'Communists forming alliance with anti-Arroyo forces’

Updated On: Jul 05, 2005

Manila – As President Gloria Arroyo battles to save her government, the Philippine military says that it is monitoring an emerging alliance between the political opposition and militant groups linked to the Communist Party of the Philippine-New People's Army (CCP-NPA).

    A spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the military would crush all attempts to destabilise the government amid increasing protest actions by the opposition and militant groups demanding Mrs Arroyo's resignation over alleged election fraud. 
    Colonel  Gilberto Abanto of the AFP Civil Relations Service said on Jul 1: "The AFP protects the Philippine territorial integrity and will block any move to divide the country. If the communist movement and other leftist groups decide to align themselves with the groups orchestrating destabilisation efforts, the AFP will not hesitate to crush this unholy alliance."
    In a statement released on July 1, CPP founding chairman Jose Ma Sison said he had directed the National Democratic Front's legal and "semi-legal" organisations to go along with the NPA in joining protest marches to force Mrs Arroyo's ouster. The Front is the communists' political arm. 
    Mr Sison claimed that there were at least four major groups of military and police officers working for the withdrawal of support from the Arroyo administration. 
     "The failure of the legal democratic mass movement to oust the Arroyo regime would further polarise the reactionary political and military factions of the ruling system and would fuel the flames of the people's democratic armed revolution,"  said Mr Sison, who now lives in exile in The Netherlands.
     With Mrs Arroyo determined to move on and her political rivals equally determined to stop her, the Philippine Daily Inquirer said three options exist to "avert the descent of the political crisis into anarchy in the streets". 
    The first is the President's resignation; the second is impeachment; and the third, another massive people power movement that would forcibly remove Ms Arroyo from Malacañang or give reason for the military to withdraw support from her administration.
    "Whatever route is taken to break the dangerous stalemate, the nation will certainly pay a high political cost, in terms of the political consequences, without precluding the meltdown of its constitutional system," the newspaper said. 

* AFP vows to crush any attempt to topple government (The Philippine Star, July 2)

* Crisis options boil down to how Arroyo will go (Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 4)