Coming off a bad script, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is offering a new one. But it’s not a better version of the old one and it’s not exactly new, either.
The supposed Red October plot flopped. Or it allegedly did. That’s what the AFP now wants to project even though the plan’s supposed participants know it was a failure from the start.
There could not have been a Red October at all, unless the AFP will declassify supposed documents to prove there was a plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, indeed.
The original plan that is, in which the AFP had branded the political opposition as the leading figures in the supposed plot in connivance with the communists.
The AFP’s mistake was that it grew soft on its earlier projection of the political opposition leading the Duterte ouster plot. Then it singled out the communists and that’s where bad penmanship messed up everything.
Not too many bought the Red October stretch. The AFP did not look good on its claim, really. What made it worse was the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) initially feigning diffidence in following the AFP line.
All the PNP promised was to hold a dialogue with college and university officials after the AFP furthered its claim of the schools being breeding grounds of communists and ergo recruitment pools for the Red October.
It was fun watching the PNP hesitate whether to take up the AFP line or not. But they just grew wilder and wilder every day, until that time last week, when it finally said the Red October was over, just days before the month crossed its second week.
PNP officials could have heaved sighs of relief.
But wait! The AFP seems not done yet.
Because it claimed Red October was a “rolling plan,” meaning it is a continuing plot, the AFP is now saying the ouster move is still alive and well into December, becoming longer than the Filipinos’ celebration of the holidays and “grandiose” — using the AFP’s own description of the alleged communist plot in celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ (CPP) golden anniversary on 26 December.
The story seems coming from an old fart. But no, it was delivered by the new breed of officers who rose from the post-Edsa bunch of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduates who have not seen the height of the Maoist insurgency but are keeping the old anti-communist fire.
The arrest and imprisonment of former Army Gen. Jovito Palparan did not seem to have given many of them a warning against an extreme right projection, especially after the Left movement had waned since 1986 after receiving intense pressure from government but also mainly due to the Left’s own mistakes.
If it was a justification of its destabilization claim, the AFP kept silent on the fact that the communist movement’s real aim is not only to bring down government but destroy the capitalist system to what it deems as just, classless society. Commies everywhere want that.
The AFP had also failed to consider that the mid-term elections are to happen soon. In two months, national and local candidates are to hit the streets and our homes to campaign and provide us with a show Filipinos seem to enjoy watching.
Add to the fact that the campaign period would be an extension of the Christmas season, when each and everyone will be merry and gay, not even the most hardcore of destabilizers will be able to gain support from the masses the AFP seems wanting to spook.
It is also no secret that the CPP’s arm, the New People’s Army, will be busy talking with politicians crossing what it deems as its “liberated areas” to raise funds, this will be an opportunity for the communists and their armies to regroup and stock up on food, arms and money.
It would be stupid for them to “surround the city and claim the seat of power” during a Christmas season when everyone will not care to do anything more than go shop, spend and enjoy.
This premise could be shallow but it could equal a destabilization plot complete with Christmas trees, mistletoes and a soundtrack probably coming from a Jose Mari Chan album.
Red, white and blue
It’s still October, but the Reds’ plan seems to have fizzled out. That is what the military claimed has happened, simply because they had gone right out and bared the dastardly plot.
It must be true because at about this time (again, if military intelligence was right), “intensive orchestrated nationwide moves,” or something to that effect, should have been happening already.
Instead, we have the same old dastardly problems hounding us on a daily basis, like traffic, increasingly bad roads and a general feeling of malaise, especially now that the prospect of becoming a billionaire is gone for the millions of Pinoys who kept betting on the Ultra Lotto these past weeks. Betting on a dream, that’s what they were doing.
But back to that Red October plan, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) called it a “fairytale” — something that the military dreamed up.
Fiction, pure and simple, but what is worrying: the leftists allege that it is something the military is using to wreak “more” abuse in the guise of the law.
What’s more, the CPP leadership has come out with taunting comments against Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who they say made himself look “stupid by claiming that the AFP had successfully foiled ‘Red October.’” The communists still insist it was invented by the military.
In any case, the military is keeping on its toes, warning the public that it’s not over yet.
They are relating this to when the communist rebels mark the 50th anniversary of the CPP.
For this event, the communists want something remarkable to happen, the military is saying.
What this “something” could be, the military brass has jokingly named “White December.” And this, of course, brought on the scoffs and snorts anew.
Short of saying, “We are on to you,” the armed forces are simply going on with their anti-terrorist programs and one more thing that it has warned the public about is the supposed recruitment of students from 18 universities and colleges in Metro Manila to be part of the ouster plot.
Military officials affirmed that the recruitment had been going on and, to prove their point, cited the killing or capture of students following clashes with government troops.
This, according to a news report, was the capture recently of “four female suspected rebels allegedly involved in indoctrination and recruitment, including a student of Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Nueva Ecija province.”
Again, the CPP denied this.
I suppose the AFP and CPP can throw accusations and allegations at each other till they are blue in the face, but we, the hapless public watching this never-ending pingpong match, may never get past the fact that with the rising costs of food and other prices, we could end up with a blue Christmas. And that will make people see red for sure.