbed government coffers through their operatives within the House of Representatives, and stunted the country’s economy,” Legaspi said.
He said Villanueva should be held responsible for the death of more or less 60,000 people since their so-called national democratic revolution started five decades back.
“More so, he should pay his share of debts from the Filipino people by robbing, extorting, and wasting billions of pesos for their terrorism,” he added.
Cooperation of the masses
Legaspi clarified that Villanueva’s neutralization on January 5 was long overdue as the people of Region 11 (Davao) and its neighboring regions whom the NPA members have victimized and terrorized, “long wanted his captivity and even death.”
He said this is proven by the neutralization of Villanueva that was made possible by the cooperation of the masses to the campaign of the government of putting an end to more than five decades of the communist scourge in the country.
“Ka Bok’s death is a manifestation of CPP’s losing grip, control, and influence over their so-called “revolutionary mass base,” he added.
Legaspi said the CPP-NPA may have previously earned the trust of the masses in the remote areas, but they achieved this through deception, brainwashing, radicalization, and indoctrination.
“But the situation now has changed in those areas, the masses were awakened and were able to see the true intention of the CPP-NPA-NDF. They already understand fully well that the CPP-NPA-NDF is just using them to advance further their terrorism. The masses already rejected CPP’s terrorism and one manifestation of it is their participation in neutralizing Ka Bok, the most wanted communist terrorist in Mindanao,” Legaspi said.
Big loss for CPP-NPA
The neutralization of Villanueva is a big loss for the entire revolutionary movement in the country, Legaspi said.
He added that Villanueva’s death will surely break the morale of CPP-NPA cadres and fighters, instead of inspiring them as the Red’s claim.
“Demoralization within their ranks will spread like wildfires that will surely lead to more defeats on the battlefields and will break their ideological, political, and organizational resoluteness, coherence, and firmness that may result in the surrender of the remaining cadres and fighters of the CPP-NPA-NDF. Ka Bok's demise is tantamount to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s final doom in Mindanao if not in the whole country,” Legaspi said.
Villanueva was the longest-serving secretary of the Southern Mindanao Regional Command (SMRC) and one of the top NPA leaders that were operating the country led by its founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison.
He was killed by government troops in an encounter in Mabini Town, Davao de Oro.
‘Stop fooling people’
Legaspi urged Valbuena not to represent himself as the spokesperson of Mindanao if he doesn't want to be ridiculed.
“Yours is the old-fashioned way of spreading lies and fake news which the Filipino people had long been aware of. You can’t fool the people anymore,” Legaspi said.
“Instead of trying hard to consolidate and force to remain intact the morale of your forces, you may take this unsolicited advice from a former CPP-NPA-NDF cadre, Mr. Valbuena: stop fooling people and spreading lies; stop your terrorism; find time and space to negotiate with the government for a political settlement before all of you will be captured or killed. It’s the only option left for you to redeem yourselves. Pity yourselves and don’t let your foolishness and stupidity go back to your bodies. You have still the world to win, not by armed terrorism but by peaceful means,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the National Democratic Front as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and separate part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)