Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/09/07MANILA3051.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3051
2007-09-10 22:35
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

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RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8180
INFO RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0091
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHML/NAVCRIMINVSERVRA MANILA RP//FEMQ// IMMEDIATE
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 003051

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FOR EAP/MTS AND INR/EAP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/07/2017
TAGS: PTER MOPS PGOV PHUM RP
SUBJECT: AMNESTY FOR COMMUNIST INSURGENTS

REF: A. MANILA 2965

¶B. MANILA 2327
¶C. MANILA 1099

Classified By: Ambassador Kenney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (SBU) Summary: In an effort to undermine the Philippine
Communist Party and its military wing, President Gloria
Arroyo announced a broad amnesty plan for Philippine
Communists September 7. At the same time, legal proceedings
got underway in the Netherlands against Jose Maria “Joma”
Sison, the founder of the main Philippine communist party
arrested by Dutch authorities August 28 for ordering the
execution of several Filipino compatriots. President
Arroyo’s amnesty offer to rank-and-file radicals is in line
with her recent pledge in a national speech to resolve the
brutal, long-running communist and Muslim insurgencies before
the end of her term in 2010. The president said the amnesty
was essential to attaining peace and stability, but did not
specifically mention restarting peace talks with the
communists insurgents, which stalled in 2004.

—————–
CURRENT SITUATION
—————–

¶2. (SBU) Sison founded the breakaway Communist Party of the
Philippines (CPP) and its military wing, the New People’s
Army (NPA), in 1969. Since that time, the military arm has
waged guerrilla warfare along Maoist lines, causing as many
as 40,000 casualties over the years, particularly during the
Marcos era. Peace talks between the government and the
communist organizations stalled in 2004, when the communists
walked out to protest the inclusion of the New People’s Army
on U.S. and European lists of terrorist groups.

————————-
AMNESTY AND REINTEGRATION
————————-

¶3. (C) The amnesty plan would cover acts of rebellion and
crimes committed “in pursuit of political beliefs.” It would
also restore civil and political rights for the communist
groups, which continue to clash with Philippine forces,
killing dozens in the past year (ref b and c). However, the
amnesty would not apply to non-combat felonies, such as
murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. That distinction
would preclude amnesty for a significant number of communist
units that function as hit-and-run bandit groups to blackmail
corporations and carry out kidnap for ransom. The Philippine
government plans to provide economic incentives — including
USD $10 million for economic programs to provide employment
for reintegrated communists — to pave the way for the
rebels’ return to what Arroyo called “a peaceful, democratic
and pluralistic society.”

—————-
THE SISON FACTOR
—————-

¶4. (SBU) So far Philippine officials have said the amnesty
would not affect the Dutch criminal case against Sison, whom
the Philippine government has been pursuing for decades.
Philippine authorities jailed Sison from 1977-86 for
subversion and rebellion; Sison fled to the Netherlands in
1988, where he sought political asylum and has remained.
Dutch authorities arrested Sison in the Netherlands on August
28 on charges that Sison, while in the Netherlands, ordered
the execution of three Filipinos who were connected to the
NPA in the period 2003-2006.

¶5. (C) While the three murder charges represent just a
fraction of the charges that the Philippine armed forces have
suggested against Sison, the Philippine government will
likely not seek Sison’s extradition. Two Philippine
Department of Justice prosecutors told post that from the
perspective of the Philippine government, it was better that
Sison was remained in detention in the Netherlands because
his detention in the Philippines might have prompted larger
demonstrations. In addition, according to these officials, a
conviction would be swifter and more likely in the
Netherlands, where he could serve life.

¶6. (C) The relatively muted response so far by the
Philippine communists and the NPA suggests that Sison’s

MANILA 00003051 002 OF 002

influence has waned during his self-imposed exile. While
Philippine authorities were taken off-guard by the timing of
Sison’s arrest, so far Philippine Communists have been unable
to mount any large-scale protests. Philippine authorities
have easily managed the few small-scale demonstrations that
have taken place, but remain cautious because of an impending
decision as early as September 12 in another high-profile
legal case — the corruption charges against former President
Estrada — which could cause wider unrest (ref a).

¶7. (C) Comment: President Arroyo’s stated goal is to
neutralize the NPA and reintegrate its members by the end of
her term in 2010. Media reports have claimed Sison’s arrest
and President Arroyo’s amnesty offer will weaken the NPA’s
recruitment efforts. While Sison was not normally an
operational leader, he did help inspire Philippine
Communists, and his arrest may indeed help deflate the
organization. The amnesty plan may do the same, while giving
the Philippine government more traction in pulling the
communist groups back to the negotiating table. At the same
time, the Philippine government may simultaneously continue
to escalate efforts to capture and try unrepentant rebel
leaders, following the strategy it pursued with Muslim
insurgents, who were offered livelihood programs and other
reintegration incentives while the threat of military action
continued.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.
KENNEY

   

 

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