THE other day, I ran across a social media post of retired general Antonio Parlade Jr. detailing why the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman Jose Maria Sison and his ilk are seething at him and his former colleagues at the NTF-Elcac (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict) — former secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy. It has something to do, according to Parlade, with their being instrumental in thwarting the CPP's most heinous plan to hijack the then ongoing peace talks and have the government use it for its own self-destruction.

Parlade said they were at a command conference with then-President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang sometime in June 2018, waiting for former Labor secretary Silvestro "Bebot" Bello 3rd to give them an update on the ongoing peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF.

After the briefing, Parlade recalled Duterte asking Bello if the CPP-NPA-NDF panel were amenable to the conditions he was seeking, which included a halt to ambushes of government/military personnel; a halt to extortion which the communist groups brand as their own means of taxation; a halt to arson which the NPA employs against businesses that refuse to pay them revolutionary tax; and the immediate termination of talks held in foreign countries and instead hold all negotiations in the Philippines.

However, Parlade said, instead of addressing Duterte's query, Bello asked for an executive session which the former president declined.

"No," Parlade quoted Duterte telling Bello. "We have to be transparent. We have to talk about that here in front of the AFP and PNP."

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It turned out, Parlade says, Bello was reluctant to divulge more information on the peace talks then as he, as official representative of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP), had already signed the interim peace agreement with the National Democratic Front (NDF) of the Philippines, along with the draft Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reform (Caser).

Included in the Caser were: a) the demobilization of the government's military personnel. The government's own military can only be mobilized for civil and infrastructure construction in support of industrial development. Meaning, the AFP would be reduced to an engineering unit;

b) And while the government's military personnel are being demobilized, the New People's Army (NPA) will be retained to help pursue rural development. Nowhere in the document can be found a provision calling for them to disarm; and,

c) The confiscation and expropriation of the assets of "foreign monopoly capitalists, big compradors and bureaucrat capitalists" to fund their so-called national industrialization.

So, for these groups, and ironically with the imprimatur of the government's chief negotiator, the concept of peace relies on one group, pertaining to the GRP, laying down its arms, while the other, the rebels, maintain theirs, according to Parlade. There would indeed be peace because if their proposal would be met, only they, the communist groups, would be armed.

So, did the CPP-NPA-NDF honestly believe they could get away with their deceptive proposal?

Actually, the peace talks with the government then, headed by Bello, was doomed to fail from the start, mainly because of the alleged deceptive maneuverings of the CPP.

Never mind if Bello included former mayors Herbert Bautista and Isko Moreno in the government panel even as Bautista and Moreno had no idea as to how the CPP-NPA-NDF operated, and why the peace talks was nothing but a consolidation time for the rebel groups.

The big question is why a dentist, Dr. Joy Alcantara, allegedly a daughter of Sison by a certain Myrna Hombrebueno Alcasid, was tapped as a consultant to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

If indeed Alcantara is Sison's daughter, then everything being undertaken by the OPAPP could lead to a set-up in favor of the communists. That the whole peace process was founded on deception.

But what else is new? When in actuality, this liberation movement, as they package their terroristic acts, started on deceit.

Liberate the masses from capitalist exploitation, when the reconstituted Communist Party was allegedly the result of the meeting between the late Jose "Apeng" Yap, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Sison and Bernabe "Kumander Dante" Buscayno. How can they liberate the masses from capitalist and feudal exploitation when half of the funders are big compradors and feudal lords themselves?

And their first big move to liberate the masses? According to former party cadres, it was to act in behalf of Aquino who was said to have been obsessed with the presidency then, by bombing the Liberal Party miting de avance on Aug. 21, 1971.

That is how the CPP-NPA-NDF operates. Based on deception.

* * *

By the way, Parlade confirmed that communist leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon died when the explosives they were carrying on board a boat exploded as they engaged with elements of the 8th Infantry Division.

"There was no way they could survive that explosion, which unfortunately, was caused by their own explosives," said Parlade.

Troops were sent when the Tiamzons and their group were spotted leaving mainland Samar, heading toward the island of Canhawan Guti, off the coast of Catbalogan City.

Benito was reportedly a former secretary-general of the CPP's Eastern Visayas regional party committee before assuming the chairmanship of the CPP and head of the group's executive committee, while Wilma was the CPP's secretary-general and also a member of the central executive committee.

"Also, please don't address them as NDF consultants as their status as consultants is only valid when there are ongoing peace talks. There being none, their status is considered revoked," Parlade, the former NTF-Elcac spokesperson, stressed.