January 17, 2010 in Featured
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — In a letter to the editor to one of the leading national daily newspaper copy furnished to the Nordis, the Chadli Molintas Command – New People’s Army (CMC-NPA-ICR) of the Ilocos-Cordillera Region denied links to the trade of illegal drugs in the region.
In a letter written by a certain Maj. Eugenio Julio C. Osias IV in the January 13, 2010 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer titled “The irony that is the CPP-NPA”. Osias accused the NPA of involvement in the alleged discovery of multi-million marijuana plantations in the Ilocos-Cordillera Region.
Martin Montana, CMC-NPA-ICR spokesperson said that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP-NPA) maintains a strict policy against the use, cultivation and trafficking of marijuana. Montana also said this also applies against the manufacture and sale of other illegal drugs. He added that the CPP-NPA has never and will never tolerate illegal drugs trade.
Montana said that some poor peasants in the region are forced to plant and sell marijuana because of heightening poverty and the scarcicty of social services. Montana stressed that all NPA units and CPP branches in Ilocos-Cordillera discourage this kind of activity which he said is anti-social.
According to Montana, economic programs for alternative and sustainable livelihood and political programs of propaganda and education to dissuade peasants from planting marijuana is a continuing campaign of the CPP-NPA.
On the other hand, dishonest officers of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines even encourage and protect marijuana planters in the region, Montana claimed. “It is an open secret, especially among peasants in hinterland barangays, that marijuana seeds are provided for by military and police personnel, and that known marijuana buyers in the region are able to conduct business because of their military or police protectors.
It has become a laughing matter for astute residents of the region that marijuana raids by the police and military are often conducted when the marijuana plants are ready for market, and not when these are still seedlings that can be easily uprooted and eradicated.
The raids aren’t actually for the confiscation and destruction of marijuana, these are for the harvest and quick transport of the marijuana aboard military helicopters,” Montana said.
According to Montana, one of the big marijuana-growing areas in the region is in Mt. Chumanchill in Tinglayan, Kalinga. The spokesperson said that the plantation is being maintained by the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) which he added is an auxilliary of the AFP.
Montana stated that corrupt PNP and AFP officers gain from the marijuana trade in several ways. He said that while these officers earn promotions and incentives through their sham raids, they get profits from sales and receive protection money from marijuana dealers.
“Maj. Osias can dissemble and blend fact and fiction into what he thinks is a story that would be acceptable to the public. But he really isn’t getting anywhere with his concoctions. The great danger is not the revolutionary movement. The great danger is the fact that Philippine politics is dominated by warlord-politicos funded by logging and mining firms that devastate the environment, and by gambling and drug lords who wreak havoc on our youth’s future.
Using the NPA as a convenient whipping boy for the crimes committed by warlord-politicos with AFP and PNP complicity is a worn out tactic that no longer works. For were not the arms, ammunition and war materiel found in the possession of the perpetrators of the horrible Maguindanao massacre clearly from the AFP and PNP?” ended Montana. # nordis.net